Australia v India, 1st Test, MCG December 25, 2011

Can India overcome the first-Test ghost?

On three of their last four tours, they have lost the first Tests, all rain-affected games. The weather in Melbourne doesn't promise anything different
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The MCG, along with Eden Gardens the biggest cricketing theatre in the world, is not a place for those who get confused easily. The ground is a maze of similar-looking receptions, escalators, elevators, glass doors that open on their own and have a mind of their own, parking lots and stands. To go to the nets you have to go two floors underground, walk a lot to your right (or even longer left if you are really confused), and then climb back up. Groundsmen who have been working here for years still lose their way. If you leave trail marks here, the ground is so regulated they will have been removed by the time you start looking for your way back 10 minutes later.

However, it's inside the stadium, on the turf, that you need clearest of heads. Harsha Bhogle, commentator and writer, talks of the experience of walking next to the pitch and looking up at the Great Southern Stand. You feel like an ant, he says, when you imagine the ground full. A full house is expected: according to estimates, as many as 80,000 are likely to turn up on Boxing Day. Eighty-thousand voices instructing you; 80,000 pairs of eyes judging every move of yours. For the Indian players, despite the Indian population here, this is the closest thing to being at the receiving end of the Eden Gardens phenomenon, where many a side has frozen in front of similarly huge crowds.

This is also the first Test of the series, and if they were given a choice India would happily start every series with the second Test. On three of their last four tours, they have lost the first Tests. The exception was in the West Indies. And the three losses came in rain-affected matches. There are spells of rain around here, interspersed with brilliant sunshine. Boxing Day is likely to receive rain too, although not enough to overly disrupt play.

These slow starts put pressure on the resilience that has been the hallmark of this team. On two of those three occasions, India have managed to come back. It reached a point where people started taking first-Test losses as par for the course. On the third occasion, though, England kept coming at them hour after hour, and rearranged all the good figures painstakingly garnered over the last three years. India had an overseas record of 4-2 under MS Dhoni before England. Now it doesn't make for flattering reading. Slow starts are an affliction every Indian player acknowledges.

Dhoni says the best way is to prepare as well as you can, clear your mind, and trust your instincts when you walk out. "We have to make sure we start off well, but again no pressure," Dhoni said before the Test. "We will again try to keep it as simple as possible because we all know we have taken care of the preparation, which is the most important thing. And once you turn up on the field you want to play according to what your instinct says."

It seems they have got the preparation part right this time. Five days of organised cricket, and various others of nets. During their lead-up, Zaheer Khan has turned up looking lean and fit, Ishant Sharma has come back from an injury scare, and the batsmen have all got decent time in the middle and in the nets. In fact, Dhoni says if this doesn't prepare them, it is unlikely a month will.

On Christmas Day, when the rest of Melbourne seemed to be in a happy blissful slumber, across the serene Yarra Park, down two floors and then back up, the Indians looked to put finishing touches on before the big day. Sachin Tendulkar went to the indoor nets and batted for hours with the bowling machine even as people talked about the 100th hundred. Rahul Dravid, having arrived even as Australia finished their light session in the indoor nets, batted for longer than usual in the nets, both against throwdowns and the bowlers.

Today was also the day when the bowlers got to face bouncers. Zaheer, who usually doesn't come to the nets on the eve of the match, showed up, but only to bat. He asked Trevor Penney, the fielding coach, to throw down bouncers at him. Dravid instructed Penney to bowl three bouncers and then the full one. Ishant got some too. Quick, short, at the throat. Dhoni often mentions the runs the tail has fetched over the last two years.

Outside, the MCG remained silent, except for the hollering from those of the players who played a game of football before starting the cricket training. They wouldn't have visualised a packed house while playing football. It is impossible not to look up and get awed or inspired by the coliseum. Two hours later, three in case of Dravid, they walked out one by one, thanking the net bowlers - Pakistan-born Worcestershire player Imran Arif who spends English winters playing club cricket in Victoria among them - thanking the coaches, content they had studied all they could before the exam.

