Australia v India, 1st Test, MCG, 4th day

MCG victory needs repeating - Clarke

Daniel Brettig at the MCG

December 29, 2011

Comments: 61 | Text size: A | A

Australia scaled great heights against India in Melbourne, and rightly celebrated some hours later with a raucous rendition of the team chant "Under the Southern Cross" in the middle of a deserted MCG. Michael Clarke's team had done much the same in Galle, Johannesburg, and Brisbane before it. Each of those Test wins demonstrated skill, courage, organisation and spirit, and ran a gamut of conditions.

But the team's ability to secure such results repeatedly remains open to question, given that the nightmares of Cape Town and Hobart fell in among those performances. Clarke has not yet lost a series as captain, but he is also yet to win more than one Test in a series. To defeat India and secure the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he will need to do so.

As he basked in the afterglow of the victory, Clarke acknowledged the gap in an otherwise compelling captaincy CV. Leading a team of burgeoning talent but plenty of flaws, he is conscious of going to Sydney with a greater accent on repeating the good of Melbourne while remedying the bad.

"Consistency is what I've spoken about in the past," Clarke said. "There's periods throughout that game where we didn't perform as well as we'd like, so we need to look to improve that come Sydney. We need to assess conditions and see what XI we decide to take into that Test match, but against such a good team you can't afford to give them a sniff at all.

"When you're on top you need to make the most of that. I think we did that really well today with the ball, and we fought really hard with the bat yesterday and again this morning. It certainly is a time to enjoy this success, this first Test match, but once tonight's gone it is about re-assessing, working out how we can improve and go out all guns blazing in Sydney and try to win another Test match."

In James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and perhaps Ryan Harris, Clarke has the fast bowling he needs to keep India uncomfortable. In Nathan Lyon he has a spin bowler who will keep attacking even if India respond in kind. And in Australia he has an environmental advantage that was discussed by the team prior to Boxing Day.

"I think everyone's more comfortable playing at home, the advantage of knowing conditions helps any team, and I think we made the most of that on this wicket," Clarke said. "All of our batters knew it was going to be quite tough on this wicket, we knew it was going to be hard to start and if you got in it was about cashing in, and I think we've seen that throughout this Test match.

"I think the last three Test matches there's been plenty there for the bowlers, but your bowlers need to execute as well. As we've seen with Patto [Pattinson], these bowlers have got the skill, it is just about being able to execute their plans."


Australia celebrate winning the Boxing Day Test, Australia v India, 1st Test, Melbourne, 4th day, December 29, 2011
Michael Clarke wants to recreate that winning feeling in Sydney © Getty Images
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Consistent displays with the ball were able to overshadow some poor choices with the bat, particularly at the start of the second innings when three batsmen dragged balls onto the stumps in the course of a slide to 4 for 27. Clarke pointed to the conditions as a mitigating factor.

"What this Test match shows me is if we can knock over such a strong batting line-up like India for the amount of runs we have, there's got to be something in the wicket as well, can't just be our batters," he said. "We copped a bit of criticism for being four for not many in the second innings, but there's reasons for that, reasons for Cape Town, reasons for Hobart. They've been bowling-friendly conditions.

"I'm really happy with our batters' plans. I think we've been training as hard as any team I've been part of. So we're doing the right things, it is just about having the confidence and freedom to continue to back ourselves."

For all of the joy surrounding the Melbourne win, and contributions ranging from those of Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting to that of the debutant Ed Cowan, Clarke acknowledged there was plenty of staunch cricket still required to make the series safe. As his team have made a habit of showing recently, a week can be an awful long time in the mind and hands of a cricketer.

"There's a long way to go in this series," Clarke said. "I think it is important we enjoy our success, we've worked really hard and we deserve this win because of the amount of effort and time we've put into our preparation, but it means nothing come Sydney.

