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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Test Cricket: And India Crush Australia, Take Unbeatable 2-0 Lead!

The end came much sooner than expected to cause a lot of embarrassment for the Michael Clarke led Australian cricket team. Powered by the Indian spinners Ravindran Ashwin (another five wicket haul) and Ravindra Jadeja (three wickets) Australia never gave a worthy fight and folded up for a miserable 131 in 67 overs with more than one and half days to spare. India crushed Australia by an innings and 135 runs in the second Test in Hyderabad taking an unbeatable lead of 2-0 in the four-match cricket Test Series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy being played in India. It was indeed sweet revenge for the absolute drubbing India received at the hands of Australia in Australia. While England spinners denied India a similar revenge in 2012  Australia has failed to deliver in batting and in pace or spin bowling so far and thus face a looming Series defeat in the last frontier they always wanted to conquer. 

It was also a huge relief for the troubled Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who delivered all cylinders firing in this Series and became the most successful India captain ever with 22 Test wins as against 21 of the most aggressive Sourav Ganguly. Cheteshwar Pujara was the deserving man of the match. Though limited to only a few 'individuals' Indian batsmen showed tremendous determination, patience and application in this Series so far. Such was the balance between Pujara and Vijay in their classic 370-run partnership that the natural aggressor Vijay exercised defensive tactics waiting for the right balls to hit and the new 'Wall' for India Pujara became the real aggressor.  The Scorecard:

The third Test between India and Australia starts in Mohali on March 14, 2013. Normally Mohali has a lively pitch with some touch of green, but seeing Australia's spinning woes authorities there may work overtime to convert it into a 'first day turner' as always demanded by Dhoni. In fact, Australia is not just vulnerable to spin only as their performance shows that they need to improve all-round to give themselves a fighting chance to draw level with hosts. At the moment Team India led by MS Dhoni looks a neatly woven together unit. They look formidable, invincible and triumphant. Michael Clarke would need to pull all possible and impossible tricks out of his sleeve to stop India. 

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