The rain arrived as soon as they finished. All went away for their Christmas lunches. The MCG became eerily quiet. Thunderstorms followed for the rest of the evening. Melbourne had welcomed India with glorious days with sunsets as late as 9pm. But the clouds opened up, reminiscent of eves of their first Tests in Sri Lanka and South Africa. Rain and India's first Tests are not good bedfellows; if they are to get rid of the first-Test ghost, they'll have to do it the hard way.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 26, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    You missed a comma in the first sentence! Otherwise good article!

  • shrnk on December 26, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Test cricket is about their bowlers versus our batsmen and their batsmen versus our bowlers. Our bowling/fielding can quickly lose heart and steam allowing any batsman to play like Bradman. Our batsmen can contrive to give advantage to opposition bowlers in a matter of 15 minutes after hours of toil. The fallibility of losing quick wickets does India in.

    Also, on true wickets, our "great" batsmen can get out to anybody. But, our bowlers would struggle. It has always been advantage opponents on fast bowler friendly conditions. The opposition bowlers can get Indian wickets merely by sticking to Plan A - Outside off, little movement, short. Our bowlers quickly fall into Plan B,C .. Z.

  • andrew-schulz on December 26, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    Yogi Chauhan define massacre. S Jagernath Tony Greig did not say that.

  • S.Jagernath on December 26, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    Tony Greig just referred to the Indians as "flat track bullies".He needs to realise that Rahul Dravid & Sachin Tendulkar have the highest away averages of any batsmen in world cricket.

  • mannan_ma on December 25, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    I agree with Dhoni that the preparation the team has had should be good enough.I would also expect Dhoni and the team think tank to be positive right from the toss onwards.I expect them to opt for batting first on winning the toss.That is what all the great teams have done in the past.Put up a solid first innings total and then put Australia under pressure. And in the process if there decision to bat first misfires then it's ok because as they say no risk no gain. good luck team india and of course good luck to australia.why australia? come i love the sport and i dont care who wins in the end as long as i get a good game of cricket.true lovers of the sport would agree with me.but then who cares!

  • on December 25, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    Lots and lots of discussions have been going on since the Indian team arrived in Australia. It has been a habit that we all make assumptions on our own. And yes, if fitness is on the side of Zaheer & Ishant, they can give anybody a run for their money in the world. Last time, India defeated Australia comprehensively in WACA, the Perth. And guys please don't be stunned at any team's loss. These 2 teams have gone through all kinds of patches in recent times. Being a cricket fan, i have seen sides rise and fall over the years. The only thing that I am missing now is Praveen Kumar. Had he been here, the fate of the series would have been finalised by now. And my Indian friends would agree with me on this. But now, the attack looks potent at both the sides, but only that team will win, who knows the art of taking wickets. Any bowler can take wickets....and who knows..it may be Umesh. Pace ..Swing & Bounce..may take its toll on anyone.

  • on December 25, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    to all those claiming that OZ will be all over India ... primarily due to pace ... and blinded by the 4-0 losss to Eng ... (incidentally OZ didnt fair much better against Eng though it was a 'home' series) - can you explain only a slender 3-2 advantage to OZ at home this decade - and a 4-0 in india over the last two series?

    Also we all know the Sydney story - and the fact that OZ clinged for dear life at sydney in the one before.

  • on December 25, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    to all those crying that Sachin scores when it never matters - can you clarify when are instances that "runs do not not matter" other than stating it in hindsight?

    ditto for "sachin fails when needed most" - because if sachin scores big - automatically the match or win becomes 'easy' and therefore is forgotten.

  • on December 25, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    RandyOz you like massacres? Haven't you had enough of it against SA and NZ :) You are obviously a passionate Aussie fan and I admire that but mate... Come on be real. You know it that it's gonna be competitive cricket. I've a feeling that india did well to keep Mukesh and ashwin away from the headlines and these are what Aussies will find hard to play. But as a very passionate cricket supporter I wish for a good game of cricket and may the better team wins... Merry Xmas to all

  • avmd on December 25, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Spot on, RandyoZ, India will lose this series 2-0 , I think they are good enough to draw two with some help from weather. Being a Pakistan team supporter, do I have a choice other than supportinsg OZs ? Although, being a cricketer , I have a huge respect for likes of Dravid and Tendulkar, but along with Punter and Huss they are getting old, aren't they ? Will have the answer in next 4-5 weeks.

