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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cricket: Sidney Blockbuster Turns Into India-Crusher!


Team India lost a great opportunity with history behind and history-to-be-made ahead. They won the toss and elected to bat first—a tremendous advantage in a match they wanted to do well. The so-called best batting line-up of the world flopped miserably. If 13 wickets fell in the first day of the second cricket test between India and Australia in Sidney it was due to Indian batting failure and if only one wicket fell on the second day today it was Australian supremacy.

Doubtful starter for the series Ricky Ponting went from strength to strength—scoring two half centuries in the two innings of the first test in Melbourne and scoring his 40th ton here in Sidney. He scored this ton after two years. Well, there is a saying about Team India’s proverbial generosity—if someone or a team is hopelessly out of form, play with India because India would restore the confidence lost in overflowing measure! Australia looked to be a team in disarray prior to the start of the series and now, they look set to dominate world cricket once again.

It’s really inexplicable how seasoned batsmen like Gambhir, Laxman and Kohli could go on doing absolutely nothing for the team. Sachin Tendulkar looked good and set for a historical performance, but finally it was a far cry from what the whole of cricket world wanted of him. And, for an ominous change, Indian bowlers lacked penetration with at least three strike bowlers in action. Australia scored 366 runs today—at the rate of over four runs per over like in one day affairs. They finished the second day at a mammoth 482 for 4.

There is already a lead of 291 runs and Australia look poised to take it beyond 500 with 6 wicket in still intact. Now, only calculations that are possible would be the margin of defeat for India. Get ready to read the headline, ‘Australia crush India by an innings and __ runs!’ You need just to fill in the blank assuming of course India stick to its time tested policy of generosity. It could very well be over on the third day tomorrow itself or the agony may prolong to the fourth day too.

A miracle? Certainly not plausible at the present state of things. India skipper Dhoni has no answers or excuses to offer though he got an unbeaten fifty. Australian captain Michael Clarke is oozing confidence leading from the front and achieving his first double ton, still unbeaten at 250 plus. A repeat of the England drubbing seems to be the final result.  

The tigers on flat and slow pitches at home are just running away from the prey while out of home environs. Again and again. Very disappointing indeed. Not that we are obsessed with Indian win only. But, at least give a brave fight and make the matches interesting. 

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