"We have to enjoy tonight, prepare well for Sydney, and play our best cricket to beat such a strong team. We'll take some confidence out of this Test match no doubt, but there is a long way to go."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 5wombats on (December 30, 2011, 19:43 GMT)

Hey! - @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff....<<Applause>> where have you been? Could have done with your help in India during the ODI series! You are still my hero! <<blush>>. Keep posting mate! :-)

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (December 30, 2011, 9:19 GMT)

India needs to learn away Test matches from Sri Lanka

Posted by   on (December 30, 2011, 7:21 GMT)

can't understand why everyone blaming indians 4 playing well only at subcontinent.when other teams come to subcontimemt they are thrashed as wel..it's like my condition my way kinda situation :)

Posted by whitesXI on (December 30, 2011, 1:56 GMT)

I agreed with everything Clarke said until he started making excuses for Aus poor batting performances. First of all - whether the pitch favours the bowler should not matter. Secondly both batsmen and tailenders have proved consistently that these pitches are playable, in the recent collapses for Aus at least one player has shown the correct way to handle the conditions, the problem is the rest of the team gets out playing poor shots. In the second innings Aus were 4/27 with 3 batsmen chopping on caused by batsmen trying to play big shots before they were set, and one leaving the straight ball, those wickets were caused by poor judgement.(Not to discredit India's bowling which was superb all match). Clarke and Marsh's wickets were made more disgraceful by the position Aus were in when they took to the crease, both these experienced men should know better, and until Aus stop making the excuses for their poor batting performances will they improve them

Posted by gordyfargus on (December 30, 2011, 1:19 GMT)

Australia will compete and sometimes beat the top three teams, but in saying that they will also get beaten by some of the lower ranked teams. With an inexperienced side and some fading heroes inconsistency is to be expected. I love the look of our pace stocks (which is amazing considering a year ago it looked as if we would struggle to get twenty wickets unless Johnson had one of those 1 in twenty freaky games). The batting will take time, I hope they persist with some of the younger guys as they did in the Border days. Steve Waugh became the player he did because of the faith the selectors shown in him. Lyon looks ok, but naturally may struggle against the Indians. But he did ok against Sri Lanka and could cause some trouble for the non sub-continent teams. All in all I go into test matches excited again not knowing what to expect! As much as I loved Australia's dominant first decade of the 2000's I am just as excited to see the young stars emerge.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 30, 2011, 0:42 GMT)

Yes, Clarke is right... Aust need to repeat a victory, but the batters are the ones letting down the team atm... Clarke out twice playing on... Ponting, Hussey inconsistent in last 2 series... Haddin - no idea about batting for the team... Marsh - give him a few more matches - same for Cowan, Warner... The top order needs to settle down & get off to good starts... Middle order needs to consistently make runs for the bowlers to defend... It would be nice for once to see the batters act as a team like our bowlers have been doing...

Posted by playitstraight on (December 30, 2011, 0:41 GMT)

Dhoni's captaincy and batting was horrible in the first Test. I was not surprised when some people said that Ashwin should bat ahead of Dhoni, naturally because Ashwin scored well in both innings. Nonetheless, a fine performance from Australia and India need to jump back instead of getting another whitewash of 4-0 like they did in England. Good luck India for the second Test!

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 23:51 GMT)

The Pup has matured, the game was played in the right spirit, with no gloating after victory. Australia played the better cricket and deserved to win.

Posted by CustomKid on (December 29, 2011, 21:17 GMT)

@Sir_Freddie_Flintoff and then you woke up. I admire your patriotism though, always good for a laugh.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 20:49 GMT)

This australian bowling line up is going to dominate the cricket.....I wonder how England will face Cummins, pattison, siddle and one of the old ones......man they are just firing with pace....Such a brilliant bowling by Siddle and Pattison....Pakistan are better team and are stronger than India.......I will not be surprised if Pakistan beat England in UAE

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 20:37 GMT)

A good 2.5 days of test cricket and an average 1.5 days. A lot of so-called Indian 'cricket' fans writing in with their usual 'deep' understanding of the game - makes me half ashamed of being an Indian cricket supporter, really. As I have written elsewhere - Indian batting seldom functions as an unit outside the subcontinent; there are some standout individual performances in any given tour, but these are not enough to win test series. Until 4 out of 6 batters show the skill and stamina required to build test match winning series, we will keep seeing these kinds of performances on a repeat from India, and we will remain a pretty average side with one or two good individual players.