  • on December 26, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    You missed a comma in the first sentence! Otherwise good article!

  • shrnk on December 26, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Test cricket is about their bowlers versus our batsmen and their batsmen versus our bowlers. Our bowling/fielding can quickly lose heart and steam allowing any batsman to play like Bradman. Our batsmen can contrive to give advantage to opposition bowlers in a matter of 15 minutes after hours of toil. The fallibility of losing quick wickets does India in.

    Also, on true wickets, our "great" batsmen can get out to anybody. But, our bowlers would struggle. It has always been advantage opponents on fast bowler friendly conditions. The opposition bowlers can get Indian wickets merely by sticking to Plan A - Outside off, little movement, short. Our bowlers quickly fall into Plan B,C .. Z.

  • andrew-schulz on December 26, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    Yogi Chauhan define massacre. S Jagernath Tony Greig did not say that.

  • S.Jagernath on December 26, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    Tony Greig just referred to the Indians as "flat track bullies".He needs to realise that Rahul Dravid & Sachin Tendulkar have the highest away averages of any batsmen in world cricket.

  • mannan_ma on December 25, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    I agree with Dhoni that the preparation the team has had should be good enough.I would also expect Dhoni and the team think tank to be positive right from the toss onwards.I expect them to opt for batting first on winning the toss.That is what all the great teams have done in the past.Put up a solid first innings total and then put Australia under pressure. And in the process if there decision to bat first misfires then it's ok because as they say no risk no gain. good luck team india and of course good luck to australia.why australia? come i love the sport and i dont care who wins in the end as long as i get a good game of cricket.true lovers of the sport would agree with me.but then who cares!

  • on December 25, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    Lots and lots of discussions have been going on since the Indian team arrived in Australia. It has been a habit that we all make assumptions on our own. And yes, if fitness is on the side of Zaheer & Ishant, they can give anybody a run for their money in the world. Last time, India defeated Australia comprehensively in WACA, the Perth. And guys please don't be stunned at any team's loss. These 2 teams have gone through all kinds of patches in recent times. Being a cricket fan, i have seen sides rise and fall over the years. The only thing that I am missing now is Praveen Kumar. Had he been here, the fate of the series would have been finalised by now. And my Indian friends would agree with me on this. But now, the attack looks potent at both the sides, but only that team will win, who knows the art of taking wickets. Any bowler can take wickets....and who knows..it may be Umesh. Pace ..Swing & Bounce..may take its toll on anyone.

  • on December 25, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    to all those claiming that OZ will be all over India ... primarily due to pace ... and blinded by the 4-0 losss to Eng ... (incidentally OZ didnt fair much better against Eng though it was a 'home' series) - can you explain only a slender 3-2 advantage to OZ at home this decade - and a 4-0 in india over the last two series?

    Also we all know the Sydney story - and the fact that OZ clinged for dear life at sydney in the one before.

  • on December 25, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    to all those crying that Sachin scores when it never matters - can you clarify when are instances that "runs do not not matter" other than stating it in hindsight?

    ditto for "sachin fails when needed most" - because if sachin scores big - automatically the match or win becomes 'easy' and therefore is forgotten.

  • on December 25, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    RandyOz you like massacres? Haven't you had enough of it against SA and NZ :) You are obviously a passionate Aussie fan and I admire that but mate... Come on be real. You know it that it's gonna be competitive cricket. I've a feeling that india did well to keep Mukesh and ashwin away from the headlines and these are what Aussies will find hard to play. But as a very passionate cricket supporter I wish for a good game of cricket and may the better team wins... Merry Xmas to all

  • avmd on December 25, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Spot on, RandyoZ, India will lose this series 2-0 , I think they are good enough to draw two with some help from weather. Being a Pakistan team supporter, do I have a choice other than supportinsg OZs ? Although, being a cricketer , I have a huge respect for likes of Dravid and Tendulkar, but along with Punter and Huss they are getting old, aren't they ? Will have the answer in next 4-5 weeks.

