Whoever wins, at the end it will only be compliments
I once tried to tempt Cammie Smith with a green chilli and he just wagged his finger at me and said, "Ian, those are very dangerous people", writes Ian Chappell.india Updated: Mar 22, 2004 00:06 IST
I once tried to tempt former West Indies batsman and international referee Cammie Smith with a green chilli and he just wagged his finger at me and said, "Ian, those are very dangerous people."
That's how I would rate the combination of Inzamam ul-Haq and Abdul Razzaq when their team need runs in a hurry - very dangerous people. A Pakistan score of around two hundred and fifty at Gaddafi stadium looked to be about the limit until this admirable pairing managed to conjure up forty extra runs through Inzamam's raw power and Razzaq's unorthodox hitting.
Inzamam with his inbuilt calculator kept the momentum of the innings at an appropriate level for the early part of his occupation. He is quick on his feet for a big man; dancing out of his crease occasionally to drive the spinners but equally as sharp when moving back to make room for one of his powerful pulls.
In addition, he has plenty of time to play the faster bowlers but I feel his greatest attribute is his cool temperament. He is never flustered and rarely gives his wicket away; the bowler generally has to get him out.
He found a like soul in Razzaq who just goes about his business and never loses his cool. He may look like an axeman getting ready for a log chopping championship but he hits more boundaries straight than through mid-wicket and when he can't belt a boundary he shrewdly looks for other runs on offer.
He also has a wonderfully calm temperament and is blessed with the nerve to play his natural game no matter the situation. This pair added a priceless seventy runs off only forty six deliveries at a time when India had the innings under control.
However, danger like chillies comes in different hues. At a comparative time in the Indian innings Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Kaif joined forces and in a completely contrasting style they took the game away from Pakistan.
The only thing the Indian pair has in common with their Pakistani counterparts is a cool temperament. Dravid with his classical style caresses the ball where Inzamam bludgeons it and Kaif utilises deft touches and deflections whilst Razzaq employs a sledgehammer.
Kaif may be the new face of Indian cricket with his determination and no fear approach but he could well have modelled himself on Dravid.
Dravid's selfless approach to his team knows no barriers and his energy is boundless; no matter how many tasks he's asked to fulfil his enthusiasm is never dimmed.
In Toronto 1996 when these same two teams were tied two-all in a best of five series Ajay Jadega quipped; "The rocks are all lined up at the border they just don't know which way to throw them."
That was in the past and there's no danger of that happening in the current atmosphere of friendship. Both teams will be desperate to win game five but the only thing thrown at the completion of that match will be compliments.
First Published: Mar 21, 2004 23:58 IST