July 02, 2008

No Excitement in India-Pakistan Clashes

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The cricket matches between the archrivals India and Pakistan had always been exciting and entertaining. It all started with one great day at Sharjah. On April 18, 1986, Javed Miandad held his nerves till the end to clinch the Austral-Asia Cup. It was a match in which Miandad smashed a full toss from Chetan Sharma out of the ground for a huge six. It was off the last ball of the innings.

I still remember that day when the future of India-Pakistan cricket matches had been rewritten. Pakistan took a vital lead and confidence booster from that last-ball six and went on to dominate the Indians for at least a decade. The Indians did their best to counter that morale-sapping blow. As a result, the matches got more interesting and the spectators were the real winners. How many good matches you would have seen between these two teams since then?

Do you feel the scenario has changed?
I feel yes. The India-Pakistan match does not give me sleepless nights any more. Too many clashes between these two teams with too little time in between have crushed the interest of the followers. Another reason is that the match-winners are gone. You won’t see the greatness of the players like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, Kapil Dev, Kris Srikanth, Maninder Singh… While India has the likes of Dhoni, Sehwag and Yuvraj who could make the game interesting, Pakistan certainly lacks one. Shahid Afridi, who could do it for Pakistan, is struggling to put bat to ball recently.

Another hard-fought match, close to the Kitply cup final, might reignite the fire in the India-Pakistan clashes. Until then, it is yet another clash!


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