The wisdom of Australia’s approach to the second innings was ridiculous. Sure, you can’t block for a draw and the best chance of playing out those sessions was in being positive. But their brand of positive cricket was the twenty-20 style of hitting out… when you normally can’t last 20 overs in that fashion, did you actually believe you can survive 140 overs that way? Jeez.
Australia could have saved this one if they had remained positive like Clarke and Haddin and not overdo that positivity.
There are two more tests… they nearly had Bangalore and now they lost this one. The next two are absolute flat-bedders that traditionally spin viciously. Australia can draw the series but if this test is an indication of the strategies and mind-set of the team, then it is going to be difficult.
Mathew Hayden and Andrew Symonds have been the single biggest difference when playing with India. Symonds is out and Hayden may well find the much needed inspiration. It was a pity to see Jacques injured and somewhere in the outback is Shaun Marsh lost amid some strange selection policies.
Peter Siddle bowled decently but there is Doug Bollinger who has been the better performer sitting in the cold. Strange considering he was in the recent ‘A’ tour and did quite well. To say that there is not a single spinner in the ranks is puzzling and perhaps a reflection of how unfair the criticism meted out to the likes of Hogg have gone in emptying the treasury rather prematurely.
Anil Kumble will be back in the next test… the team selection to include the champion will be troubled. The approach to the next two games will be predictably different to this one. Dhoni looks a different player when he is the captain, almost as if he deliberately throws his wicket when he is not at the helm. India look tougher with Dhoni at the helm.
The biggest plus that came out for me with Dhoni on the captaincy was making Harbhajan bowl that off-stump line and he was vicious. How some of us bloggers have been screaming this out! Rocket-science huh? 300 was not to be, but he will in this series.
Two more tests, the English will prematurely be licking their lips for the ashes. India might be fancying a series win. Bottom line, there are big problems in the path to the future of Indian cricket and nobody has a clue how to address it… this will serve as a big distraction.
For Australia, yet again it is all up to Mathew Hayden. Their fans can be assured that he won’t be talking in the ‘third person’ anymore. The most significant observation came from an Aussie cricket fan “So this is how the world feels when they played against Australia for a decade”.