Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day January 19, 2008

Australia's cracks finally exposed

The end of the era came quickly. An Australian unit that seemed unbreakable over the past 24 months had actually been admirably masking the dints
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It took four days for India to bring Australia's 16-match winning run to an end and Ricky Ponting is left with a truer perspective of the future © Getty Images
 
The end of the era came quickly. An Australian unit that seemed unbreakable over the past 24 months had actually been admirably masking the dints. During the past four days they could not survive any more collisions and Ricky Ponting's stunning tower has toppled.

Through 16 wins there were many one-sided successes, but the handful of near-death experiences had stolen the energy for a world-record miracle. Australia have lost their first Test since August 2005 and India retain the tag as the great spoiler of baggy green parties. India's victory is a fillip for the global game, proving that the world champions can be beaten, and forcing the hosts into further self-analysis.

There will be disappointment from Australia and their supporters, especially when Perth was the most bankable venue for victory, but the team must be praised for extending the streak for so long. Three months ago they re-started a Test campaign without Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer, a scenario that would have floored anybody else, yet Ponting held his side together until the tape could no longer handle the strain.

Matthew Hayden was missing his first match since 1999, leaving two inexperienced openers for Perth, Ponting was unable to patch himself up after his failed duels with Harbhajan Singh and a new bowling group seriously missed the influence of McGrath and Warne. Events that were supposed to happen in November were delayed until January and now the world is seeing the new Australia.

Like sharemarkets around the world, nobody knows how far they will dive, but the days of regular high dividends are gone. This record, a mark proving team substance over individual effort, must be cherished. After the Ashes defeat Ponting was able to look around his field of dream players and call for greater input. This time he has a handful of stars hovering above a core still waiting to know its worth.

Perth will be the venue where they realised Test success is not an Australian birthright. The WACA is meant to shock visiting teams, but the home players are the ones who cannot believe what has happened. The pitch didn't bounce, Shaun Tait whimpered and the batsmen were shut down by an under-manned India attack.

On the final day Ishant Sharma, a 19-year-old novice, operated like a world beater, working over Ponting in a way only Andrew Flintoff has managed since he became Australia's second best batsman. From the moment Ishant arced the ball wickedly into Ponting there was nowhere for Australia to turn.

The corner became tighter with a couple of umpiring errors against Michael Hussey and Andrew Symonds and the parallels to the Sydney Test were confirmed when Virender Sehwag picked up two wickets with his part-time spin. It was Australia's turn to experience misfortune.

Decisions are more likely to go bad for the struggling team, which is something Australia's opponents have complained about for years. At least there won't be calls for an umpire to be stood down for the final match of a gripping series in Adelaide next week, and the only boycott will remain an English commentator.

Australians believe official decisions even out over time. In Sydney it seemed an unfair pronouncement, but it has taken only four playing days for the theory to be proved. Hussey left immediately - only a sharp head turn and the briskness of his walk showed annoyance - while Symonds hung his bat out briefly after being ruled lbw to a ball he hit.

They were happy to accept the bonuses at the SCG and when the swings went against them here they were absorbed despite the impending loss. Australia have played in a manner that their supporters can be proud of, even in defeat.

Long lines of spectators waited to enter the outer in the morning and the competition India have provided has lifted interest in combination with the fall-out from Sydney. They came to see Australia survive and hoped for better. Most stayed to watch them lose, were entertained by the late charge of Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark, and applauded at the conclusion when the players merged for well-meaning handshakes. Ponting's men continued to be dignified in a defeat that ended their all-conquering rule.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY tripleh86 on | January 21, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    Earth calling India, please respond India.... are these people serious, they one one test (with a fantastic performance) and now all of a sudden the likes of ganguly are proclaiming that it wont be long before they are number 1 in the world, they surely cant believe their own hype. They did nothing but whinge about every aspect of the sydney test (noone ever mentions melbourne beacues they know it was a flogging) including the "over the top celebrations from the australian team" and now they win one test, celebrate in a similar manner, while no doubt talking themselves into believing that the umpiring was of top quality in Perth. India did have a great series here in 03/04, combined with this test is the apparant proof that they are soon to be number 1.... ummmmmm.... do india suddenly forget the series (in india) in 04 where we won 2-1?? Although australia are not as good as 12 months ago they will be number 1 for years to come

  • POSTED BY enough_said on | January 21, 2008, 0:43 GMT

    Congrats to India on a great game. It is great to see the forgotten trade of swing bowling return to test cricket. However i am disappointed that umpires / decisions are being talked about again. India outplayed Aus and despite some questionable decisions (to both teams) i think this didnt effect the result. Further i was pleased in the way both teams played the game, tough but fair. India were gracious in victory, if only the same thing can be said for their supporters. Sydney is history, GET OVER IT.

