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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cricket: India Manage To Save Sydney Test, Australia Win Border-Gavaskar Trophy!


Australia The Deserving Winners of Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Overcoming a mini batting collapse in the middle India have clung on to saving the fourth and final Test match against Australia in Sydney today and have finally settled for a nail-biting draw. In the first Test in Adelaide India were 2 down needing 159 runs for victory at Tea with Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay at the crease. From there they crashed to a 48 run defeat while not giving up the chase. It was similar in Sydney today as India were 160 for 2 at the Tea interval again with Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli at the crease needing another 189 runs for victory.

Rahane Holds Firm
India looked to be sitting pretty at Tea in Sydney today for a safe draw while not going for the chase outright since the morning session. At that moment draw was the most likely result and an Australian win was least expected. However, with a superior bowling attack and a never-say-die attitude Australia triggered a mini Indian collapse from 160/2 to 208/6 in the final session thanks to unpredictable bounce with the ball rising or keeping low, reverse swinging and a turning pitch. Vijay got out for 80, a settled Kohli for 46, Suresh Raina for one more duck earning him a pair and a promising Saha of the first innings getting out for a duck too. Another India humiliation was in the offing with Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Hazelwood firing on all cylinders as Ashwin who hit a half century in the first innings was back in the pavilion quickly. Fortunately Ajikya Rahane was still at the crease fighting it out and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, once again, gave him solid support. They batted out more than 12 tense overs with at least Aussie fielders surrounding them at all times. The final India score was 252/7 off 89.5 overs.

The draw ensured Australia winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy-2014-15 2-0. The living legends Allan Border and Sunil Gavaskar were present on the award ceremony. On a positive note in the four-match Test Series India was not outplayed except for the bowling and it had been an absorbing Series. Australia won two crucial tosses at Adelaide and Sydney where turning pitches could have helped Indian spinners on the last day. While Aussie captain Steven Smith made many records with four centuries Virat Kohli for India replied splendidly with four centuries too. Along with him Indian batsmen Murali Vijay, Ajinkay Rahane and to some extent Lokesh Rahul came out with trumps making the Series a closely fought one. But for India’s stunning bowling inability and unpredictable batting collapses with the tail not wagging enough the final result of the Series could have been reversed. Under Virat Kohli’s leadership a young Team India looks promising in Test cricket from here onwards. The Scorecard:

Now, the excitement of the one day cricket is about to unfold with the Tri-Series involving Australia, England and India starting from 16th January, 2015. This is going to be a different ball game altogether with the specialist shorter-format captain MS Dhoni coming back. The three teams will confront one another two times in the league stage before the best two teams meet in the final on 1st February in Perth. And of course, shortly after that the ICC World Cup 2015 starts from 14th February in different venues of Australia and New Zealand.
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