• The way things are going, it would take a miracle for Pakistan to make the finals of the Asia Cup. And right now, that miracle seems very, very unlikely. Sri Lanka have looked extremely competent so far, and they are already in the finals, while India continue their good form and look in course for a clash with Sri Lanka on the weekend.

    In the Pakistan-Sri Lanka clash, I was surprised to see Shoaib Malik opt to chase. While all the other captains in the fray are trying to protect their players from toiling in the hot sun, Malik took the rather inexplicable decision of chasing. Hopefully, Shoaib Malik will bat first if he wins the toss tomorrow, especially since his batting has looked stronger while setting a total and fragile while chasing.

    The other criticism I have is about the reluctance to promote Misbah ul Huq up the order. He should be batting in the first four because, in nearly every game he comes in when it is too late. Finally, I would still play Kamran Akmal, his keeping

    Read More »from Indian batting looks invincible
  • The Asia Cup is already underway, but the format is such that the serious business begins only a little later. The match that everybody is looking forward to is between hosts Pakistan and India tomorrow. At the starting line it seems difficult to see a final line-up without India, because they look in better shape than either Sri Lanka or Pakistan.

    I was impressed when I saw Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Pakistan two years ago, and he has impressed me even more in his leadership role. He now looks ready to lead the side in all forms of the game, and his team-mates seem to be responding very well to him. The youngsters in the side are looking like a talented bunch, and while they did lose the finals in Bangladesh, they have hardly been putting a foot wrong ever since Pakistan toured India last year. It's a young, fearless side that is lead by a young fearless captain.

    Sadly, the same optimism cannot be shown as far as Pakistan is concerned. Right from the moment Inzamam-ul Haq forfeited a
    Read More »from Dhoni looks ready to lead the side in all forms of the game
  • They were so snooty at Lord's in those days. It was a different world then. There was a luncheon invitation for me with the MCC official who also gave me my media pass - a medallion with the MCC crest. Only, that lunch, a banquet before sending the teams on their way to various venues at the start of the World Cup in 1983, was over several hours earlier.

     

    If the miscommunication was a minor hitch, consider being told that the medallion would not be valid for the final unless India qualified. Writing then as I was for a broadsheet that would expect to get invited even to the Buckingham Palace, I couldn't possibly not be at the final, regardless of who was playing.

     

    The venerable sage, John Woodcock, cricket correspondent of the Times, had promised me that I would be welcome in the press box, which I could access with his messenger's pass. As it transpired, we held our heads aloft as we got our medallions validated for the final by right.

     

    June 25, 1983 - It did not seem a

    Read More »from June 25, 1983: The day India changed history

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