Follow by Email

Friday, December 28, 2007

Australian quick bowlers squeeze life out of 10 brittle Indians: First Test Day 2

Australia 343 and 0/32 v India 196 (Tendulkar 62, Lee 4/46, Clark 4/28)

Those like me who looked forward to another closely contested day's play were disappointed. Yet we were compensated by the brilliance of the Australian quick bowling and an innings from Sachin Tendulkar of high quality.

After India wrapped up the Australian innings quickly when Zaheer Khan took his fourth wicket, their openers Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid were all at sea against Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark. The opening partnership lastted 38 minutes and produced 4 runs, all to Jaffer who faced 27 balls before being caught behind off Lee. Dravid confirmed that he is much better at no 3 than opening and it was a merciful release when Clark had him lbw at 31 for 5 laboriously compiled runs made off 66 (repeat 66) balls in 103 minutes.

VVS Laxman, Saurav Ganguly and above all Tendulkar improved upon this dismal performance but never prised their team free of the grip of the Auustralian pace attack. Brad Hogg was punished by Tendulkar, but he came back with two wickets (of which his dismissal of Ganguly - bowled - showed him at his best).

And Tendulkar? 62/77b/113 minutes (8x4, 1x6) was something more than a cameo yet, for all his brilliant strokeplay, it was considerably less than the situation needed.

But it was not his fault that India's response was so feeble, the Australian bowling so dominant and allowed to be thus. As the weather forecast for the next few days predicts no rain, in the absence of second innings turnaround such as India have achieved a couple of times before (but not with Dravid opening), the game will run its course towards a comfortable and, now, inevitable Australian victory.
Scorecard and Cricinfo Bulletin
Post a Comment