November 13, 2008
The much awaited Australia’s tour of India is over. India has won it 2-0. There is a sense of euphoria over the victory, but also disappointment over the quality of Aussie cricket. This was supposed to be the Border Gavaskar Trophy, the revenge series to avenge Sydney 08, the spirited fightback from both sides, with every session, if not every ball. There were phases of that, but sadly, what was supposed to last an entire series lasted only three sessions. The series was essentially one sided and I won’t be exaggerating in saying that we, Indian fans, were robbed.
Let’s look at this in a bit more closely, if you will.
Australia Batting: Top heavy, middle mostly missing except for Hussey with a fairly long tail. Yes, that’s the sort of batting that India had in the mid 90s. Their reliance on Hussey was reminiscent of India’s on Dravid until a very lately. Hayden was unable to score and by the time Katich found his foot to convert starts, the series was over.
Australia Bowling: Pacers did not take wickets, spinners made up the overs. Not much of a story there. Watson learnt some towards the end, but it was too little too late. Kreja is a definite prospect, but has a long way to go.
Disappointed: Brett Lee, Mathew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson (to some extent)
Ousters: Shane Watson, Cameron White, Stuart Clark
Still Shining: Michael Hussey is the lone Aussie shining
Captaincy: Ponting’s chinks in captaincy (and batting) are showing. Nagpur Day 4 overrate tactics was shocking, even raising suspicions of match fixing in some minds. That apart, we’ve seen nothing more than less than average captaincy. He’s been riding on the good fortune of having some champion performers in the past. Now that they’re gone, some creativity was required, which was lacking. But then again, the captain is as good as his team!
India Batting: Satisfactory, but could have done better given the big names and the conditions. Only Bangalore had low bounce, others seemed to aid batting more than bowling. So we should have gotten more runs. Harsh? Yes. We are a greedy lot when it comes to our famed batting line up. Gambhir did well, but has more to prove. If he survives the New Zealand series test, I’ll put a check mark next to his name. Viru, was his usual self. Dravid had a nightmare series, maybe when the Waugh curse passes, it will take the bad form along with it. I’ve said much about Dravid, so I’ll pass here, and just pray he finds his foot and grandly. To me, he’s still got it for two years at least. Sachin was again typical self- explosive at times, inglorious at other times. Ganguly impressed the most, and succeeded in his attempt to prove that he really shouldn’t be retiring. There was a sense of purpose in his batting, one so obvious in his ever since his 2006 comeback. Sad it had to be him, but the cries were almost deafening. Laxman, mostly good, mostly typical, but that is expected isn’t it? Dhoni, also typical, will butcher on a flat pitch and flop on anything else. I still think he’s got a long way to go as batsman. He’s banking on the “fear factor” he creates for the opposition. The new recruit and Ganguly-recommended Murali Vijay seems very solid. Is he the next Rahul Dravid? It’s too soon to give such huge tags.
India Bowling: Pacers very impressive on bata wickets. Spinners, could have done better, given the reputation, but maybe that has to do with the fact that the pitches didn’t exactly crumble. New recruit Mishra impressive, but again, lot to prove.
Disappointed: Rahul Dravid
Still Shining: Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan
Captaincy: Kumble, satisfactory. It’s sad that both the drawn matches were captained by him. Dhoni, also satisfactory. Some of the field settings were refreshing, but I thought a couple of times, his keeping dipped ever so slightly during captaincy. Time will prove whether he can indeed keep and captain. He’s got a lot to prove before we can truly hail him.
In summary, perhaps it is Greg Chappell, who seemed to be behind Ponting’s century in Bangalore! Again, promising much and delivering nothing. After all of RCA’s hospitality, 22 odd different pitches, extra practice matches and all, this is all Guru Greg could do! Couldn’t resist that dig! 🙂
12 Comments | Anil Kumble, Bangalore, Bhajji, Cricket, Dhoni, Dravid, Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, India, India-Aus series, Indian cricket, Kumble, Laxman, Mathew Hayden, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Sydney Test, Tendulkar, The Big 3 of Indian cricket, Zaheer Khan | Tagged: Amit Mishra, Anil Kumble, Australia, Australia's tour of India 2008, Border Gavaskar Trophy, Brett Lee, Cameron White, Clark, Clarke, Cricket, Delhi, Dhoni, Dravid, Fab Four, Fab four of Indian cricket, Gambhir, Ganguly, Gautam Gambhir, Greg Chappell, Harbhajan Singh, Hayden, Hussey, India, India-Aus series, Indian cricket, Ishant Sharma, Jason Krejza, Katich, Krejza, Kumble, Laxman, Lee, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Mishra, Mitchell Johnson, MS Dhoni, Murali Vijay, Ponting, Ponting captaincy, Rahul Dravid, Rajasthan Cricket Association, RCA, Ricky Ponting, Ricky Ponting captaincy, Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag, Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Sourav Ganguly, Stuart Clark, Tendulkar, Test Cricket, The Big 3 of Indian cricket, The Big Three of Indian cricket, Vijay, Virender Sehwag, Viru, VVS Laxman, Zaheer Khan | Permalink
Posted by vmminerva
October 22, 2008
India triumph over Australia to go 1-0 up in the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2008-09 with a historic win in the second Test at Mohali. Team effort and proactive captaincy made this possible. Australia have been bringing the best out of India for the past 5 years now, with each victory arguably better than the other in quality.
