So, how many pundits, fans, expert, seers saw Dhoni leading his team beating Aus 4-0, especially after we didn't win a session against England in England (and lost a player to injury every match), Aus in Aus, lost the series in England. Dhoni led the team. A team which didn't have Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Laxman, Zak, half baked Bhajji and a reclusive if not redundant Tendulkar. Dhoni and young men and his demolition of impossibilities, T20 World cup, World Cup, ODI wins in Aus, 4-0 brown wash of Aus is one for the history. Dhoni has got to be beyond simple lucky Captain. He seem to have a trick up his sleeve even if things are against odds.
Dhoni with bat, gloves and his decisions on the field and trivially, the selection of players - Kumar, Jadeja, Pujara, Murali, Ahswin, Dhawan and a de-selection of the other whole lot. He is on the money with his decisions. Another point which may not be highlighted would be Tendulkar now where close to the highest scorer on the either side. I dont know how far is his retirement. I hope he does it, sooner rather than later. India meanwhie have quickly found their reciepe for success at home, hopefully the young guns will keep performing. There are many things that are swept under the magic victory, but more on that later.
Aussies never came for the tour.
The result would have been different if Aussies had there senses more grounded. Warner led the Aussie batsmen in misery. A few players were playing for the selection of the Ashes. Starc and Clarke gt injured. A few people forgot to make their PPTs. I know in hindsight all looks sorted out. There would lots of short coming and worthy criticisms when you are BrownWashed and have lost the series 4-0. Warner led the charge of batsmen's misery, he hardly got the foot right. Phil Hughes would have felt what Mark waughs and Ricky Pontings felt touring India when they saved more runs on the filed and take more catches each inning rather than score runs. It seems 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 are specialist positions for batsmen of touring parties to India. While the opener must adapt, he should also set the course. The number three must ensure there is no cat amaong pigeons and should either keep up the momentum if he comes after a long partnership or charter the ship if he comes to early. Number five batmen must be a capable run maker and a busy player. The Number 7s and 9s will always make runs because of inherent gene to dismiss the tail is absent in Indian bowlers. Here odd must chase the evens so to speak.
Clarke escaped some streaky chances while scoring his century in India, he has a dozen already! But from than on, he was a driver of a dash car who found himslef dashed whatever he did. Often he ended up dashing himself. One felt the agility while implementing plans was not their, some selections were improper, some bet looked good while taking them on but fizzled out. Dhoni would have felt the same way in Aus not to long ago. However the scoreline doesnt truly reflect the how the Aus team played. They were very ordinary to say the least, very timid, almost like Poms of old. When Clarke was scoring double hundred by the innings, and he would have been told Jadeja, would claim five time in six innings, he would amused to bit and scored another double. it seems game of cricket is game changing roulette, favour people who willing to stick around.
The fourth test and complete Brown Wash.
Ausssies come in this test with a new captain, won the toss, batted first. The fortunes (outcome) unchanged. Indian spinners set the tone. Ashwin & Jadeja spin twins, third was Ojha who did his bit. Aussies slumped before Siddle used the long handle and bought a semblance of respectability to the score. Aussies compiled 262 on a pitch in which accumulation of runs was increasingly going to get difficult as the game progressed. They said it was a fourth day pitch. Jadeja providing crucial break through keeping things tight. Siddle scored first of his two half centuries in the match, preferring too stick to basics, rather than gauge the situation of the match, look at the bowling and take stock of situation. He came he saw and he clobbered. It was some proper cricketing shots, well timed one at those. It would have been entertaining for top order. Aus folded for 260 odd on a weary pitch, India had to have big runs.
Indians started well with Pujara the third opener of the series along with Vijay put on an opening partnerships and then rest of the team faltered. Indians are too casuals playing offies. The new line for offies will be round the wicket bowling into the stumps and straightening. It strangles run making and boundary hitting, something Indian seem to do very easily for an off spinner turning it into them. however Aussies didnt exploit the reversing ball to great effect as Indians invariably found a way around to score runs and build partnerships. However in this match they couldnt. Lyon was very good, taking wickets on will so to speak. Tendulkar being the bunny... for this match. Indians casually came and went and Lyon proved his worth in the place. Indians preffered to camp on the crease rather than offer something for Lyon to think about. A slender 10 run lead and the game was in the balance.
Aussies started in bravado but Jadeja turned it on literally.He claimed Maxwell and Warner in quick successions. He utilized the pitch to maximum, the natural variations combined with the wavering pitch to either produce a magic delivery or a wicket taking one. Jadeja looked ominous as other bowlers chipped around claiming wickets regularly and Aus shot out cheaply for the last time in the series. jadeja claimed five wickets and a few send offs. Siddle sizzled with second half century of the game, a first in the history of the game for number Nine.
Murali should be shown this dismissal just to embarass him when he starts believing too much. Why play a reverse sweep on a crumbling inefiled to an off spinner when shot making comes naturally to you? Why? Kohli is the second one, Lyon got in rhythm and he looked less secured. A couple of wickets and Lyons had almost set the pigeons among the cat. Pujara meanwhile was definitely in the zone and carried on while other held fort. A very good innings considering Indias traditionally not so good batting performances. Ref: Barbados 120. Dhoni and Pujara combined to seal the door on Aus faces not before paiting them Brown.
Aus in India or India in Aus who was the worst? I mean is it wrong for the a cricket fan to ask for a more equal playing field? At least ICC should allow to have a player exchange formula so that between baords more players can get an experience of playing in local match abroad I think it will help. Indian batsmen and bowlers will help immensely. Why doesn't BCCI used it muscle power to get our Players a deal in County cricket or in first class cricket in SAf and Aus or NZ or whatever? I often wonder. If players get a chance to play in alien conditions the game of cricket will be better. There is a scope of allowing exchange of players for a few season for first class level.
However everything said and done, the Ashes will see a different Aus team. Indians have their work cut out once the tour of SAf starts later this year. SAf is the team to beat, not sure we have the bowling, batting or fitness for the tour.
An Aussie Brown-Wash is a rare feat, time to savour Dhoni & Co. Well done guys, thanks for the thrill.