  • Graduated_Cheetah on December 25, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    What an excellent piece of writing ... I am amazed by the way you have described the MCG ... I wish to be there, to actually visualize it and enjoy a day of cricket. I have been a core Aussie supporter for a major part of my life. Their recent form has been disappointing but they have already taken a good step by kicking Mitch out of the team. He was such a waste of a bowler. I am Sachin supporter too so I just hope that he gets his 100 and Aussies then go on to win the Game and the Series ... Let the games commence :)

  • on December 25, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Zaks and umesh Yadav fivers? Too dreamy?

  • Alexk400 on December 25, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    @RandyOZ , that almost like sachin fans who speak blindly without using brain. for me aussie will win the first test. Reason is simple. Indian bowlers won't be able to take 20 wickets. if they do , it will be long series for australia. I think aussie team and india look even. It is opening partnership decide the series. Who ever win that battle will win this test

  • Nampally on December 25, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    India are slow starters because they never come into the series prepared both mentally & physically. It is always" mind over matter" approach that works. While batting go in with just one thing in your mind that says "I will not give my wicket to rash or irresponsible strokes".This has been #1 reason for the Indian batsmen getting out. The Aussie pacers have very little test experience. Sehwag is a great batsman but in a 5 day match he needs to forget his approach to hit the bowler off in the first over. Get your eye in & get a feel for the pace of the wicket before getting aggressive. When bowling focus more on length, direction & control. Things will happen if you bowl in the right spots.Thats the key to success - patience, concentration & determination.India will Win if they work on these aspects & follow them whether it is first or last Test. The past records should be lesson learning tool. India has to believe in themselves. They have a golden chance of winning this series.

  • on December 25, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    Gonna be a great contest, I think India will overcome their first test hoodoo, but they wont win! Gonna be a draw, but the Indians are gonna dominate in Sydney and in Adelaide, before the ozzies storm back to sneak a marginal victory at the WACA....

  • on December 25, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    it's gonna be so intense day...... waiting to start the match impatiently.....best wishes with the indian team...

  • iluvcricinfo on December 25, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    lets get ready for sehwag's entertainment. Pattinson will come to know what is test cricket now..aha..

  • Deepak on December 25, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    It will change this time around...no more first-test awe & loss for India. You guys (indianpunter & RandyOZ) - get ready for an Australia walloping on a huge scale. Not Pattinson, it will be Yadav who will take at least 8 wickets. Pattinson is too over-rated! What has he done? Taken some Kiwi wickets? And, remind me - who were this batsmen ? Ryder, Taylor, Guptill - playing bad shots. Are they even known to be good batsmen ? Common, let's be real here. Aussies got nothing & noone in their team this time around. India will wallop them royally! Just wait & watch.

  • indyarox on December 25, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    I would like to see what RandyOZ has to comment after the series is over. He has been totally partial & has been posting some really aggresssive pro aussie comments across all the columns in Cricinfo. i think he is blind to the reality that even Aussies are struggling off late. So if Pattinson takes his first 10WM dont be too sure that Aussies will still win coz thier batsmen are all too capable of handing over thier wickets as well. 21-9 vs SA, 100 odd all out vs NZ... hope these figures ring any bell !! Be positive and optimistic on Aussie win. Nothing wrong in that but dont be belligerent else you might not be able to digest thier loss.

  • on December 25, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    Sidharth................i like your style of writing..good work...excited ....excited ...excited is all i can say...can't wait for the action to start...!!!!

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 25, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    @indianpunter and RandyOZ: Yeah yeah.. it's true India never begin the first test properly. But something tells me this time it's gonna be different. The team is far too experienced to jinx it all over. Let's wait and see what happens. If India either draws or wins at the MCG... then the series is theirs cause India will only get better with each game. If Australia had Watson, Mitchell Johnson and Dan Christian then I would give this series to Aus... but looking at the squad for the series it's hard to not contemplate an Indian victory.

  • mickar on December 25, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    hi randyoz, don't be overconfident. may be your overconfidence will end in 3 days in India's favour.

  • maddy20 on December 25, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    1-0 after day 5 after the master tames the Aussies and Ashwin, Yadav, Zaheer rattle them!

