Dhoni's maiden century, India in Pakistan

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Cricket News January 2006

India in Pakistan

Pakistan stun India to win series at Karachi

It was India's second heaviest defeat by a runs margin in their Test history. Pakistan began the day on 511-5 in their secoing innings and added 88 runs in quick time before stopping their innings.
It was India's second heaviest defeat by a runs margin in their Test history. Pakistan began the day on 511-5 in their secoing innings and added 88 runs in quick time before stopping their innings. In Picture: Sachin's stumps shatter, Pakistan team with the trophy. Third Test, Karachi, day four: Pakistan 245 & 599-7d beat India 238 & 265 by 341 runs

Pak leads by 518, tightens noose..

India will have to bat the best part of two days to draw the series in Pakistan after the hosts dominated the finale in Karachi for the third consecutive day. Pakistan ended on 511-5, to lead by 518, with Faisal Iqbal completing his maiden Test century just before stumps.
The pitch has flattened out considerably since 14 wickets fell on the first day, with little assistance for the bowlers.
The world record for a successful fourth-innings chase is the 418 West Indies made to beat Australia in Antigua in 2003, while the highest at the National Stadium is the 315 Pakistan got against the Aussies in 1994. Third Test, Karachi, day three (close): Pakistan 245 & 511 -5 v India 238

Indian ODI team: Ganguly, VVS, Kumble out, Zaheer in!

Out-of-favour Sourav Ganguly, who was dropped from the one-day squad last year and also stripped of his captaincy, found himself ignored once again from the ODI team. The national selectors rewarded left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan for his consistent performance. Zaheer, who missed India's last two one-day series, replaced Railways' J P Yadav in the only change from the squad that drew 2-2 with South Africa in November last year.
Ganguly, currently playing in the Test series, would take the flight home alongwith Parthiv Patel, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble and Wasim Jaffer once the Karachi match ends next week. Indian ODI Team: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohd Kaif, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, R P Singh, Murali Kartik, Harbhajan Singh, S Sreesanth.

India struggling to keep pace; Pak leads by 180

Pakistan bowled India out seven runs behind on first innings on day two of the third Test in Karachi to keep the series in the balance.Mohammad Asif finished with 4-78 as India were stopped on 238, with no batsman passing 50. Sourav Ganguly (34) and Yuvraj Singh (45) were part of a morning collapse but Irfan Pathan (40) shared a 56-run ninth-wicket stand with Zaheer Khan. Pathan made a patient start before cutting loose, with six fours and a six off Shoaib, before getting a leading edge off spinner Shahid Afridi to long-on.
Pakistani openers made 109 before Salman Butt was lbw'd by Ganguly for 53. Imran Farhat put on 57. Third Test, Karachi, day two (close): Pakistan 245 & 173-2 v India 238

Dramatic reversals in Karachi test after Pathan hat-trick

Pakistan hit back from 39-6 to post 245 and reduce India to 74-4 on a dramatic first day of the final Test in Karachi.
Irfan Pathan (5-61) took a hat-trick in the first over, the first bowler to do so, but Kamran Akmal struck a brilliant 113 to lead his side to respectability. Pathan had Salman Butt caught at first slip by Rahul Dravid, trapped Younis Khan lbw and bowled Mohammad Yousuf with another big inswinger.
India's batsmen soon ran into problems of their own as Asif and Shoaib found plenty of seam movement to remove Dravid and Sehwag with only 14 on the board. Pakistan: Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Younis Khan (Captain), Mohammad Yousuf, Faisal Iqbal, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria
India: V Sehwag, R Dravid (Captain), V V S Laxman, S R Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, S C Ganguly, M S Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), I K Pathan, Z Khan, R P Singh, A Kumble Third Test, Karachi, day one (close): Pakistan 245 v India 74-4

Forceful Mani brings India into line!

Ehsan Mani, the ICC president, called for a thorough overhaul of Indias cricketing administration yesterday after meetings that have dispelled a potential crisis over future ICC events and removed the threat of a power struggle between India, with its unique financial muscle, and the games official governing body. Calling the new members of the Board of Control for Cricket in India a group of well-meaning people, Mani said that he and the ICCs chief executive, Malcolm Speed, had told Indian officials bluntly at a meeting in Dubai that it was time for the worlds most powerful cricket nation to set up a proper management structure.
World cricket is entering a critical phase in which renegotiated financial agreements have to be fitted into a new schedule of Tests and one-day internationals. The situation is complicated by the Indian Governments decision that all international cricket events involving India must be shown on national television, thus reducing the profits to be gained from coverage by commercial stations; and the pragmatic agreement by the Test countries to hold one leading ICC event every year, including the World Cup and Champions Trophy.
Mani also confirmed that the threat to the future of the Champions Trophy has been averted despite a public statement last week by Lalit Modi, the BCCI vice-president, that India would refuse to play in it after hosting this years tournament in October. Read More @ BCCI India

Career-best ICC ratings for six!

