3rd October, 2008
Second day of the 4 day game was ended with Ponting still to solve the spin puzzle in India. Amazingly Ponting has done well in Sri Lanka but there is very little he has done in India, and now it is all mental. Even yesterday it was seen that he was reaching out for the ball rather than waiting. Harbhajan would do well to toss it up and bowl slower.
Micheal Hussey, Micheal Clarke & Brad Haddin may well prove to be the biggest thorn in the flesh for Indians while the latter two are pretty good players of spin. Micheal Hussey has the required patience required and he is a left hander. Both Anil and Bhajji have had their own fair share of headaches with left handers.
The inspired spell by Irfan saw an early exit for Hayden denying him valuable match practice. He is the other dangerman as far as India are concerned. Getting him early is going to be crucial. Without him the Aussie line up seems directionless. Australia will feel the pinch once he goes.
Openers are worth their weight in Gold, especially if you have openers who not only tire the new bowl bowlers and deny wickets but bludgeon them and debilitate them. Hayden with his old partner Langer were actually intimidating new bowl bowlers all over the world. Quite a co incidence that India's overseas performance have started improving ever since Sehwag started opening and has been so successful.
The partner of Hayden this time is Katich who is a good player but is a hard worker and not a flair player. In modern day cricket very few such cricketers are left. A Dravid here a Chanderpaul there or an Ashwell Prince but very few left. However these players at times get stuck and at times take the rhythm of the batting line up away especially in sluggish conditions.
If Ponting cannot come to terms with batting in India, Australia will have a real battle on their hands.
In the meanwhile their leggie has gone home with injury, no replacement has been announced. Ponting would be really brave if he decides to go in with Krejza. However to go in without a spinner in India also puts a lot of burden on the fast bowlers as you don't want them to become stock bowlers but remains as strike bowlers. Clarke and Katich may have to share the bowling responsibilities. Clarke can be quite deadly as we have seen and against us he just loves bowling.
The third day starts tomorrow with Hussey and Haddin on the crease. Yuvraj would be keen to break the partnership and finish the innings soonest possible. Lets see how the day unfolds.