Sunday, November 04, 2007

THE ACTION STARTS

The first one-dayer between India and Pakistan kicks off in the northeastern city of Guwahati on Monday.

The press and the players want us to believe that a series between the traditional rivals has the potential to overtake even the Ashes. In many ways that is true. Given the rancour between the two countries, a victory in the cricket field is seen as a victory for the winning nation.

Players have made their reputation or have theirs marred in the past encounters between the two teams. Traditionally, it is Pakistan players who always seem to reserve their best for the Indo-Pak encounters.

Shoaib Akhtar has a lot to prove and that is certainly not good news for the Indians. On the Indian side, Sachin and Saurav have a lot on their hands after the ‘rest’ given to Rahul Dravid. The two captains also have a lot to prove. Shoaib Malik has to cement his captaincy after the losses to South Africa at home. Dhoni has to make his mark in the larger versions of the game.

I am a little unhappy over the timing of the series. With most of the matches on working days, there is little chance of following them. Of course, I am hopeful of my students giving the classes a miss.

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