Wicketkeepers Kamran Akmal and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and four others benefited from favourable batting conditions in the second Test between India and Pakistan at Faisalabad to record career-best figures in the ICC Test batting rankings.
Akmal's 78 runs in the second innings were enough to lift him into the top 50 for the first time while Dhoni's 148 runs boosted him 21 places to 57th place in the official table, released Thursday by the International Cricket Council. The pair is now the third and fourth ranked Test wicketkeeper-batsmen behind Adam Gilchrist (16th) and Kumar Sangakkara (20th).
Pakistani centurions Younis Khan (8th), Mohammad Yousuf (10th) and Shahid Afridi (32nd) all set new personal best marks as did Irfan Pathan (60th) who scored 90 for India. Pathan also holds the fourth position of best Test all-rounders, a list that is headed by Jacques Kallis.
Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Brian Lara are the three top batsmen with Indian captain Rahul Dravid and vice-captain Virender Sehwag holding the fourth and seventh positions. India Cricket Live

Younis Shines in Drawn Match

Younis Khan secured his fourth hundred in his last four games against India, getting out at 194, after sharing a 242 run partnership with Mohammad Yousuf (126) as Pakistan scored 480. Pakistan's innings ended with eight wickets down as Inzamam was suffering back trouble and Shoaib Malik went home after the death of his father.
The sides set a new mark for sixes in a match, with 27, in compiling the seventh-highest runs aggregate in a Test match ever, with 1,702.
And Dhoni bowled an over, giving away 13 runs.
Laxman and Dravid took India to 21 for 0, before the match ended. The third and final Test begins in Karachi on Sunday.
In Picture: Rudra Pratap Singh receiving his Man of the Match award Second Test, Faisalabad: Pakistan 588 & 480 drew with India 603 & 21-0

Pakistan extends lead in Faisalabad

Younis Khan struck his second fifty of the match as Pakistan reached 152-1 at stumps on day four of the second Test against India, a lead of 137. He shared an unbroken 100 with Kamran Akmal.
Earlier Mahendra Dhoni extended his maiden Test century to 144 in a stand of 210 with Irfan Pathan. Pathan fell 10 short of a first hundred but a Harbhajan Singh cameo ensured a first innings lead of 15 for India. Second Test, Faisalabad, day four (close): Pakistan 588 & 152-1 v India 603

Dhoni's maiden century carry India to safety

India wicket-keeper Mahendra Dhoni struck a superb maiden Test century as his team recovered to 441-5, 147 behind Pakistan at stumps on day three. Rahul Dravid recorded his second successive hundred and took his second wicket partnership with VVS Laxman to 197, an Indian record in Pakistan.
However, four wickets fell for 45 in 11 overs after lunch and as Dhoni came in 107 were needed to save the follow-on. Dhoni hit some fierce strokes in an unbroken 160 stand with Irfan Pathan. Second Test, Faisalabad, day three (close): Pakistan 588 v India 441-5

India chase 588 in Faisalabad

Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-Haq both hit centuries as Pakistan posted 588 in the second Test in Faisalabad. India made a confident reply but were still 478 behind on 110-1 after day two, with Rahul Dravid 26 not out.
Despite a bad back, Inzamam (119) hit his 25th Test ton, passing India coach Greg Chappell to move to 10th all-time. Afridi, on 85 overnight, cut loose in a career-best innings of 156 from 128 balls, with 20 fours and six sixes. Debutant Rudra Pratap Singh had Razzaq caught behind to end with figures of 4-89.
Sehwag, who began dangerously, edged Abdul Razzaq to second slip to fall for 31. Second Test, Faisalabad, day two (stumps): Pakistan 588 v India 110-1

Pakistanis make India suffer

Pakistan overcame Rudra Pratap Singh's impressive debut for India to set about building another big score on day one of the second Test in Faisalabad.
Left-armer Pratap Singh took three wickets, including dangermen Younis Khan (83) and Mohammad Yousuf (65). But captain Inzamam-ul-Haq (79no) and Shahid Afridi put on an unbeaten 163 from 193 balls for fifth wicket. Second Test, Faisalabad, day one (stumps): Pakistan 379-4 v India

