Friday, January 18, 2008

Perth

Cricket is like life. It will always give you chances, sometimes surprisingly, which is up to you to grab. That is what we are witnessing in this series. I am writing this post after third day’s play is over in Perth. Australia still need to score 348 to win and India still need to knock off 8 more wickets. But for weather, draw is not possible.

An average Indian supporter would say, from his safe bunker of conservative optimism of pessimism to be precise, that Australian batting line up has started now with both the in experienced openers being dismissed. A neutral person would say their middle order has been exposed to some good bowling and pressure situation after ages. I would pray to God to give me a long and deep sleep tonight and when I get up, they are at least 5 down at lunch so that I have less of nervy moments.

In the recent past, only West Indies have successfully chased a target over 400 to win a test. WI had Lara, it was in their home ground and Australia had the most hostile attack. Australia has batsmen who stand quite close to Lara in quality, it’s their fort that has hardly been conquered and India doesn’t have that hostility in their bowling attack or agility in fielding. But, it’s an unfamiliar territory for both the teams. Australians have rarely been scuffed by their choler in the last decade and Indians wouldn’t have dreamt of being in driver’s seat till the second day of this test match was over.

But, to this date, Team Indian has played really good cricket but for Melbourne. Melbourne defeat should be attributed more to BCCI than the team for organizing useless ODIs at home at the cost of practice matches in Australia. Rain denied us the precious practice before Melbourne making the test match itself as our first practice match. We surrendered meekly. But the practice at Melbourne improved it to such an extent that Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson had to come for Australian rescue. Perth, the graveyard for Indians who can’t play a ball above waist height, has witnessed Indians showcasing superior skills than Australians in two departments – batting and bowling. I agree that Australians were handicapped – by absence of Matthew Hayden and presence of Shaun Tait.

So far in this series, Australians have not been allowed to juggernaut Indian bowling in the same way they are so used to by getting 600 and plus. Ponting’s batting average has been lesser than his nemesis, Harbhajan Singh. Michael Clarke comes close. But, the Symonds factor is the biggest danger as it has been over last couple of months.

The pitch didn’t turn out the way it was talked about. It’s been a good surface with a little assistance to bowlers and when Anil Kumble would have seen Australian part timers getting some purchase, he would surely be expecting better rewards.

If we loose from here, it would be more disheartening than Sidney. I hope Indian bowlers keep their mind and body in control, fielders latch on to whatever they get and Billy-Rauf pair compensates us for the justice denied at Sidney.

Indians have made at least one thing sure – if they break the record of 16 straight test wins, they will have to break a few more records along with this.

1 comment:

Spiff said...

Yup, Its heartening to note that India is competing with the aussies. I was worried after seeing the Lankans get hammered..Concerning this test..i really think its 50-50..conventional wisdom hardly matters in this day especially given aussie batting lineup.

Also, if we win, i just hope ppl dont start with India shud be 2-1 with sidney..thts so loser talk