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Rahul's boys beaten blue. Your take?

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Last updated on: February 02, 2006 12:57 IST

The first two Test matches between India and Pakistan promised a keen contest, despite the weather playing spoilsport.

In the first encounter at Lahore, Pakistan put up a mammoth 679-7. In reply, India put up 410 for the first wicket. It was clear that the series outcome will be determined by the batsmen, and both teams seemed evenly placed.

In the second Test match at Faisalabad, Pakistan scored 588 runs, and India replied with 603, taking a psychological lead. In the second innings Pakistan scored 490-8, again making it clear that bowlers will have it tough.

After the two drawn Tests, as the two teams moved to Karachi, all eyes were on the pitch. The first morning's play, when Indian bowlers had the Pakistani batsmen on the ropes -- at one stage they were 0-3, with Irfan Pathan claiming a hat-trick in the first over -- promised an outcome. There was little chance, it seemed then, that Pakistan will go on to win the match, and with it the series.

In the event, the Indian bowlers were unable to tie Pakistan down. Worse, its star batsmen showed none of the diligence and application they displayed in the first two Tests.

The result, thus, was a 4-day match, with Pakistan winning the Allianz Cup by a margin of 341 runs.

All of us, of course, have a viewpoint on when and how India lost a match it could have easily won.

Was it when our bowlers let Pakistan get off the hook in the first innings? Or was it a batting failure on India's part?

Was Rahul Dravid's captaincy up to the mark? Did the pitch play a role in the outcome?

Tell us what you think!