  • POSTED BY ipgoonda on | January 21, 2008, 0:40 GMT

    I fail to understand how dave4 can talk about poor decisions going against Australia. Did you miss the first innings when Tendulkar who was going great guns and Dhnoi setting up a partnership both were incorrectly given lbws. Hussey's dismissal was along those same lines. The umpire was atleast consistent in his decisions and thats ok. I don't think the notion of poor decisions against Australia should be discussed here. They were beaten comprehensively. Hayden was missed and the lack of speed at which Australia bowled the overs that hurt them the most. The 21 overs between Clarke and Symonds that Australia was forced to bowl led to the 400+ target and sealed Australias fate. I don't think Hogg would have made much off an impact if he would have played in place of Tait on this pitch.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 21, 2008, 0:21 GMT

    I agree with dave4. Australia has been dignified in accepting the umpiring errors.The Australian media and past Australian Cricketing greats have not supported Ricky Ponting. Cricket Australia and Ponting should have asked for the sacking of Billy Bowden and Asad Rauf. Chris Rogers was wrongly adjudged lbw by Asad Rauf.Crooked Billy Bowden raised his (crooked) finger to Andrew Symonds giving him out lbw to a distinct nick heard miles away. And Mike Hussey was given out lbw wrongly. Where is the spirit of the game,Mr.Anil Kumble?In your whisky bottle? You were seen appealing excessively and exulting when Andrew Symonds was given out.Why is Peter Roebuck not demanding that Anil Kumble be sacked? Because the whining Pommie has still not got over Ricky Ponting whitewashing England 5 nil in The Ashes 2006 -07.

  • POSTED BY the-asp on | January 21, 2008, 0:00 GMT

    Even Roger Federer loses once every 17 matches or so. Does everyone jump up and down and shout his career is over because he can't win every event? The Australian cricket team owns every possible trophie except the t20 world cup. Only the American dream team in basketball could claim that sort of record.

    The same crap was sprouted when Steve Waugh's team lost after 16, and yet, less than 10 years later we are back to winning at well over 90%.

    All this test showed is that the Aussies have a weakness for very good swing bowling, and the fielding has gotten lax. Someone new needs to be trained in the specialist position of 1st slip for when Hayden retires.

    And whoever suggested that the Sri-lanka's might beat the aussie's now, didn't you watch the last series (2 months ago)? Only sangakkara's brillance made the series look anywhere near even, and not the demolishion it was.

  • POSTED BY friedmaggi on | January 20, 2008, 23:50 GMT

    Something like a banner at perth the last day,my heart says INDIA will push themselves to another win sydney and my head says its australia.. hello.. they know the winning formula; they know to play the best cricket.Its not easy for the greatest team ever to loose their way from one single well fought defeat.It can be like a hang over.Something that happend to them four years ago at adelaide and the rest is history.But still times have changed, players came in players have been left out their team balance has changed.In INDIA's perspective, cant still digest the thought that if we come through the adelaide hurdle with a win, it would mean the series would have been decided by one single test where the result was most influnced by umpiring decisions. HAving said all this no one even now can say they are struggling, which would surely be a point from where they are going to tumble down.Dear Peter you are being kind to Indians from the influnce of their victory well earned though.

  • POSTED BY pasta122 on | January 20, 2008, 23:29 GMT

    A fantastic game of cricket, with both teams at times playing exceptionally. Sharma was brilliant, India need to persist with him and give him a good crack at international cricket. The rear-guard actions by both teams were fantastic, Johnson and Clarke were great to watch. To those who were up in arms about Australia's reaction to wining in Syd, did you see the way India celebrated?? It hasn't been labled as anything but excitment and jubilation - which is exactly what Australia displayed in Syd because it was a fantastic game of cricket! Those saying India should be leading the series - they're not. It's 2-1, live with it and play tough cricket in Adelaide. One win does not make a champion side nor does one loss condemn one.