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (December 29, 2011, 20:36 GMT)

May I say something that sounds dumb at first ? Sehwag would be a better captain than Dhoni in Aus.

Posted by Shan156 on (December 29, 2011, 20:34 GMT)

@Sir_Freddie_Flintoff, you are an Indian fan pretending to be an England fan, correct?:-) Your statement clearly is aimed at riling up non-England fans to blast the England team and move the focus away from India's sorry defeat. No sane England fan would say that England are the indisputable best team atm leave alone for ever. They are rightly ranked #1 for their recent performances but have to overcome several challenges like winning series in sub-continent and against SA before they can claim that they are way ahead of the rest.

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (December 29, 2011, 20:33 GMT)

@Dravid_gravitas: agreed.... Dhoni looked much, more aggressive than Kumble during the handover series. But last 18 months or so he looks more & more like an ODI captain (+batsman) trying to captain a test side.

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (December 29, 2011, 20:06 GMT)

Clarke you are doing Great Job!!! Sure Australia will win this series by 4-0 or 3-1. Good Luck!!!

Posted by JKSFB on (December 29, 2011, 19:40 GMT)

Very disappointed with the performance of our batsmen (as an indian fan). I doubt if the problems will be solved within one test series. With all respect to Sehwag and Gambhir - they can both fall anytime and it boils down to Tendulkar and Dravid performing everytime! They are not machines - they will have their failures...

For those who revel in calling all Indian batsmen "flat track bullies" - please note SRT's performance in SA and Dravid's in Eng - also note their overseas records over 15+ yrs. They are not the problem - problem is everyone else....So dont take cheap shots at 2 of the greatest. With all due respect to every other world team - any team would have lost to England during the summer. Eng is far and away the best team...

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 19:16 GMT)

It was terrible batting by the Indian top order and like some people have commented it looks the old players like Rahul Dravid and Sehwag and Laxman were afraid to stretch forward lest they got injured ! After all those protection they wear these days, if they are afraid to get hurt they should quit the game and let others have a go. The pitch looked like it was a minefield of Iraq and Afghanistan to these players! It was excusable only for Kohli that he got out first ball in the second innings and then our tailenders hit one 4 and one 6 and think that they can hit every ball out of the ground, like Zak and then Yadav, and subsequently fell to those atrocious shot. Not that they would have got India the victory but it was a question of application and occupying the crease and score as many as you can from other overs. Dhoni was being real patient but perished after Zak's dismissal with a hurried shot. They could have learnt from the way Pattinson had batted.

Posted by swervin on (December 29, 2011, 18:21 GMT)

few have mentioned who the top scorer for the game across both innings (and both teams) was... aust should be thankful ponting is still playing....also as i have thought through numerous series in recent years australia's problem isn't its bowling - it's the batting... cowan and warner look promising at least

Posted by Cric_info_pak on (December 29, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

hey indian fan wht your excuse now playing with ful team .... play with aussie some injured player recently aussie was beat by newealand , pakistan in england condition and by england in australia ..... wht happen indians only beat teams in you back yard .... your so called strong batting only work on your flat tracks .... now this is 5 in row out side indian remember 4-0 england white wash now australia is week but still i think u will lose by 3-0 or 4-0

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 29, 2011, 17:49 GMT)

Well done Australia. Big up to you all. You really humbled us. Thanks to your 'attack like a pack' mentality and Dhoni's 'spread the field when the opposition is under pressure' tactics. What else can I say, after following our team so closely for the whole of 2011? I feel very sorry for myself that I wasted so much of my precious time knowing that Dhoni's mindless captaincy is not going to change. Hope he acknowledges that he is the bug here and we get to see a better contest at SCG. Good luck to both the teams. Wonder what Dravid, Sachin, VVS, Zaheer, Kirsten and Fletcher were doing when Dhoni resorts to this inexplicable approach time and again! I'm gutted. What this kind of cheap tactics will do is, push keen Indian followers away from Indian test cricket out of frustration and helplessness. I can't play. Can I? But I and many like me can understand the game. Can't we? I'm well and truly gutted at Dhoni's mindless captaincy.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 29, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

In my opinion, AUS knowingly lowered their game when they play with IND, so that there willl be some competition left between a CLASS team and a HYPED team. At leasts that way spectators get their moneys worth as they watching the game.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 17:09 GMT)

laxman wasout on no ball.is hisory repeated?

