4 – 0? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?

Two and a half days! That was all the time it took for Australia to twice lay waste to the once-mighty Indian batting line-up.

And doesn’t it all suddenly feel like such an anti-climax? The series started so promisingly, with a brilliant and closely-fought match in Melbourne. Immediately, Australia had the momentum, and with nostrils flared, took full advantage in Sydney. Now, at 3-0 with one Test to play, much of the interest lies in how the Indian team will respond to the on and off-field savagings they have received. On current form, I am not holding out hope.

One of the great truisms of cricket, that bowlers win Test matches, has held true throughout this series. The second-coming of Ben Hilfenhaus has been inspirational, and a couple of likely types in Pattinson and Starc have been discovered. But for me, it is Peter Siddle who has been the man: breaking partnerships, bustling in at pace from dawn to dusk, bowling a line and length which would please any skipper.

The new selection panel has hit the ground running: Hilfenhaus, David Warner and Ed Cowan have been inspired selections, and the retention of Punter and Hussey paid big dividends at the SCG. And how about that Craig “Billy” McDermott? As a property developer he sure makes a great bowling coach!

But there are still a couple of cracks which need more than just a bit of poly-filler. Shaun Marsh has had a horror series at 3, and should consider himself very fortunate if he plays in Adelaide (which he most likely will). Better players than him have been banished after a return of only 14 runs in four innings, and Usman will be wondering why not as much faith was shown in him. Brad Haddin is horribly out of form, and would surely be wondering where his next run is coming from. Is Adelaide the right moment for Inverarity and co to bite the bullet and introduce even more fresh blood? I don’t see why not, but Clarke’s support for him yesterday was telling.

As for the demoralised tourists, they have even more pondering to do: Dravid scratched around for 47, but looks a shadow of the player who murdered the Poms last year; VVS Laxman is in such poor shape it saddens me; eye-like-a-dead-fish Sehwag’s batting appears to have started rotting from the head. And to make matters worse, the tribunal has rubbed out MS for a match.

Anti-climax notwithstanding, I have a couple of days off next week and am thinking of driving over to Adelaide to catch some of the Test.

4-0? It’s unlikely, but unfortunately now well within the realms of possibility.

About Darren Dawson

Always North.

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    Smokie

    I’m with you on Siddle. Any time India looked like making a stand (not often) he was the one who got a breakthrough.

    Any judgements about Australia need to allow for the fact serious Indian opposition effectively ended with Sachin’s dismissal late on day 2 in Melbourne.

  2. I am happy to put my hand up and say I doubted Australia woudl win the series, let alone dominate.

    On paper, the emerging pace attack and developing spinner seemed no match for the Indian batsmen, but it seems I was too swayed by reputation.

    Agree, there are cracks that our domination has glossed over, with the number 3 spot and keeper the glaring areas.

    However, the disgraceful absence of longer form first class cricket means there are no opportunities to bring anyone in.

    Hughes and Khawaja get dropped but have nowhere to regain form.

    There’s no point in bringing in players with BBL form, as Marsh got a 99 pre Boxing Day and that didn’t help.

    The BBL has been good only for the rediscovery of the spinner’s role in restricting scorng and creating wickets from tight bowling and creating frustration, with Doherty, Beer and Heal doing well.

    So no way for a keeper or 3 to come in, assueme then that the Shield games in Feb will form the basis of replacements for the Windies tour.

    On that point, I watched the Windies DVD ‘Fire in Babylon’ the other night, a brilliant doco on the resurgance and dominance of West Indies cricket from the late 70s to early 90s. Appearances from Viv, Clive, Holding, Roberts, an articulate and interesting Croft, a pommy sounding Greenidge, Haynes and Murray as well as great West Indies cultural characters, are a wonderful way to tell a story of a country that overcome division, cultural change, a level of oppression and some unfortunately poor Australian barracking to doiminate the game.

    Viv is brilliant, either speaking or in shots of his batting dominance,

    Nice bit in it about the role Kerry P played in the WI eventually getting their A into G and starting to show the talent they had

    Sean

  3. Basso Divor says:

    “Tendukar – The Musical”
    The Tendulkar Trap (Sung to the tune of Suspicious Minds by Elvis Presley)

    Starring – Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar

    This would be sung in the context of a run out and both are at the same end:

    Dravid:
    We’re caught in a trap
    But I can’t walk
    Because I don’t love you that much baby

    Tendulkar:
    Why can’t you see
    What you’re doin’ to me
    When you don’t believe a word I say?

    Dravid:
    We can’t go on together
    With suspicious minds (Suspicious minds)
    And we can’t build our partnership
    On suspicious minds

    Tendukar:
    So, if an old friend I know
    Pads up to come in next
    Would I still see suspicion of a run out in your eyes?

  4. Would love to join you for the drive to Adelaide, Smoky, regardless of the anti-climax. (Alas, work calls.)

    I rarely enjoy Australia winning: they carry on so much at, say, the fall of a wicket – as if they’ve just won the whole series, plus the World Cup, plus the Ashes, plus the Grand Final, plus the 100 metre sprint at the Olympics. (Admittedly all teams do this, and the repeated slow motion replays exaggerate everything.

    Inida has been very disappointing – it’s the end of an era – and one can’t see the Windies being any better.

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