Originally Posted by RazabQ
Sohel, I'd share your optimism, but what bothered me was that last bout of cricket we got today. On the soggy pitch, Sammy was making the ball dart around a bit and Imrul looked unsure of his off-stump a few times. Why oh why is NI not getting himself in top shape?
Agree with most of your options except Ash being H20 man - the guy has a point to prove this series.
The conditions were tough and fluctuating but Imrul survived. Never easy to have your flow rained on and start all over again under critically altered pitch conditions. What really encouraged me were his facial reactions and shadow strokes immediately after some of the uncertainty had surfaced through some iffy defensive strokes and on one occasion, a very close leave. I thought he made adjustments and did better with the deliveries that followed.
Sammy has a point to prove, especially as the VC breaking ranks, and bowled well. He took advantage of the windy conditions and additional moisture in the air to generate just enough swing to surprise and trouble both Imrul and Tamim, albeit not too much, after the resumption of play. He is not, IMHO, as good as his heroics suggested in England when he first burst into the scene, but he is often effective and capable. I think the other Windies players, as hastily put together as they were, will also rise to the occasion. Think of the emergence of Malcolm Marshall during the Packer Series substitutions. Rain interruptions or not, I'm looking forward to a very competitive test series.
Nafis Iqbal seemed to be in top shape when I saw him last in the PCL. Once he does well in the NCL, Bagh Mama or no Magh Mama, I don't think it would be possible to keep him out any longer.
The H20 man bit was me lashing out. Not a reasonable decision. As "reasonable" an innings as he had in the practice match, we ARE easily pleased, maybe a benching would've motivated him to come back stronger in the second test and beyond. At least that was the dark and cloudy thought I had at the time ...
Now that he's in the lineup, I wish him and everyone else all the best as always.