• Pakistan innings: Overs 41-50:

    Zaheer Khan set things up with a tight 41st over that produced just four despite all the huffing and puffing; Harbhajan nailed it in the next, when he tossed up a ball way too much; it ended up as a full toss and Afridi, overdosing on adrenalin, heaved where he could have guided, put it up in the air, and down the throat of Sehwag at cover. The ask had topped ten, and the tail had been exposed at one end -- and that put India firmly in the box seat.

    From then on, it was almost mathematical: shut them down and take them out. Nehra -- and while on that, it will be a long time before anyone, present company included, questions any decision no matter how bizarre that Dhoni makes -- produced an inswinging yorker onto Umar Gul's front pad to nail him in front of the stump.

    Misbah, who had spent much of his innings in an Abou-ben-Adhem like deep dream of peace, woke up when it was way too late, hitting some crisp shots down the line -- but an asking rate of 3+

    Read More »from Live: India versus Pakistan in Mohali
  • It's just another game.

    No, seriously. It is.

    Yes, there is a World Cup final berth at stake -- but two teams played yesterday for the same stakes, with no one pretending that the fate of the world hung in the balance (in fact, television channels were banging on about today's game while yesterday's was see-sawing through its course).

    Today, two other teams are playing for the second berth -- and that is all they are doing.

    They are not, as politicians from Manmohan Singh down (or up -- it depends on your point of view) would have you believe, taking a big bold step towards peace in the sub-continent. The game is not, as it is being made out to be by the hypemeisters on television, a watershed event that will end terrorism, open borders, revive the glory of akhand Bharat. (Just as, if India and Sri Lanka happen to meet in the final, the game will not be played through the prism of the Indian army's peace-keeping activities in Lanka or Rajiv Gandhi's assassination or the ceaseless

    Read More »from It’s just another game
  • So, on Wednesday, news trickles in – Ricky Ponting has been given an ultimatum and that we should be ready for the press conference where he will announce his retirement from ODIs.

    First up, the Australian skipper, who’s had a long poor run with the bat, was asked if this was true.

    “It’s false,” he said smiling.

    Peter Roebuck in his SMH column wrote that Ponting’s days are numbered. I only wonder what these pundits will have to say if Australia win their fourth successive World Cup.

    So if Ponting’s place in the side is under threat, let’s ask the next question: who will replace him as captain?

    The 36-year-old, despite his poor form, is one of the most feared batsmen in the game. Ask India. But Ponting understands his slump.

    Australia’s captain for nine long years jokingly said, “If I had been scoring the runs that I would have liked to have scored in this World Cup, then I probably wouldn’t be answering a lot of these questions.”

    Ricky, in his desperate attempt, egged reporters to come

    Read More »from Who will replace Ponting?


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