Ganguly dropped, as Pakistan bats in Faisalabad

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first in the second Test against India in Faisalabad.
Pakistan dropped seam bowlers Rana Naved and Mohammad Sami for all-rounder Abdul Razzaq and Mohammad Asif. India opted for five bowlers, with Zaheer Khan and RP Singh coming in for Sourav Ganguly and Ajit Agarkar.
Pakistan (Playing XI) Inzamam-ul Haq (Captain), S Butt, S Malik, Y Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, S Afridi, K Akmal, S Akhtar, A Razzaq, D Kaneria, Mohammad Asif.
India (Playing XI) R Dravid (Captain), Vi Sehwag, VVS Laxman, S Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, M Dhoni, I Pathan, Z Khan, RP Singh, A Kumble, Harbhajan Singh.

Weather worry for Faisalabad Test

Pakistan and India may struggle to force a result in the second Test in Faisalabad after the groundsman said poor weather was making his task tough. There was bright sunshine in the central Punjab town on Thursday but cold and wet weather has been forecast for the start of the game on Saturday.
Cold and wet conditions in northern Pakistan led to a lifeless wicket, bringing 1,089 runs for only eight wickets in the drawn match. The Iqbal Stadium wicket has traditionally favoured batsmen, with 12 of the 23 Tests there having ended in draws.
Pakistan have won six Tests and lost five. India lost at the venue in 1982 during Pakistan's 3-0 series win but drew three other matches, including the last one in 1989, when a 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar made his first Test half-century.
India coach Greg Chappell will also have fond memories of the ground where he made 235 not out as Australian captain in 1979 during another high-scoring draw. In November, England wriggled out of a tight situation in a weather-hit game when they slumped to 164-6 in their second innings, while chasing a target of 285. If this Test also ends in a stalemate the series will go down to the third and final Test, beginning in Karachi on 29 January.

What next, Sehwag?

Virender Sehwag has already scored 1,229 runs in the last seven tests against Pakistan. His scores against Pakistan now read: 309, 39, 90, 0, 173, 36, 81, 15, 201, 38, 247 batting.
Sehwag's last seven centuries have all been scores of over 150, while Australian legend Sir Don Bradman's last six centuries were also 150-plus.
Sehwag, playing the 65th innings of his 40th Test has already scored 11 Test centuries - including current one, the fourth against Pakistan. The highlight of his encounters against Pakistan - rather his Test career - has been the 309 he scored in his very first innings against that country in Multan in 2004. Sehwag could be set to overtake his 309 when play begins on the fifth and final day Tuesday. India Cricket Live

India pair fail to set new record

Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were unable to set a new world record opening stand in Tests on the final day of the drawn first Test in Lahore. Sehwag fell for 254 as India came off for bad light on 410-1 on a final day in which just 14 balls had been bowled. Sehwag was caught off the seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan with the score on 410 and the match ended soon afterwards. The pair were an agonising three runs short of the 50-year-old record established by two of their countrymen. In 1956, Indian openers Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy put on 413 against New Zealand. Pakistan declared at 679-7 in their first innings - and with Sehwag and Dravid finding batting so easy the match had been written off as a draw. But after most of the final day had been lost to rain, the Indian pair agreed to bat in bad light First Test, Lahore, day five Pakistan 679-7d drew with India 410-1 India Cricket Live

Sehwag and Dravid near World Record

Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were closing in on the world record opening partnership in the first Test against Pakistan before bad light stopped play. The current Test record stands at 413, set by India's Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy against New Zealand in 1955-56.
Sehwag (247) and Dravid (128) had advanced to 403-0 at the close on day four of the first Test, needing to reach 480 to avoid the follow-on.
Sehwag hit the second fastest double century in Test history in 182 balls. First Test, Lahore, day four (close): Pakistan 679-7d; India 403-0 India Cricket Live

Sehwag 96*, Rain, Light stops play

Just 15 overs were possible on the third day of the Lahore Test between India and Pakistan, with bad light and rain intervening throughout. India added 80 to their overnight score to close on 145-0, replying to a total of 679-7 declared by the hosts.
Virender Sehwag timed the ball superbly to move to within four runs of an 11th Test ton, while captain Rahul Dravid has hit a more circumspect score of 37.
The pitch has not deteriorated at all, and is still a batsman's paradise. First Test, Lahore, day three (stumps) Pakistan 679-7d; India 145-0 India Cricket Live