Posted by adis26 on (December 29, 2011, 16:50 GMT)

Yea - we were in a great position without a doubt and our bowling came thru but our batting really screwed it up. Gambhir flaw is just way too clear and simple to take advantage of. It is very depressing to see the loss and especially the way it happened. Kohli, Laxman and Gambhir have been absolutely useless in this game. On the contrary I am happy with our bowling performance and it was heartening to see some fire in it. Great job by Ashwin, Umesh, Zack and Ishant. Batsmen need to work hard if we are to make a comeback and I am very hopeful we will do it. ENGLAND BETTER NOT happen again. And well well well, any Ponting and Hussey detractors should be well aware that it is primarily because of their partnership has Aus got this win. Legends should be given the respect. Good on them.

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (December 29, 2011, 16:47 GMT)

Recent test matches by Australia, South Africa and India just goes on to show how incredibly flawed these teams are. England are by far and away the greatest team in the world. In fact, this England side is the greatest test team of all time. They will remain world no. 1 for a long long time.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

Perfect demonstration of Indian ability; they can't play on competitive tracks.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 16:32 GMT)

As an Indian born Australian Citizen, I am very disappointed with Indian batting. MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION - Do GAMBHUR AND LAXMAN need a place in the side? They do play excellent cricket once in a blue moon!!!!

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 15:46 GMT)

This was certainly a great victory for the #4 team agst the #2 team. I put some money on India, hoping for an upset, it didn't happen. Sometime I wonder, if Sachin is such a great player as we all know, some even say god, what do we call player that consistently won matches for their teams, either with the bat or the ball? Eg Lara,Sir Richards, G. Headley, Sir D Bradman, even K. Dev,D. Lilee & C. Ambrose u get my drift. Sachin is very,very good.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 29, 2011, 15:36 GMT)

I think australia would do well to keep their feet on ground as this win has more to do with India playing poorly then them being the better side....

Their batting is equally woeful and you can sense a batting collapse whenever a wicket falls early......

Posted by OzMongrel on (December 29, 2011, 15:27 GMT)

Ah. You thought it was gone, didn't you. The end of an age. Never to be seen again.

But despite recent reports of it's impending death at the hands of media advisors and administrators, it's making a much needed comeback.

Sheer, bloody-minded Australian mongrel.

It's the thing that makes Ben Hilfenhaus get through to the other side of a form lapse, fix up the issues and come back and get 5-for. It's the thing that makes a pair of legends dig in, hold-on, and protect their up-and-coming side. It must be the thing that fires up Patto, and there is no doubt that it is the spirit that has infused Peter Siddle as he has taken up the leader's mantle of this tyro bowling unit.

Truth be told, we don't want to have a team winning 16 Tests in a row. Unfortunately we can be bored by over-success. But now, you just don't know what will happen. For all of the mongrel, we face India and all of the legends that they bring. It is actually exciting to go to a day of the Test, and about time.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 15:08 GMT)

Don't worry Clarke, your team is going to whitewash India. Their batting seems to be the biggest problem right now. There does not seem to be any quick fix for that, unless the pitches in Sydney and Adelaide is less favorable for pace bowling hopefully. As an Indian fan, I am really disappointed to see India go down without an iota of a fight and falling like nine pins. I wonder was it good bowling by Australia or incompetent batting by India. Seems the way Indian batsman played made Australian bowlers unplayable.

Posted by mensan on (December 29, 2011, 14:56 GMT)

It was India's full fledged team that got beaten by Australia B team. Wonder what will happen when Cummins, Harris and Watson return.

Posted by zico123 on (December 29, 2011, 14:28 GMT)

had enough of Gambhir, he needs to be dropped ASAP from both Test and ODI team, he needs to go back to domestic cricket, sort out his technical flaws before playing for India again. he has developed such bad habbit of dabbing ball to thirdman, that it is out of his control now, even when 4 slips are waiting against new ball he is playing dab shot, he has to sort out this flaw in domestic cricket first, meanwhile India can try Rohit Sharma at opening may be, or Dravid opening and Rohit at 6.

