Please stop boring people to death!
Just because Pakistan defence is almost foolproof, the department of attack is doing little beyond 'growling'.india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 22:33 IST
"Farida, je tu akal lateef, kaale likh na lekh. Aapanre girivaan mein, sir nivaan kar dekh"
(Farid, if you are too intelligent, don't waste your intellect by putting negative thoughts in black and white. Please look within and discover thyself.)
I am not too sure if this couplet from a great Muslim saint would convey any message to the majority Punjabi-speaking members of the Pakistan team. But I am trying a rather unorthodox method to convey my own feelings of depression caused by least concern for the paying public. Another Pakistani leader begins his utterances seeking blessings from the Almighty. One from Ghulam Farid and the other from Inzamam-ul Haq. Both sound very pious to the human ears. Nothing more beyond that! Which is when it comes to adopting blatantly negative tactics to kill the fair name of Test cricket, I honestly wonder if their conscience -- religious, social or political -has any moorings. I have deliberately shoved in the spiritual element to find out if I can tread on some cricket toes who think it's their prerogative to take the followers of the game for a massive ride. In two Tests of ruthless leather hunting, what is the specific gain for the game at large?
Pakistan claim to have a couple of rottweilers least trained to attack legally. Just because Pakistan defence is almost foolproof, the department of attack is doing little beyond 'growling'. What is being passed out as a Test match is actually Inzy's new approach to get rid of insomnia for himself and all others who think Inzamam is Pakistan's greatest captain playing.
Personally, I have time for Inzamam, the batsman. But his information about allied subjects on captaincy fall much below his own expectations. It is now being made public that Inzy was responsible for the cow-dung wicket at Lahore. In Faisalabad too, Inzy wanted dead, dry grass -- to what purpose? -- and no live green blades of grass, understandably so. There is a distinct Pakistani fear of getting bowled out by the Indian seamers.
Inzamam's approach is enigmatic. He wants to win without taking the chance of losing. Many such leaders have gone down the drain effortlessly. It would be a pity if Inzy's daring batting has a stumbling block in his ultra-defensive cricket thinking. Two of Pakistan's greatest captains -Mushtaq Mohammad and Imran Khan -are livid with Bob Woolmer's laidback approach. To wait for the final Test at Karachi for a result is wishful thinking, for all we know Inzamam may be nursing a bad back cramp and Younis Khan may be left with very little time to formulate match-winning strategy.
Remember no strategy can be formulated without characters. This Pakistani team is lacking characters compared to Rahul Dravid's flexible manipulations.
When the overall 'Feel Good Factor' is being considered by the politicians on either side of the border, cricketers too have a positive role to play on the field -- to ensure that the paying public does not drown into a very long yawn. So far the home team has set a very poor example. At best, the Indians have kept on the chase bravely without quite looking in charge. Once again, mainly because of listless playing surface.
There is a far more absorbing battle going on between Imran Khan and Bob Woolmer than any other lazy activity on the field. Fortunately, the Indian coach is quietly savouring his brandy by the fireside and not allowing his wards to get ruffled by the ugly gamesmanship of the ugly trundlers.
Finally, I would like to remind the Pakistani captain that miracles exist in part as gifts and in part as clues, that there is something beyond the flat world of wickets that we see and experience in Lahore and Faisalabad.
First Published: Jan 28, 2006 22:33 IST