Afridi and Akmal take Pakistan to 679-7d

India have plenty of batting to do to achieve safety after thrilling knocks from Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal put Pakistan on top in the first Test.
Afridi (103) hit 27 in one Harbhajan Singh over and put on 170 at almost eight an over with Akmal (102) as the hosts declared on day two on 679-7. Younis Khan, who was run out for 199, and Mohammad Yousuf (173) put on 319.
Captain Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag took India to 65-0 off 13 overs before bad light ended play early. First Test, Lahore, day two (close) Pakistan 679-7 (dec) v India 65-0 India Cricket Live

Pakistan batsmen dominate India

Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf shared an unbroken 190 as Pakistan reached 326-2 at stumps after day one of the first Test against India in Lahore.
Choosing to bat first, they lost Salman Butt to a run out in the third over, but Younis and Shoaib Malik added 124. Younis made 147 with 19 fours while Yousuf hit 11 fours and a six in 95. First Test, Lahore, day one (stumps) Pakistan 326-2 v India

Pakistan batting first in Lahore test

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first.
Pakistan (Playing XI) Shoaib Malik, Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Naved-ul-Hasan, Shoaib Akhtar, Danish Kaneria.
India (Playing XI) V Sehwag, R Dravid (Captain), VVS Laxman, SR Tendulkar, SC Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), IK Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, AB Agarkar, A Kumble.

Will Ganguly be included in Indian team?

The possible recall of former India captain Sourav Ganguly for the first Test against Pakistan has overshadowed the normal diplomatic ramifications of clashes between the two countries.
Frequent meetings between the two teams over the last two years have gradually shifted the emphasis from political to cricketing matters and Gangulys future is the hottest of those topics ahead of the tomorrows start to the Lahore Test. Ganguly, a veteran of 86 Tests, led India to victory in Pakistan in 2004 their first series triumph away from home in 11 years making him Indias most successful Test captain. After being dropped in the Test series against Sri Lanka late last year, a decision that was met with protests in his home city of Kolkata, Ganguly was recalled to the India squad for the three-test Pakistan tour.
But he faces stiff competition from youngsters Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Jaffer and Yuvraj Singh for a place in the starting lineup.

Tendulkar predicts tough series

India star Sachin Tendulkar believes Pakistan will be tougher opponents than they were on the previous tour of 2004. Then, India won both the Test and one-day series but Tendulkar said: "Pakistan have been playing well and have carried a good momentum. "They've shown the right attitude, so I think this will be more competitive." The three-Test series beginning in Lahore on Friday is the third in two years between the teams, who contested only three Tests between 1990-2003.
Shoaib Akhtar inspired Pakistan to beat England with a stunning array of brutal pace and devious slower deliveries late last year, but Tendulkar insists there are other dangers awaiting in the home attack.

Pakistan recall Farhat for India

Pakistan have recalled opener Imran Farhat and seamer Mohammad Asif for the first Test against India in Lahore. Farhat and Asif, both 23, last played in the Test team in the series against Australia a year ago, with Farhat more likely to make the XI on Friday.
He hit a century against the tourists on Sunday and earned his place after Yasir Hameed was struck by typhoid. Pakistan also welcome back all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who missed the Tests against England with an elbow problem.

Pakistan squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria, Arshad Khan.

Tour Match,Iqbal stars in draw

Faisal Iqbal added his name to the list of Pakistan batting hopes as India's tour-opener headed towards a draw. Iqbal hit 87 before Pakistan A declared on 358-9, trailing by 56, to give the tourists some extra batting practice. Left-arm pace bowler Rudra Pratap Singh bolstered his Test credentials with two wickets in Lahore and Irfan Pathan returned figures of 3-82. Openers Wasim Jaffer and Gautam Gambhir then put on 72 in 13 overs before stumps at the Bagh-e-Jinnah ground.
Earlier in the first innings, VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh had time to follow the upper order past 50 before India declared on 414-7. The match is the only warm-up before the first Test begins on Friday. The only batsman dismissed short of a half century was Mahendra Dhoni, caught off Mohammad Irshad for 22 after Laxman (54) and Yuvraj (59) retired in Lahore. Gambhir (53) Jaffer (58) Dravid (63) Sachin (74) were also among runs. Tour match, Lahore, day three (stumps): India 414-7 dec & 72-0 drew with Pakistan A 358-9 dec India Cricket Live