  • rajneesh.31 on December 25, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    Crush them down under! Go India!

  • Vilander on December 25, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    why are writing such articles when we went down 0-4 to Eng, i mean i have never seen a more pathetic display from a test team other than BD. 0-4 couldn't even sneak a few draws. Sachin/Lax/Gambir pls try to hit the ball dont nick it,dont play football etc, sehwag pls try to play for mroe than 10 balls. Dravid please dont loose heart, we all know you are the only world class batsman in this side. Aus please save the crap dont go all Aus is back even if you beat Ind.

  • on December 25, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    @RandyOz, Do you know someone called Shaun Tait? Ended his career after a meeting with India...:)

  • on December 25, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    india gonna win dis for sure.. ashwin, yadav gonna rock not to mention zak, virat n dravid..

  • Jason1979 on December 25, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    dont care if india dont win this test, or the series for that matter. but i want to see a sound hiding dispensed to pattinson and this lyon guy. and a sachin hundred would be nice too :). considering he was good enough to get one against steyn & co. not too long ago on a seaming cape town wicket (where i believe the aussies were an abject failure just a few months ago) i think he'll be able to handle whatever these guys dish out.

  • arun_cheers on December 25, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Sachin - always play for himself and score runs when it does not matter. Very true about that Sachin. Sehwag, Laxman and Dravid (in the order given) are the key in the batting line up for any tough tour for India - the 3 pillars to india's success and the rise in test rankings. And 3, esp Sehwag and Laxman are a treat to watch, though watching Dravid bat can be a bit painful, but he is a very important player for india in some very tough situations.

  • on December 25, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    wake up..........n open ur eyes.......r u dreaming about to win a test match with a club class offie, a teen pacer n two average medium pacers...........above all a unsettled bating order.........inexperienced top n fading middle order....come on guys.

  • kitten on December 25, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    I wouldn't be too sure that India will collapse like some of the comments here state. Remember, the Australian bowlers are also new to this, and will also have butterflies in their stomachs. And Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and VVS have been here, time and again, so let's not jump to conclusions before the game starts. What if Australia bats, and ZK and Ishant start playing havoc....who knows what will happen....game over in three days(like one comment says), but in India's favour? I, personally, would like to see a well contested game, and may the better team win(without help from the umpiring mistakes)

  • on December 25, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    I expect a hard fought test and a narrow margin win - my money is on India. Dravid to score a century and Yadav will take a 5 for

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    RandyOZ, which game are yoo talking about mate? It can't be the test starting tomorrow. But then again, it just as well might be cuz Australia needs a lot of cheerleaders. Good to be leading the lost pack for a lost cause - good spirit and effort that is - atta boy R-OZ!! Just make sure that doesn't quickly translate into some dodgy umpiring decision again in favor Australia.

  • satish619chandar on December 25, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    I would well put this tour as a exception.. They got a good warmups where they were not excellent and just batted and bowled casually thereby getting the points where they need to step up(Which happened previously when they have to learn by losing the first one).. If they get hammered in MCG, first test syndrome should not be a excuse this time..

  • rahulcricket007 on December 25, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    if zaheer & ishant fit for first test then india will win

  • moBlue on December 25, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    rain or shine, sehwag plays his game! as an IND fan, i hope AUS bat first! but i am none too concerned if IND are inserted.

    too much is made of IND's weakness in AUS, not supported entirely by facts. take 2003 for example. the boxing day test at the MCG, in fact. i watched every ball of day 1. lee hit sehwag on the head. it didn't matter. that was a much better bowling attack than this inexperienced one, mind you. they were the world champion team still. yet sehwag made 195 before tea! now *that* then-world champion team actually recovered to overcome sehwag's blistering inning and won that game! however, even they were scared for their life in the next test in sydney as IND upped the ante, batting first once again, and piled on 705 - read *that* again! how many teams have done *that* to AUS in AUS?!? especially when they were the undisputed world champions? "poor, lousy tourists", indeed! AUS saved the series thanks to bucknor!

    *this* AUS team will never recover if that happens!

  • samincolumbia on December 25, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    The big question is whether the overrated aussies can get their score to the three figure mark in both the innings of a test!! LOL.

