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Leading from the middle.

by Gaurav Sethi

1st test, MoYo at 4, scores 17 and 41. Rookie Fawad Alam at 3. Never mind what he gets, he doesn’t make it to the next test.

2nd test, 1st innings, MoYo at 4 again: makes a duck! Rookie Umar Akmal’s made enough runs at 5 in the 1st test, let’s shove him at 3. Then MoYo springs a surprise, lands up at 3, top-scores with 83. Pak draw level in the series.

3rd test 1st innings, Somebody’s nephew Faisal Iqbal at 3, MoYo back to 4; another duck. 2nd innings, Day 3 close, Pak has already played 56 overs, 10 wickets in hand. Where will MoYo bat – if Pak lose an early wicket, he’ll wait it out. Why face the early morning conditions, fresh bowlers, why not just read the morning papers, cup of tea will do nicely.

What if the openers see the first hour through, and then a wicket falls – add another 13-15 overs to 56, let’s assume a wicket falls in the 70th over. That would be perfect timing for MoYo to bat. Sure, the new ball is due in 10 overs, but that’s still better than coming in at 4, at the stroke of lunch, with a dodgy 4-5 overs with the new ball bowlers steaming in.

Too many clichés for a man who is anything but that. Where MoYo will bat, frankly even he doesn’t know. It’s up to the Kiwis.


Wasim said...

They are all out of form and finding it difficult to adjust their batting technique and temprament to test match level. It doesn't matter which number they bat on the result will probably the same.
In this match Misbah should bat at # 3 and Yousaf at four the pitch has no demons in it if these two show some grit they can save the match and the series.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Why would you bat Misbah at 3?

Isn't it better that Faisal @27 showed the same grit? He's still one for the future

Gaurav Sethi said...

Saying that, I'd want MoYo at 3, bat all day and show some of his class.

Wasim said...

Faisal is a rubbish player, he is only in the team because of Miandad, he shouldnt have been in the squad in the first place.

I would like to play Yousaf at #4 as a matter of strategy, if he gets out early in this innings batting higher that might cause panic in the batting line up. He should bat at # 4. Misbah is good enough to bat at # 3 if he just plays proper cricketing shots and doesn't try his own innovations. He has the skill only he will have to control his urge to play those paddle and reverse sweeps.

Yousaf is not in the same form as he was two years ago,his reflexes are not the same, so in my opinion it will be unrealistic to expect from him to bat all day.

Gaurav Sethi said...

MoYo batted nearly 80 overs, and Faisal did enough, but don't we know he's not his uncle - the drops helped. And you should be happy Misbah didn't bat at 3.

Wasim said...

I wish they had scored a bit more faster, Vettori couldn't extract any movement of the pitch like Kaneria and that helped, the pitch eased out after tea on the second day and since then even the tail enders are batting like star batsmen on this pitch. If we don't lose quick wickets tommorrw then it is going to be a draw.