Posted by RNikh on (December 29, 2011, 14:24 GMT)

Wonderful headache for pup! With Ryan harris hopefully fit it will be interesting to see what combination of their bowling will they go with, not to forget a certain Dan Christian. It will be test for the Indians and Australians and a tough one at that. 2012 is ready and awaiting a fine remainder of the test series...

Posted by zico123 on (December 29, 2011, 14:22 GMT)

same story again n again, SHAME Team India, they keep making same mistakes again n again, how can they win if they don't seize initiative, they had Aus at 214/6 in 1st innings, from there couldn't grab the opportunity, Aus scored 333, then India was at 214/2, opportunity to take big lead and seal the match but only to fold next 8 wickets for 67 runs, then again had Aus 23/4, let them get off again to 140/4, then again had Aus at 166/8, from there let them get off again to score 240, how do you expect to win a Test match like this!! SHAME Team India

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 14:00 GMT)

Way to go Aussies! No doubt in my mind that you have to be the most aggressive team on the planet!

Posted by docgtb on (December 29, 2011, 13:58 GMT)

were r d indian fans i thnk they must b still recovering from the shellshock they recieved this morning.

Posted by Kurapati on (December 29, 2011, 13:50 GMT)

What Dhoni must do is to graciously quit the test cricket.. You are simply not the test material. Just because of Dhoni we lost the first test. He was neither useful in reducing the deficit in first innings nor try to stick in the crease in second innings.. This is not his first time though not saving the test, everytime whenever team needs someone to stick to the crease at one end - he always getsout with no intent to stay or to save the test. Such a wonderful one day player doesn't suit to test cricket at all. Who spread the field for tail enders if you are really interested in getting the tail out... Stop giving the reasons and we must look for a better Wicketkeeper/batsmen for test cricket..

Posted by sriuma on (December 29, 2011, 13:42 GMT)

first i would like to convey my congrats to aussie bowlers,especially hilfy.he bowled extremely well in first innings that helped aus to take the first innings lead.so my special congrats to hilfy.i feel Watson should replace marsh in scg. let's see how our Indian batsman will tackle this strong bowling attack.anyway congrats to clarke & co.

Posted by ultrasnow on (December 29, 2011, 13:17 GMT)

This is so disheartening as an Indian fan. Well played Australia. You still are a champion side.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 29, 2011, 13:15 GMT)

Finally some comments from Clarke which I agree with. The batting is without doubt our biggest worry, followed by Haddin, and then by what to do it Harris is fit! The batting though is seriously worrysome. Marsh in particular is showing his true Shield form. Clarke has also been highly inconsistent with very low scores amidst two centuries. The batting camp obviously did diddly squat.

Posted by playitstraight on (December 29, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

Australia are a good team, no doubt about it. But, they need consistency badly. Last year England beat Australia in Aus 3-1. Last month, New Zealand drew the series 1-1 after Australia won the first test. If Aus don't have consistency, then they will never make it into the top 3 and will be like South Africa.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

'win needs repeatin'.Thats a laugh. OK Clarke you have had your win but India will bounce back and take this series 3-1 or 2-1. No more wins for you. Sachin's dismissal was against the run of play in the first innings.Dhoni was unnecessarily defensive and is batting lower than he should. The indian bowling was better and will get better. The Australian bowling that on saw on the second day is what it actually is. no swing at all. What India will do is to play positive cricket from now on.Enjoy the win while you can.

Posted by allangerrard on (December 29, 2011, 12:23 GMT)

Way to go aussie...you will rock at Sydney too...

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 29, 2011, 12:06 GMT)

Thank U Clarke for such kind words about this Indian Team. I know you intended no pun there, calling them the strongets batting line up and being so self critic on your batters..It is an act not expected from an Aussie skipper...As an Indian cricket fan it makes me feel so good that you respect us so much only to make fool of us..We appreciate your politeness and your unpoliteness when it comes to knocking out the No.2 Test team with determination, discipline and agrression..May your politeness continue but not your unpoliteness!!!

