A very good match played by India. The Australians should be ashamed, and most especially the batters. All they had to do was defend and put away the loose balls. Instead they get out there, try and bash around, and get out to ways that they wouldn’t normally. What a joke. A team doesn’t deserve the consecutive record if they can’t even bat out one for one day for a couple hundred runs, to leave themselves with another full day and a get-able target.
What was rather amusing was how hard the Indians found it to get our tail end out. Well, not really the tail, just Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson, who got 32 and 50 respectively.
You can’t get away from the fact that the Australian batting lineup failed twice in this match. The first innings was pathetic. The second was bad, but in light of having a target and two full days to bat, it ranks much worse. I don’t blame Chris Rogers, or Phil Jaques who for all intents and purposes is still debuting, for not getting the ball rolling as openers. It would have been better if Jaques had played better and not thrown his wicket away, but he is still new.
No, I blame our middle order. Ricky Ponting, who could only muster a captain’s knock of 45, Michael Hussey, who managed one run more, and Michael Clarke, who went stupid and threw his wicket away on 81. These are the culprits for our loss. Especially Ricky Ponting. There were some awful captaincy decisions made too.
Why would you keep bowling Clarke and Andrew Symonds when you’ve especially picked four pace bowlers? Shaun Tait may have been expensive, but surely he is likely to get a wicket being a legitimate bowler?
Clarke, too, needs a hard look at himself. The ‘captain in waiting’ could really use a few catching lessons.
I think what this match showed is that Australia hasn’t been tested a whole lot before, and now that they have been, it shows we aren’t this invincible team anymore. We can’t fall back on our strike bowling lineup anymore when our batters fail, and if our bowlers are having a hard time, our batters find it difficult to keep their minds in check. It shows that our team, as silly as this might sound, is a all-win or all-lose team. If one part fails, then the other part is going to too.
Why? Because the team has succumbed to age. We have Brett Lee and Clark to spear our bowling team, and then a whole bunch of newbies – Johnson (who should be reconsidered), or Tait for the interchange, Brad Hogg for the spinner, and then Symonds and Clarke for the support. That, I’m afraid, isn’t a formidable rotation. Lee and Clark yes; the rest no.
Our batting, soon, will be opened with these two guys. And unless they step out and say that they are cricket freaks, then they will take some time to get used to international tests. They ain’t no domestic matches. And I think that’s what has just got into Jaques’ head after his fantastic start. The middle order obviously finds it a hard task to establish a total when the openers fail – something that shouldn’t really be the case having Ponting and Hussey in the team.
Still, it was a good match, and well played by the Indians. The Australian team will come out blazing to ensure that they win this series now, and not draw it. If they do win it, some pressure will be relieved from them. If they draw on home soil though …