Congratulations, India! A well earned victory! Cheers!
But the series isn’t over yet and there is still some good work to do.
Where now from here for India? India need to keep the intensity just where it is, if not turn it up another notch. The bowling attack with Ishant, Bhajji and Zaheer is rocking. Mishra had a compelling debut. Delhi will be key and the selectors will have one hell of a task picking a playing XI. I shall save that for another discussion, but I must add that for once, I’m glad that this selection isn’t my job!
India’s batting is still a bit of a concern. Ganguly has been the best performer so far – he’s looked solid in defence, characteristic in attack and has played his natural game. Viru and Gambhir closely follow. There are still a few question marks around the others in the batting order with respect to solidity, based on current form.
As for the Aussie, I would give anything to hear from Greg Chappell. 🙂 I’ll save my comments on him till the end of the series. Ponting has some sorting out to do. Clarke is good only in patches. I don’t understand how Shane Watson and Cameron White made it to the side. The only reason I can think of is thier familiarity to the conditions from IPL. Watson, course played for the Rajasthan Royals and White, rather unimpressively for Bangalore Royal Challengers. I find it hard to believe that the Aussies don’t have anything better in the closet. Haddin has a long way to go – an average keeper and below-average Test batsman. Siddle was hyped beyond proportions, might be (along with Johnson) the better ones from the newer lot. Lee is obviously out of form/rusty. Two players hold the key – Hayden and Hussey. While lashing out at the apparent lack-of-quality/experience in the Aussie line up, in the back of my mind, there is this dark thought that India might face this very situation (maybe even worse with the batting) when the Fab four disappear from the scene. But that is not for this day.
This day, we celebrate for going one step ahead to re-gaining the Border Gavaskar Trophy! Cheers!
13 Comments | Bhajji, Cricket, Dhoni, Dravid, Ganguly, India, India-Aus series, Indian cricket, Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Tendulkar, The Big 3 of Indian cricket, Zaheer Khan | Tagged: Amit Mishra, Amit Mishra's debut, Aussie team, Australia, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Bhajji, Border Gavaskar Trophy, Brad Haddin, Bree Lee, Clarke, Cricket, Dhoni, Dhoni captaincy, Dravid, Fab Four, Fab four of Indian cricket, Gambhir, Ganguly, Gautham Gambhir, Greg Chappell, Haddin, Harbhajan, Harbhajan Singh, Hayden, Hussey, Ind vs Aus 2008-09 Day 5, India, India vs. Aus 2nd Test Mohali, India win 2nd Test at Mohali, IPL, Ishant, Ishant Sharma, Johnson, Lee, Michael Clarke, Mishra, Mitchell Johnson, Mohali, MS Dhoni, Peter Siddle, Ponting, Rajasthan Royals, Ricky Ponting, Sehwag, selectors, Shane Watson, Siddle, Sourav Ganguly, Tendulkar, Test Cricket, The Big 3 of Indian cricket, The Big Three of Indian cricket, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Watson, Zaheer Khan | Permalink
Posted by vmminerva
October 15, 2008
The Mohali Pitch will not be the “usual Mohali” pitch. It will have bounce initially but will turn later. God! What does this mean? What do we do if we lose the toss?
Pacers and Kumble can use the bounce. But what if Ponting has figured out Ishant? Have all the Aussies gotten a hang of Kumble?
“Danger man” Stuark Clark may not play? But Peter Siddle may debut. What if our middle order can’t figure him out – given our records from a Lee in ’99 to Chris Tremlet in 2007 and Ajantha Mendis in 2008 (bowlers on debut)?
What if we can’t get Hussey at all?
It’s raining in Mohali. What could that mean?
Seriously, is it just me?
6 Comments | Anil Kumble, Cricket, Dravid, Ganguly, India, India-Aus series, Indian cricket, Kumble, Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Tendulkar, The Big 3 of Indian cricket | Tagged: 2nd Test Mohali, Ajantha Mendis, Anil Kumble, Australia, Australia's tour of India 2008, Bret Lee, Chris Tremlet, Clark, Cricket, Fab four of Indian cricket, Hussey, India, India against bowlers on debut, India-Aus 2008-09 2nd Test Mohali, Indian cricket, Indian middle order, Ishant, Ishant Sharma, Kumble, Lee, Mendis, Mohali, Mohali pitch, Peter Siddle, Ponting, rain in Mohali, Ricky Ponting, Stuark Clark, Test Cricket | Permalink
Posted by vmminerva