Posted by popcorn on (December 29, 2011, 11:52 GMT)

Michael Clarke's captaincy was brilliant.Now the Selectors and Coaches need to support him with a good stable team. Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting, who steadied the boat, should not be put under pressure.Usman Khawaja is ideally suited to Test Cricket. He should be in the 12 / 13 /14 squad. David Warner need to be patient - like Ed Cowan. He showed impatience in the second innings.Shaun Marsh too needs to be trained by Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer to be a stable Number 3.Another spinner sould be drafted and trained.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 11:15 GMT)

I think Australia need to worry a lot about their batting. It has been excellent bowling that got them through today and almost certainly did in srilanka and also in south africa. Against new zealand they managed to win one but lost at Hobart as the conditions were tailor made for the kiwis. However Australia must realize that the Indians will bat much better in some of the other surfaces. One of the top stars will soon score big and then if Australia continues to bat poorly it will be in trouble. I think Australia has the makings of a decent time, though it is not yet there. Thankfully Ponting and Hussey are still showing the youngsters how to build an innings and partnerships. A good team struggling abroad against an ordinary team bowling well will make for good watching in the next three games, I am sure. May the better team win. sridhar

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 11:14 GMT)

Congrats to Clarke and all Aussies! Good bowling from pattinson, Peter Siddle, and Hilfenaus. Good batting from Ponting, Pattinson and Hussey. And again, Hussey is awesome at gulley. Congrats in advance to slip cordon for taking Gambhir's catch in coming matches. Enjoy!

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 10:46 GMT)

This was the sort of wicket were the home team also made the same mistakes with the bat. But the key to winning this game was building partnerships. Australia had several; India, none.

Posted by baskar_guha on (December 29, 2011, 10:45 GMT)

Clarke is a level headed captain which is good for the Aussies. As for the Indians, they have beaten Australia in India 2-0 in 2010 so they know they can beat them except they need to do it in alien conditions. They need to adapt and quickly.

SCG is their best chance to level the series. India should seriously consider playing five bowlers (include Ojha and drop Kohli) as the conditions will be more varied. Also, I have yet to see an extra Indian batsman saving the day of late except Pujara when he came in at #3 which isn't quite the same as coming in at #6 with the top order back in the pavilion.

Posted by Major_Hammad on (December 29, 2011, 10:41 GMT)

Ponting & Husseay are the batting hero for Aust in bowling favour conditions. Ponting shuts the mouth of critics with fifties in both innings, what a top class player Ponting. Ponting will be top scorer and Hussey 2nd top scorer at the end of series.

Posted by aditya0788 on (December 29, 2011, 10:40 GMT)

Everyone does well in their home, I think no one need to be reminded of this fact.But why do people believe things so quickly, India has not scored more than 300 in the last 11 overseas innings, why is this such a big deal. Get Australia or England(who pride themselves on being the world beaters apparently)to India, and I can bet my life on it that they will not even last for 4 days. When a batsman has trouble against quick bowling,he is termed as bad but why is nothing said when a batsman cannot play quality spin bowling. I think playing quality spin takes far more skill,patience and mental toughness.And as for Aus,just wait and watch,India will win this series,thats for sure,we will make the Aussies grovel.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

Only india could have handed them win. Not SA or NZ. Indian batsmen were short on technique, excepting Tendulkar, Ishant and Ashwin. Indian bowlers did well, but not really great. Ponting and Hussey should not have been allowed to take the match away. Only one batsman can make the difference. Sehwag. He got to be patient in his batting to change the course of the series. It is childish to bat only uppercuts, and get out. Gambhir needs to remember that he does not come to wicket to give catch practice to australians. Rahul Dravid has got a hole in the wall, that he needs to repair quickly, and be more aggressive and imposing batsman. Sachin is doing fine. Laxman, enjoy the tour, this will your last. I again saw the 2001 innings in calcutta. Awesome. That's enough credential, and you had very good history in Australia sans mcg. So you don't really need to do anything. Enjoy the tour. Hats off to Ashwin. Can someone ask the hyped indian batsmen to learn from him?

