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Pak carefree after Kolkata escape

The Pakistani camp is brimming with confidence, there is a sense of achievement because of the way they saved the second Test at Kolkata, reports Rohit Mahajan.

cricket Updated: Dec 06, 2007 01:55 IST
Rohit Mahajan

The Pakistani camp is brimming with confidence, there is a sense of achievement because of the way they saved the second Test at Kolkata.

On the evening the teams for the third Test and the tour of Australia were set to be named, the Pakistani faces had nothing but cheer on them. Conversely, the Indian players whose position in the team was being debated were visibly tense.

Mohammad Yousuf presented a picture of perfect fraternal joy as he played around with his son in the hotel lobby.

Kamran Akmal and Faisal Iqbal were planning to go to the movies, and Goal seems to be the hot choice. Having got a sniff of it, electronic media journalists were trying to find which would be the movie hall of choice.

Shoaib Akhtar was also thinking of going to the movies — actually going to movies and becoming an actor. Spending some quality time in the hotel lounge bar or a club was also on his mind.

But Geoff Lawson, the Australian who’s more of a Pakistani after his affiliation with the Pakistan team began, is thinking cricket.

“Yes, it was a good show in Kolkata,” he said. Asked about his own experience of bowling in Bangalore, he threw back his head and went back to the Eighties, when Allan Border was seeking to resuscitate Australian cricket.

“It was a one-day match,” Lawson said. “But I’ve come here later, as a commentator.”

Even though Akhtar is troubled by occasional bouts of coughing, the Pakistanis seem to have put their injury/sickness woes behind. Skipper Shoaib Malik’s (ankle injury) status will be known in a day or two.

The team is relaxed, says Yousuf, and Akhtar is hoping that the wicket will have some bounce in it.

But it seems that the Chinnaswamy Stadium track is another sleeping beauty, another shirt-front that will make the bowlers shed tons of tears.

But three days before the game, it’s all jollity, especially among the Pakistanis.

Reflects the fact that they are free spirits in any case, and the Kolkata escape has set them soaring.