Sep 22, 2003

Though the match turned out to be more than a fruitless selection exercise or practice session and had its exciting moments with a tighter finish than most expected after lunch on the fourth day, much about the Irani trophy re-inforced the following:

* Never underestimate a player called Rahul Dravid and his fighting qualities.

* Even more so, never ever underestimate a player called V.V.S Laxman when he is batting on Indian pitches, even in the last innings.

* Don't think lightly of the bowling capabilities of a team called Mumbai, even if you're tempted to think it can only bat.

The Irani trophy, to the pessimist, had a lot to moan about too: A team full of India's top batsmen were bowled out for 202, Yuvraj Singh thinks it's best to hit his way out of trouble (needs more five day games, I guess), Tendulkar had a problem with a left-armer angling it away, the wicketkeeping was ordinary, and even domestic bowlers can bowl it short and make the Indian captain look all tangled up.

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