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Friday, September 14, 2007

Ashes and War

Two pairs of arch rivals will fight T20 battles tomorrow in the much drenched cricket-fields of Capetown and Durban. Tommorow's afternoon fight promises to be one exciting one with the most fiercesome of the four warriors back against the walls having suffered a gory loss to an unfancied outsider in the 1st Battle-of-Capetown. Will the giant be able to brush apart its bruises and scars and finish victorious in the do-or-die clash tomorrow? In yesterday's encounter Ponting's soldiers started off with the intetion of blitzkrieging the men from Zimbabwe. The strategy backfired with heavy early casualties, a position of weakness from which the Australians never could recover. What will be their game plan for the morrow? Afterall the English castle is only stronger than the Zimbabwean one, and unfocussed heavy shelling may not be a prudent idea. However a planned artillery attack to weaken the enemy before the final hand-combat might just do the trick.
Translated: Gilchrist and Hayden will need to avoid the tempation to go firing on all cylinders all the time. Give Freddie the respect if he bowls like the way he did today againt Zimb. It is possible to reach a 190-200 score even if one bowler ends up with figures of 4-1-29-2. T20 is slam-bang but not as slam-bang as Ponting thought/thinks it was/is!!
When the sun sets tomorrow in Durban, the stars will rise - to shine, and fight. A new general is in charge of the Hindoostan army and unlike the previous incumbent he is no Wall. To the contrary, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a 'Wall-Demolisher'. He dislikes minor skirmishes prefering instead to wage mounted battles or launching missiles. In an earlier avatar as an ordinary soldier, he had once brought the same enemy to its knees in a battle on the eastern coast of India. In that magnificient battle, Dhoni single-handedly shot down 148 men of the Pakistan navy - most remarkable were those four sensational shots when he drowned naval ships carrying 6 men with a single fire. 15 other times he shot down ships carrying 4 men apiece. But that clash is now history and tomorrow is a new day. The Pakistani army is also under a new dynamic and multi-talented leader - Shoaib Malik. For General Malik the primary task will be to marshall his own unruly troops. He knows that he has a bunch of great individual fighters, but can they stop the in-fighting to focus their energies on wiping out the opposition?
Will Dhoni's men be able to put it across Pakistan then? I suspect the key may lie in INS Sehwag, that old warship which has seen much battle but rusty now for lack of use. INS Pathan faces a similar predicament. If these two old war-horses can kick off that rust and manage to shimmer, the Blue stars can definitely outshine the Green ones tomorrow night.
Twenty20 World Cup: 14 September 2007
Afternoon, 1200 GMT : Australia vs England, Capetown
Evening, 1600 GMT : India vs Pakistan, Durban

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