End of play : Match Drawn. Australia 430 /10 & 228/6 decl*
India : 360/10 & 177/4
The most suitable result for two captains who are not willing to give an inch and not willing to take any risks. Both captains have lacked the initiative and have resorted to defensive tactics ensuring that the other side doesn’t get on a roll. However neither have really thrown a challenge at the other side and given each other a chance to win.
The pitch at Chinnaswamy didn’t help things, strangely we had a deteriorating pitch becoming difficult for batting however we had no sessions in which we had bunches of wickets. Four wickets in a session is the most I think. Anil Kumble’s injury maybe was one of the reasons India didn’t perform as well as they would have liked to. However the two pacers bowled their heart out and also showed that Indian team would do well to forget the pitch and leave it to the groundsmen. We have an attack and a team that can win any time anywhere in all conditions. Remember Perth.
Ricky Ponting I must say surprised me with a rare good declaration. Lets give him the credit and the benefit of the doubt that he did dangle a carrot. Sehwag was going to be crucial for India because his prescense not only ensures the runs come but also ensures that the opposing captain will not have enough men in attacking positions. He & Dravid fell early though ensuring Indians would be playing for a draw.
After a long time it was good to see Sachin bat for a long period and although he got out for 49 he looked comfortable and more importantly relaxed flashing smiles at regular intervals. Still the concerntration of the fab four since the last one year or so seems to have gone away. In the England series none could muster a century although they all batted well, even in Australia we saw that they would all get starts even make 50’s 70’s but not kick on. This is strange because normally these four kick on. Apart from Sehwag they haven’t really kicked on. Yes Ganguly did make one double in India in Pakistan but we are talking about one big century between 4 world class batsmen, and over a dozen test matches. Don’t know if its age or plain co-incidence. I will however not write off these champions and I can only say that they all are due for runs which is not a very good sign for Australians.
Kumble went wicket less in the test match. This must be rare and will hurt India’s chances. In the media there is an unbelievable scrutiny about his fitness, Ganguly’s retirement and who’s gonna retire next. The media goes mad about the whole thing & that is one of the biggest reason it seems to me that the team is actually performing better away from home than at home.
Hopefully Mohali can provide with a pitch that has more bounce and hence the ball comes on to the bat to ensure more positive cricket. The one that will take the risk will win this. Both Captains are being defensive it is time to change this. Test Cricket needs much better cricket and if the series that is billed as the clash between the best teams will keep on producing draws it wont help Test Cricket’s popularity.