photomontage of fielders at silly point

all good things must pass


A blog by Donthaveaclue


Border-Gavaskar Series. 3 matches down, 1 to go.
India leads 1-0.
One test has been dominated by Australia, one by India and the third was an even affair with Australia ahead on points, having stayed in the contest in spite of conceding a huge first innings total. Seems like a finale similar to previous Aus-India series with evenly matched contests.

But, have the games been like those played since 2000 when Laxman and Dravid one of the most magnificent fightbacks in test cricket? Maybe not.

Most India-Australia contests in the last five years have been closely contested affairs, mostly because of the skill of the players in taking the surface out of the equation. Hence the games in Kolkata (2001) and Adelaide (2003), where in spite of huge first innings totals, there were results. Not so this time. The placid nature of the Bangalore and Delhi tracks defeated the efforts from either team to force a result.

What of Australia?

As a viewer, one of the standout differences this time has been the inability of the Australians to turn games by ruthless execution of plans, irrespective of the surface. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that the absence of the like of Glen Mcgrath and Shane Warne is being felt. Statistics about Shane Warne’s incisiveness (or lack of) in India are meaningless. It was a matter of a dodgy shoulder and a brilliant Tendulkar at his peak that blunted the master leg spinner.

This time however, a not-brilliant, but still very good Australian bowling attack has been defeated by having to bowl first on unforgiving tracks. Frustration at the lack of lateral movement therefore creeps in inevitably resulting in the loose delivery that gets taken for runs. But they have in their corner, a robust cricket establishment that has had success in finding the right kind of players and then sticking with them long enough for them to prove themselves.

What of India?

The presence of a reasonably good pace attack, unhampered by injury has helped and so has the presence of solidity in the batting. But that’s changing.
Ganguly will retire at the end of this seris,
Anil Kumble already has.

The enormity of the challenge that lies ahead for Indian cricket will become evident as early as the England series. One middle order batting slot and one spinner’s slot to fill in a home series might not sound like much, but the pressure will be felt by the remainder of the side as they have to cushion the inexperience of the new entrants. The replacements, in turn, will feel the pressure when expected to shoulder the burden of scoring runs and taking wickets. A lot can go wrong, marginalization of test cricket in the land of T20, chop-and-change selection policies, thinking of the national team as a development lab instead of a finishing school.

If we think the Australians have been reduced from being invincible to merely good, wait till the transition begins for the Indian team. There are some interesting times ahead for Indian cricket.

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  1. By on November 7, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    all good things must pass | The “silly points”…

    If we think the Australians have been reduced from being invincible to merely good, wait till the transition begins for the Indian team. There are some interesting times ahead for Indian cricket….