Under fire for failing to inspire Pakistan on the current tour of India, Shoaib Malik faltered again in reading the conditions when he opted to bat in the fourth one-dayer completely ignoring that the dew factor would play a major role in the must-win game at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium here on Thursday night.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that he was a ‘150 percent’ surprised when Malik chose to bat after winning the toss.
“It was really a surprising choice because we would have certainly fielded first had we won the toss,” Dhoni told reporters after India thrashed Pakistan by six wickets to clinch the series with the final game in Jaipur still to go.
“There was a lot of dew on the field when we practiced last evening which had a big impact on the game. Even though Pakistan were playing four fast bowlers it was difficult to bowl in the right areas in those conditions,” he explained.
Electing to bat, Pakistan posted 255 and later India faced little problems in reaching the target.
Malik, however, believed that there was nothing wrong with his decision to bat first. “I saw the scorecards of the last three one-dayers played on this venue and in all those games, the side batting first went on to win the match,” said the Pakistan captain, who has surprised the local media with his lethargic body language at pres briefings.
Malik, who made a patch 31 after choosing to open the innings with Salman Butt in the match, said that 255 was a defendable total but Pakistan’s new ball bowlers gave away too many runs in the first 17 overs.
“I believe our fast bowlers were not up to the mark today, they gave away too many runs with the new ball,” said Malik, who went into the match with four pacers.
Indian master blaster Sachin Tendulkar hit a splendid 97 which Malik believed took the game away from Pakistan. “I must give credit to Tendulkar, he really batted well today and his was the innings that made the difference,” Malik remarked.
His Indian counterpart also praised Tendulkar’s knock. “Nothing needs to be said about Sachin’s batting. He is a great batsmen and the way he helps others around him is priceless,” he said.
Dhoni said that the target set by Pakistan wasn’t an easy one. “But Sachin made things easier for us,” he explained.
The victorious skipper said he was enjoying batting with his buddy Yuvraj Singh. The duo once again proved too good for Pakistani bowlers by putting on 101 in 17.2 overs to win the match for India.
“We are batting a lot together because Yuvraj bats at No 4 and I come in at No 5,” he said. “We understand each other’s game because we are both stroke-players and we run well between the wickets. It helps because if don’t get any runs in an over Yuvraj will compensate by hitting a boundary in the next,” he added.
The Dhoni-Yuvraj partnership is one of the key reasons why India are 3-1 up in this series.
In the first one-dayer in Guwahati on November 5, Yuvraj and Dhoni joined each other at the crease with India at 113 for 3 and added 105 runs in 22 overs to set up their team’s win. In the third ODI in Kanpur, the two shared a 100-run stand to take India to 294 which turned out to be a winning total.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Pakistan, Pakistan in India 2007, Shoaib Malik
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, November 17th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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