Sunday, January 1, 2012

India vs Australia Boxing Day test match

When India and Australia meet down under, one can rest assured that it's gonna be mouth-watering cricket. The boxing day test match between India and Australia was a perfect showpiece of  how interesting test matches can get. The balance of pendulum kept swinging in the direction of both teams - almost every day. On first day, both teams looked balanced, on second day, India looked on top with firm grip on match. At the stumps of very next day, again Australia had slight edge with respectable lead but India also in well within game. On stumps of 3rd day, Indian media almost declared that Indian team will give a good news on 4th day. But on contrary, 4th day ended with result in favor of Australia. The series which has been named as 'Agneepath' series (road filled with fire) in sensational promotional videos, is indeed Agneepath for both the teams.

Indian team has now lost 5th consecutive abroad test match. Has failed to cross 300 runs mark in last 9 innings. Though there were some brilliant individual performances, big guns have failed to perform when it mattered the most. And, Sachin again 'failed' to fulfill dreams of over a billion people by not scoring 100th 100.

Sometimes while appearing for exam, one feels that he is weak in certain area and when exam actually begins, he performs exceptionally well in that area and he fails to deliver in area where he was supposed to perform the best. The same thing happened with Indian team.
Bowling looked weak at start of series. But bowling department, especially Zaheer and Umesh performed really well. Umesh impressed with his pace and maturity while Zaheer took wickets each time when MS Dhoni handed the ball to him. Bowlers, as a department, performed very nice. But it was the batting department which performed miserably. They let down Indian show overall. It is sad to see Gambhir, Virat, MS Dhoni failing consistently in tests. While big 3 of Indian middle order- Sachin, Rahul, VVS are on the sunsets of their career, the young batmen have to perform so that they can make the transition possible and smooth. Rohit Sharma is on bench is a good thing for Indian selectors as he will put pressure on Virat in a good way.

Indian team has to understand that they need to perform well as a unit. Only then, they can think of winning in overseas conditions. Young batsman have to take responsibility, bowlers have to deliver consistently so that batsman are not under constant pressure. And MS Dhoni must become a little aggressive while on field and his strategies. Experienced Sachin, Rahul, Zaheer need to guide Dhoni and need to give inputs whenever Dhoni seems under pressure.

In the end, though Australian team looks young and under rebuilding phase, they have proved that they have enough force to stop the star- studded Indian team. So as a Cricket Lover, we can expect that this series will be a close contest between two great rivals and also the best example of intensified test cricket - to shut the mouth of test cricket critics. There are still some spicy subjects like Ponting's form, Clarke's captainship, but that, we will talk in next post. By the way, what's you prediction?  Australia 2 - 1?

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