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Friday, January 9, 2015

India Vs Australia: Sydney Test Set Up, And The Indian Tail Wags!



In the very first cricket Test post-Dhoni the Indian tail wagged somewhat against Australia on the fourth day of the fourth and last cricket Test at Sydney today! After the two brilliant hundreds by new opener Lokesh Rahul (110) and captain Virat Kohli (147—his fourth in the four-test series) India were still not out of the woods at 352/6 when Kohli fell. At that stage India were trailing by more than two hundred runs. With new wicketkeeper Saha getting on Ashwin (50) settled in for his fourth half century adding 31 runs between them. Then with Bubhaneshwar Kumar (30), Aswhin added more than 60 runs. Mohammed Shami too helped the team by a few lusty hits to the fence, but Umesh Yadav could not give him long enough support. Anyway, the Indian tail-enders reduced the Australian lead to less than 100 run and we can still maintain that taking the total score to 475 from 352 the Indian tail did wag.

However, with normal woes associated with the Indian bowling Team India could not apply pressure on Australia in the second innings despite taking up two early wickets thanks to Aswhin. Australia raced to 251/6 at stumps on the fourth day of the fourth and the last Test match against India in Sydney today. While Indian batsmen crawled at less than 3 runs per over just earlier Australia scored effortlessly at over 5.5 per over. The Indian bowling concerns remain and it is likely to haunt the team in the forthcoming Triangular Series with England joining in and next in the ICC World Cup 2015 too. Dhoni or no Dhoni they seem utterly unable to contain their rival teams and rarely looking to bowl out the opposition twice in Test matches. But of course, with bowling restrictions in one day cricket India might still do better as it has been able to in recent times in contrast to Tests.

Australia indeed had in mind another stiff and challenging target for India on the last day. Already they have a lead of 348 runs and it is most likely that they will declare the innings first thing in the morning tomorrow and try to get India out notching up the series 3-0. For India on the other hand at least 4 of their batsmen are in super form and Team India might also take up the challenge like they did in the first Test at Adelaide earlier, interestingly under the leadership of Virat Kohli, finally losing out on the chase enabling the Aussies win by 48 runs. In any case the Sydney Test is tantalizingly set up as the result could be either of the three—win for India or win for Australia or drawn. The mindset of the Team India is important and a defensive approach from the beginning could misfire. As far as the pitch goes nearly 400 runs were scored on the fourth day today and therefore the final day tomorrow does not look that menacing.

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