2nd Test: So Close…Yet So Far!

Indo PakThe victorious Indian team, with their spirits soaring high after registering a handsome victory over Pakistan in the ODI’s marched ahead towards the next challenge, the test series. The stage was set for the 1st test at Delhi and the roaring crowd didn’t take long to convey their expectations to the Indian cricketers as they walked out in the middle after Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat.

The first day of the 1st test saw Pakistan falling off to a score of 208/8 towards the end and the chances of India dominating the course of the match thereafter could be sensed. But the Pakistan team did well to restrict India to a near-bout total of 276. Soon after, the first test began unveiling the face of the winner in this test of nerves as Pakistan crumbled to a score of 247 in their second innings. The Indians finally grabbed the golden opportunity and got their skills acknowledged as they closed to a victory by 6 wickets.

With the flow of the wind in India’s favor, the 2nd test also witnessed the positive mindset of the Indian players as they posed a massive total of 616/5 in their first innings sending the Pakistan team to a defensive mood. The bowlers also had their share of praise when they troubled the Pakistani batsmen and brought them to a stage of 154/5. But the fabulous display of character under pressure by Misbah-ul-Haq (yes, the same man who almost brought us nightmares in the T20 WC finals) and Kamran Akmal with both scoring a century each and making sure that their team doesn’t face the situation of a follow-on. With half the enthusiasm of victory shed away, the Indian team finally restricted them to a score of 456(all-out). Then, as required with a quick addition of 184 to the first innings lead, the Indians posed a target of 345 for their opponent to chase. But with hardly a day left in the match, restricting the Pakistan team to this score was not a cakewalk. They managed to escape another defeat by hanging out there for the rest of the day with the loss of just 4 wickets and a responsible knock of 100 by the vice-captain, Younis Khan supported by Yousuf Youhana.

So, after being too close to smell victory, the Indians could not move on and feel the sweet taste of it!! But in any case, the lead of 1-0 in the tests so far is not a bad platform to strategize and aim for a clean sweep in the test series.

Ishant Arora