India hoping openers will deliver

Coach Greg Chappell wants India's openers to rediscover their best form in the Test series in Pakistan. The Indian team arrived in Lahore on Thursday, having seen Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag struggle in the home series against Sri Lanka. Chappell admitted: "They haven't done as well as we would have liked or as well as they would have liked to do. "From a batting point of view, the better the starts we get, the better it will be for the team," he said. "It's about applying ourselves to what is required at that time, but I think if we do bat well at the top of the order it should make things easier for us." India, who take on Pakistan in the first of three Tests in Lahore on 13 January, also have Wasim Jaffer in their squad. The 27-year-old, who played the last of his seven Tests in Nottingham in August 2002, has been recalled after impressing in domestic cricket this season. Vice-captain Sehwag has not scored a Test century since his 201 against Pakistan in Bangalore last March but Gambhir's place is more likely to be under threat. The left-hander made only 54 runs in five innings against the Sri Lankans and will need to hit the ground running in the only warm-up game against Pakistan A, which starts on Saturday. India Cricket Live

Chappell excited by Pakistan tour

Greg Chappell says he is relishing the challenge of being involved in a series between India and Pakistan. The India coach, who landed in Lahore on Thursday, said he enjoyed touring Pakistan as an Australia player. The first of three Tests begins in Lahore on 13 January, and there will also be five one-day internationals. India triumphed in the Tests and one-dayers when they toured Pakistan in 2004. But Chappell believes the teams are well-matched and that India are looking forward to taking on a Pakistan side which defeated England recently. aptain Inzamam-ul-Haq and paceman Shoaib Akhtar were in superb form against England but Dravid says there are other threats in the Pakistan side. "We are not looking to target any one or two Pakistani players," he added. "That would be a mistake - the whole team is good - and both teams are evenly matched. I don't think there are any favourites." Indian cricket board president Sharad Pawar said the tour was an opportunity to continue improving relations between the two countries. "Each and every player is a going as India's goodwill ambassador," he said. "I am confident they will get goodwill and create goodwill." India Cricket Live

Weather hits Pakistan pitch plan

Foggy and damp conditions are hampering Pakistan's bid to prepare hard pitches for the Test series against India. Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq wants bouncy tracks to help his strong pace attack trouble India's formidable batsmen. But Lahore and Faisalabad - which will host the first two Tests - have had particularly wet weather recently. Pakistan Cricket Board general manager Zakir Khan said the weather was not unusal for the time of year and insisted that India had asked to play the first two Tests in the Punjab province. India fly in onThursday for their second tour of Pakistan in two years, with the first Test starting on 13 January. Pakistan used English groundsman Andy Atkinson for the 2004 series, which they lost 2-1, but the surfaces for the recent 2-0 triumph over England were laid by Zahid. Inzamam is wary of the threat posed by India spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh and wants the wickets to favour quicker bowlers. However, vice-captain Younis Khan believes the overhead conditions could prove to be Pakistan's toughest obstacle. India Cricket Live

Pakistan include Razzaq in camp

Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has been named in an 18-man training camp ahead of the Test series against India, with Hasan Raza on the sidelines. It had been thought Razzaq might miss the start of the series after being admitted to hospital in Karachi with a severe chest infection. Razzaq missed the Test series against England with an elbow probelm but returned in the one-day internationals. Raza's exclusion frees up a place for uncapped batsman Rafatullah Mohmand. Mohmand, 29, who also bowls left-arm spin, hit a half-century for Pakistan A in a win against England in December. And there is also a place in the camp for Umar Gul, the 21-year-old seamer. He impressed in Pakistan's victory over India in the second Test in 2004 but was then out for a year with a back problem. India Cricket Live

Inzamam says India are favourites

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq insists India are favourites to win their three-Test series even though his side recently overcame England 2-0. The Indians arrive on 5 January and Inzamam also feels home advantage will count for little in their Tests at Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi. "The win against England is a thing of the past now," he said. "And since there is not much difference in pitches in India and Pakistan, there will be no home advantage." Pakistan drew 1-1 in India in March 2005 but were beaten 2-1 at home by the Indians the previous year. Inzamam says his pacemen, whom he believes are superior to India's, will have to be at their best to avoid a similar fate this time. Inzamam made 431 runs at a staggering average of 107.75 against England, while paceman Shoaib Akhtar was the leading wicket-taker with 17. But the 35-year-old insists Pakistan are not overly reliant on them.

Cricket News from the Past..

India in Pakistan 2006 Series Schedule Discuss More

Test and ODI venues

Arrival - 1 Jan 2006 Lahore
Practice Match - Jan 7 to 9 v Pakistan A, Lahore at Lahore

First Test - Jan 13 to 17 Lahore
Second Test - Jan 21 to 25 Faisalabad
Third Test - Jan 29 to Feb 2 Karachi First ODI - Feb 6 Peshawar
Second ODI - Feb 11 Rawalpindi
Third ODI - Feb 13 Lahore
Fourth ODI - Feb 16 Multan
Fifth ODI - Feb 19 Karachi

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.