in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

Aus Tour Of India’08 – II Test

It is pivotal that routine is broken once and have opened the flood gates forever. Now, Aussies are rendered vulnerable and mortal, trying to gain ground with the sinister reality. Every day on a test match, the opposition need not wake up with a cold knot of dread in their stomach. It is not necessary that the supremo, who works unrelenting and unremitting, to destroy any team they encounter, would continue to do so, grinding opposition to death in the future. Now, It is paramount to note that a team with many irregularities on and off the field, India and who had borne the brunt of demolition is now up and possess the rare skill and confidence to hit the bottle one too many times and upset the apple cart with consistency.

Yes, India who has beaten Australia in their own forte [Perth] at the start of this year has again put their head above the shoulders and brought the dexterity required on field; result India, out-batted, out-bowled and miraculously even out-fielded Australia. This time, only to put the bone in Aussies throat and make them look as clueless as Williams Sisters posing in saree for Indian Media in Bangalore last season.

India, with its lethal swing, conventional and reverse, managed by the fiery duo Zaheer and Ishant, with Harbhajan waking up to the fact to stop spinning the tongue and start spinning the ball, Amit Mishra setting cricket pitch nostalgia for what it had been a while since it has seen leg spin on its face, India seems to have found a groove at last. Ponting, in his lead up to the series, was seriously learning to encounter his nemesis, Harbhajan Singh, while conveniently ignoring the speedsters on Indian surface. The lesson learnt, now that the role of nemesis has just passed hands, and would continue to haunt him till he copes with it.

One of the greatest batsmen, in the modern cricket, Ponting has admitted himself that Ishant is developing to be his nemesis and is frighteningly, one of the most potent bowlers in the current world of cricket. Every time Ishant bends the ball back in, Ponting is left to think various possibilities whether to play or not, to move forward or not, to attack or not. One of the best front foot batsmen in any era of cricket, has grown up only attacking the bowlers and thus far succeeded, though it remained, given the shallow depth of quality pace bowlers since the wake of the 21st century, how much he is strong against a future bowler who swings a Akram, or pitches a McGrath or steams in a Akhtar. Though any of them have not arrived yet, but a certain Ishant is emerging. It is rather off beam to call him the mixture of three or even one of them, not even closely. But, to see the young paceman, a year shy of twentieth birthday, to bowl with immaculate control and precision best left to masters of the game is too good to be ignored. He swings ball either ways at will and brings in accuracy in his lengths and top of all puts his mind to the bowling setting batsman up as discussed in my earlier post on I test.

Zaheer, returning with more vigor and valor, looked threatening with his bowling and surprisingly is consistent in doing that. Definitely, a second innings has started in his career and he is aware this time after all cricket is his passion and which is the only treasure he pursued all along.

Amit Mishra, a classical leg spinner, who has gone through the grinding years in domestic cricket, adding guile to his flight and spin, has emerged to be a top class spinner filling the big hole of Indian spin crisis. There is not better stage in international cricket than take a fifer against Australia in debut and to sum up 7 wickets in the match. Aussie batsmen had no answers for the new storm and the tricks he pulls out of his sleeve in every over.

In a slow, steady and unnoticed manner, India has found a settled opening batsmen combination, in Sehwag and Gambhir, who has opened together for their state in numerous first class and List-A matches. The openers have a rapport beyond cricket and that helps them to forge a trust and skills on the field which is destined to greater heights in the future. Australians simply don’t have a plan B when the opening duo fires in all cylinders blasting their new ball bowlers and most importantly running the sharp singles. It was India, who is tainted as aged and weak legs on the field. But the role seems to have reversed now, with Australia, after all being outplayed in fielding too.

The Fab-four lent their top support with resilience and self-confidence as the quotients. Solid defence by Dravid and records tumbling with every run scored by Tendulkar, a determined and resilient Ganguly who has a point or two to prove his critic in his farewell series, with Laxman’s hand at work with silken drives and wristy glances, booming drives of Dhoni which has kept Australian foot waiting at the boundary rope with little hope.

Dhoni’s leadership comes with a demeanor and poise, which is often profound as the man himself. He brings in aggression which the team seems to understand well and they thrive under his captaincy. Sehwag looked a happy man throughout the match because his team plays his brand of cricket, the only way he knows of, aggressive. Sachin Tendulkar jumped up and down with joy after taking a blinder of a catch at the short point, Harbhajan who looked a shade of his own until few months back is now like thunderstorm on berserk every time he walks into the field.

India have done everything right from the word go, in the II test, and has put a wind up the Aussie camp, it is now a question of whether they could sustain the high benchmark they have set for themselves and could continue pressing the demolition mode?

Back for the third test at Delhi!

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October 23, 2008 - Posted by | Aus Tour Ind '08-'09, Cricket, Sports

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