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Aussie fans don't be over-optimistic of your team. Don't predict before the match starts. Don't forget the humiliation you had to face in South Africa in Cape Town test and you somehow managed to win the second test there. Don't even forget the last Test against New Zealand. Being and Indian fan I would like to see a hard fought series with both bowlers and batsmen dominating one time or the other. And don't try to repeat what you did in Sydney Test last time.

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on December 25, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    @randyOZ: Definitely it's going to be a massacre and 1-0 ;)

  • sachin_vvsfan on December 25, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    @RandyOZ massacre LOL. But i expect Aus batsmen do well against our bowling attack. And the real massacre will be started by sehwag and finished by Aswin.

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    indianpunter and RandyOz- not if one of the big 2 do a Ganguly OR is Viru fires...lets c

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    unless sehwag fires if we bat first and Ishant and Zaheer if we bowl first, India is looking down the barrel.Dravid will be able to delay the inevitable but....Sehwag is the key, he has to protect Tendulkar, Laxman,Dhoni,Rohit/Virat from the new ball

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Well it feels like there will be a couple of centuries scored by Indians at MCG and put India in an unassailable position.

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    We need some one to stick there for a session at one end.....otheriwse with rains and pattinson and if india get to bat its all but over...

  • Notout_Naveen on December 25, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    @RandyOZ U seem to be dreaming on every possible Aussie dominance , U have to eat our own words after this match and also after this series!!!!..cheers!!

  • on December 25, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    @ RandyOz. You are correct. India will be 1-0 up. Pattinson took his wkts on green tops against NZ and yet managed to lose LOL. He's overhyped. Yadav will tear through Oz lineup. 50 all out Australia.

  • on December 25, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    I hope India take it one sesion at a time. That should se them through. But it also depends on what the Aussies hurl @ them.

  • johntycodes on December 25, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Good point at the end there. One thing is for sure they won't be going off for bad light in this test because having lived all my life in melbourne in summer it doesn't get dark until after 9pm so that's almost 3 hours after the scheduled close on each day.

  • avmd on December 25, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Due to my work, will miss first hour of the boxing day play, Indian will already be 3/37 by then, I hate missing those wickets and 80,000 reacting to that.

  • indianpunter on December 25, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    all this hype.. and then the fall, thats what hurts the most. After MCG, 1-0 Australia

  • RandyOZ on December 25, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    1-0 by the 3rd day. Gonna be a massacre. Pattinson to take his first 10WM

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  • RandyOZ on December 25, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    1-0 by the 3rd day. Gonna be a massacre. Pattinson to take his first 10WM

  • indianpunter on December 25, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    all this hype.. and then the fall, thats what hurts the most. After MCG, 1-0 Australia

  • avmd on December 25, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Due to my work, will miss first hour of the boxing day play, Indian will already be 3/37 by then, I hate missing those wickets and 80,000 reacting to that.

  • johntycodes on December 25, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Good point at the end there. One thing is for sure they won't be going off for bad light in this test because having lived all my life in melbourne in summer it doesn't get dark until after 9pm so that's almost 3 hours after the scheduled close on each day.

  • on December 25, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    I hope India take it one sesion at a time. That should se them through. But it also depends on what the Aussies hurl @ them.

  • on December 25, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    @ RandyOz. You are correct. India will be 1-0 up. Pattinson took his wkts on green tops against NZ and yet managed to lose LOL. He's overhyped. Yadav will tear through Oz lineup. 50 all out Australia.

  • Notout_Naveen on December 25, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    @RandyOZ U seem to be dreaming on every possible Aussie dominance , U have to eat our own words after this match and also after this series!!!!..cheers!!

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    We need some one to stick there for a session at one end.....otheriwse with rains and pattinson and if india get to bat its all but over...

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Well it feels like there will be a couple of centuries scored by Indians at MCG and put India in an unassailable position.

  • on December 25, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    unless sehwag fires if we bat first and Ishant and Zaheer if we bowl first, India is looking down the barrel.Dravid will be able to delay the inevitable but....Sehwag is the key, he has to protect Tendulkar, Laxman,Dhoni,Rohit/Virat from the new ball