MSD lead India to one nil up with two more matches to go. The Aussies never looked as to put up a fight as India tightened their grip as the game moved forward. India won the match by a record margin as many records and personal milestones were conquered. Indians are firm favourites at this point in time to win the series. Can the Aussies come back?
Problems of a different kind.
India has had superlative performances with bat, ball, and gloves and in the field as well. Zaheer and Ishant are bowling superbly. Their fitness is supreme, their control amazing and are doing everything with high degree of finesse. Zaheer has marked Hayden as his man, while Ponting will be daunted by Ishant. Zaheer mean while has penchant for top order left handers, Strauss and Cook (England), Smith (South Africa), and now Hayden. He is so good that at point the blue eyes Irfan Pathan is struggling to break into the side. The old ball is working well for both Ishant and Zaheer. If Aussies thought they would only be facing Kumble, Bhajji & Co, then they would have got a big jolt in the very first over of this sries when Hayden fished out side off stump (Symo no pun intended) and edged to keeper Dhoni.
Amit Mishra, mean while was ridiculed for his selection instead of Piyush Chawla. I believe Mishra has better control, Chawla has ages on his side, National selectors are happy. Batsmen are a worry though, although there is time but the planned should be made well in advance. My chief concern Gambhir, scored well and now has cemented his place for at least till the end of this season. Sehwag when he will score India will win, not that he didn’t score this time. Laxman may face the axe. Dada Ganguly will be looking to add a few more runs before he decides to call quits. It would have been so good if Tendulkar had got the century. Meanwhile Bhajji has ensured he is saving from the axe by taking wickets in no time and turned tables on Australia. I hope they spare no quarter and drub Aussies three nil.
Big guns are not firing. I wonder why Pomersbach and Shaun Marsh were not included in the squad. Lee has failed to come to terms and now Ponting is claiming back to back Test matches are tough to play. But that’s not enough of excuse when Australia holds Boxing Day (26 Dec to 30 Dec) and New Year (2 Jan to 6 Jan) match within 48 hours. I think this back to back test match is no excuse. I also think they are over balanced. Off course they neither have a quality spinner and nor the pace battery is charged enough to impose any threats. I think he should look to shuffle the batting order also. It should be Hayden, Katich, Clarke, Hussey, Ponting, Haddin and Watson. Also if he is looking to bowl, why has he not pressed for Katich to bowl? We all know he can bowl. It is one of the many nebulous decisions that Ponting has taken. They all have back fired and Ponting seem to be confused. I think Katich will do better then White and Clarke. I was happy with Siddle and Mitchell Johnson is really good. He is consistent with is pace, but he should be seriously looking at Zaheer and what he does there is a lot to learn. It will be interesting to see, if some heads roll if Aussies lose this.
Milestones on the same road.
This is India’s biggest win in term of margin. Tendulkar has most runs and establish 12k runs club and Ganguly got a doggy 16 century and entered 7k runs club going past Don Bradman, got into the record books, meanwhile Dravid (highest Catches) and Bhajji (300 wickets) await their turns to doff their hats. Mishra meanwhile got a Pfeiffer on debut, which is something good. Gambhir got his second ton.
The next test match is in Ferozeshah Kotla Delhi. It is home ground for Sehwag, Gambhir, Ishant and Mishra. I am confused whether to add Kumble in this list. He got his perfect ten here.
Also check ot this link Aussie online newspaper The Australian, check out this blog.