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 29, 2011, 10:25 GMT)

"in James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and perhaps Ryan Harris, Clarke has the fast bowling he needs to keep India uncomfortable. In Nathan Lyon he has a spin bowler who will keep attacking even if India respond in kind". WELL I FEEL LYON HAS BEEN PRAISED TOO MUCH BY WRITER HERE . HE HARDLY TROUBLED INDIAN BATSMEN . EVEN TAILENDERS WERE MAKING RUN EASILY OF HIS BALLS . HOWEVER PACE ATTACK IS REALLY GOOD .

Posted by cricmatters on (December 29, 2011, 10:24 GMT)

Australia planned this win well by using bowler friendly drop-in pitch. Ideal Test match pictch is at its best on 2nd and 3rd day still 15 wickets fell for not too many. Obviously bowlers enjoyed the conditions as they were getting set batsmen out by poking at deliveries not sure whether it will go right, left of centre. Hopefully in future matches we get true Test match piches not a roulette wheel where luck overrides form and skill.

Posted by Sachit1979 on (December 29, 2011, 10:22 GMT)

Still lot of positives for India to draw from this lost test match. Bowlers' decent show, Sachin's excellence and Sehwag's aggresive attitude are the highlights. But areas of concern for them are still too many that include lack of confidence revealed by Dravid and Laxman, lacklustre form of Gambhir, inexperience of Kohli in Australian conditions and continued poor run of Dhoni outside subcontinent. They need to quick fix these issues before next test match. On the other hand Aussies also have too many points to contemplate on. Clarke continues to fail against India, Shaun Marsh did not look in great touch after his return from injury and Warner as test match batsman is still being questioned by so many legends and experts.

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (December 29, 2011, 10:19 GMT)

As I had mentioned yesterday: India had "No Chance in HELL" !!!.... of winning this Test or the Series! :P Interestingly the so-called "Pop-Gun" Bowling attack of India were able to take 20 Aus wickets without getting tired / injured, but the "Best Batting Veterans" of the World were not able to go past 100 Runs (in the 2nd innings) against an inexperienced / young Aus Bowling attack!! ;)

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 10:09 GMT)

Both teams bowled well but Australians batted well. Indians had the advantage but once skidded couldn't recover.

Posted by peeeeet on (December 29, 2011, 10:08 GMT)

This was a very entertaining test match with some very good bowling by both sides. Shows that the best test cricket is played by teams with skillful bowlers testing the batsmen on sporting wickets. I feel that Haddin has to go though. Too often now he is throwing his wicket away and leaving the tail to bail them out of trouble. I get tired of the "that's the way he plays argument". That works for players like Gilchrist and Sehwag who consistently averaged around 50 or more for most of their careers, but Haddin's is lowering and is just looking like arrogance and poor leadership. He'll play Sydney because they won't want to make huge changes, but I'd drop him for the rest of the series and give Wade a go.

Posted by farkin on (December 29, 2011, 10:06 GMT)

Australia has the bowling talent but the captain has problems with how to use the bowlers never mind the inconsistency of the batting form Australia has

Posted by Javicab on (December 29, 2011, 10:01 GMT)

Great work Australian bowlers! Not an easy challenge to keep the Indian greats in check but they executed well.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2011, 10:01 GMT)

Well said pup!! Enjoying their win and then coming back hard is the way to go for Aussies. However, I am pretty pleased with Indian bowling as well. Had this test match being played on Indian soil, India might have outgunned Australia. But its a different story down-under. No matter where you look at, Indian team is all about their batting. With all due respect to Sachin, Dravid and Laxman, people usually get too carried away with their stats rather than their current performances which usually gets on high only within subcontinent apart from few performances here and there. If they need to do well in Australia, they need to drop their subcontinent mentality of being too-dominant and play according to the conditions. For Australia to bag this series, their batsman need to play themselves in rather than going for shots they did early in the second innings, and rest will be done by their bowlers given conditions keep favoring swing and seam.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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Australia v India at Sydney - Feb 26, 2012
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India v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Feb 21, 2012
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