18 January 2008


The way Arpy handled pace and bounce almost like a proper batsman, makes me worry. If Australia break a record to set a record, and if India cannot dismiss them before that, they obviously deserve to win this match. The difference between 414 and 500 may yet prove crucial, especially in a situation where Hussey can sit back, chill, and not worry about cutting too many balls.

Dismissing Hussey will be the key becuse he will need to drop anchor like Laxman did today and Dravid did in the first innings, while Ponting-Clarke-Symonds-Gilchrist attack around him, and I don't see anyone else able to hide their strokes like he can.

Sehwag is truly back, and in this match, he has already been worth the changes in the batting order. If he can continue to give us these starts and if the managment can assess them as adequate and anything more as a bonus, India is back to having a winning batting combination. Sorry Dinesh, Gambhir, Chopra, this is really unfair on you guys, but you will need to push much harder and displace Jaffer. Because you see, in this case, it is not just about how many you score.

Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly: One of them should have pushed for a bit more and Sachin was looking in really fine touch. He needs to get a second innings contribution going in this series. Top order implosions in the second innings. Will we ever get this m****y off our back?

Pathan, when he bats, has the brain of Hussey and looks a bit like Kambli. He is a determined man, is he not? And with two openers in his pocket, we can look forward to a confident bowling display from him tomorrow.

Laxman, you stud. I think it is time we said that graft now comes as naturally to him as flair. He has batted at number six (unfairly) so often now that he has become used to responding to crises, as opposed to setting the agenda. After doing it in in South Africa, in England, and now in Oz too, you are now as much of a king of attritional batting as Dravid or Kallis are. The Laxman-Dhoni partnership rescued India from gloom to a position where Kumble can now attack for at least two sessions. (Assuming the Aussies can be kept down to less than 120 a session). Arpy came out firing, and then bowled like a spearhead.

Ishant was not on target today, like he was in the first innings, and the sooner he realizes the importance of getting it right from ball one, the better it is for India. But if his wheels come off tomorrow, we are in for a mauling, and Soulberry and others would stand vindicated in wanting to opt for five bowlers.

One wicket with the new ball. Hussey's indiscretion, caught at second slip off Arpy. And then India can dominate.


Soulberry said...

John, I was unable to watch the match except for the brief period since Dhoni's dismissal to the dismissal of the Australian openers.

I don't think it is such a long shot to imagine Australia could win this one. India have another 350 runs with them and everything to play for in picking 8 wickets.

It isn't one or two batsmen...Ponting and Hussey are key of course (Ponting's failures have prevented regular 500+ totals from Australia),,,but so are Gilchrist and Symonds. And this could be just what Clarke too is looking for.

It will be good if India are able to do something, and I expect Kumble will have to be the man since the pitch is now unlike the first innings.

I see India missing it out by 3-4 wickets...but maybe I'm just too pessimistic today.

Lax was good...but my enduring image today was Dhoni's dismissal for that's where I began to watch. It was a confused man's play.

Anonymous said...

strange isn't it?..i know this is kind of stating the obvious but, if india were going into the pavillion at the end of the third day at sixty odd for two, with four hundred to make and two days to go, it wouldn't be "whether australia can stop us"..would go along different lines entirely..one wonders, shall we ever reach there?..

although it is victory in a sense to see australia being made to look less an less like a team of supermen by a team bruised and yet led bravely by a legendary performer..the record-setters look quite human now..

obviously only the brave would attempt to predict tomorrow's script..the kangaroos will fight to the last but maybe kumble and his men will not lack the killer instinct, the absence of which has been the bane of past indian teams, and will know when to shut the opposition out of the game...