  • POSTED BY OldCynic on | January 20, 2008, 23:25 GMT

    What nonsense. This game saw a balance of poor decisions affecting both teams equally. Tendulkar and Dhoni got poor decisions - just as bad as Hussey/Symonds - and Ponting was clearly given a very generous benefit of the doubt. In Sydney, by contrast, the decisions were ridiculously one-sided. The Australians would have attacked the umpires with the stumps if they had been on the receiving end of such one-sided treatment.

  • POSTED BY dtparikh on | January 20, 2008, 23:15 GMT

    Did i read that poor umpiring decisions for Symonds and Hussey !! Hello we are talking about the 3rd Test match right? what happened to Tendulkar and Dhoni in the first innings ? werent those poor decisions? Tendulkar would have gone to hit another century the way he was playing if not coz of those poor decisions? and did any of them show any disgrace when given wrongly out ? when would the Australian editors learn to write an unbiasssed article ?

  • POSTED BY Thesentinel on | January 20, 2008, 23:04 GMT

    These comments are fantastic - must better reasoned and expressed than the correspondent's article.

    I'm not sure India will see it - but I hope the rest of the cricketing world will see how dangerous it is for countries to be able to dictate which umpires can and and which can not officiate in their games.

    At the end of the day - how does it not undermine the integrity of the whole game if an Umpire's impartiality can not be assured?

    On the whole Peter English I think Australian Cricket supports would be pretty happy with a win/loss ratio of 94%. Asside from the fact it was the batters who lost the game - Ponting lost 10% of his match fee and everyone else lost 5% - without having a slow bowler, how was this ever going to not be the case? It seems that the selectors got confused...

  • POSTED BY tripleh86 on | January 21, 2008, 2:31 GMT

    Earth calling India, please respond India.... are these people serious, they one one test (with a fantastic performance) and now all of a sudden the likes of ganguly are proclaiming that it wont be long before they are number 1 in the world, they surely cant believe their own hype. They did nothing but whinge about every aspect of the sydney test (noone ever mentions melbourne beacues they know it was a flogging) including the "over the top celebrations from the australian team" and now they win one test, celebrate in a similar manner, while no doubt talking themselves into believing that the umpiring was of top quality in Perth. India did have a great series here in 03/04, combined with this test is the apparant proof that they are soon to be number 1.... ummmmmm.... do india suddenly forget the series (in india) in 04 where we won 2-1?? Although australia are not as good as 12 months ago they will be number 1 for years to come

  • POSTED BY enough_said on | January 21, 2008, 0:43 GMT

    Congrats to India on a great game. It is great to see the forgotten trade of swing bowling return to test cricket. However i am disappointed that umpires / decisions are being talked about again. India outplayed Aus and despite some questionable decisions (to both teams) i think this didnt effect the result. Further i was pleased in the way both teams played the game, tough but fair. India were gracious in victory, if only the same thing can be said for their supporters. Sydney is history, GET OVER IT.

  • POSTED BY ipgoonda on | January 21, 2008, 0:40 GMT

    I fail to understand how dave4 can talk about poor decisions going against Australia. Did you miss the first innings when Tendulkar who was going great guns and Dhnoi setting up a partnership both were incorrectly given lbws. Hussey's dismissal was along those same lines. The umpire was atleast consistent in his decisions and thats ok. I don't think the notion of poor decisions against Australia should be discussed here. They were beaten comprehensively. Hayden was missed and the lack of speed at which Australia bowled the overs that hurt them the most. The 21 overs between Clarke and Symonds that Australia was forced to bowl led to the 400+ target and sealed Australias fate. I don't think Hogg would have made much off an impact if he would have played in place of Tait on this pitch.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 21, 2008, 0:21 GMT

    I agree with dave4. Australia has been dignified in accepting the umpiring errors.The Australian media and past Australian Cricketing greats have not supported Ricky Ponting. Cricket Australia and Ponting should have asked for the sacking of Billy Bowden and Asad Rauf. Chris Rogers was wrongly adjudged lbw by Asad Rauf.Crooked Billy Bowden raised his (crooked) finger to Andrew Symonds giving him out lbw to a distinct nick heard miles away. And Mike Hussey was given out lbw wrongly. Where is the spirit of the game,Mr.Anil Kumble?In your whisky bottle? You were seen appealing excessively and exulting when Andrew Symonds was given out.Why is Peter Roebuck not demanding that Anil Kumble be sacked? Because the whining Pommie has still not got over Ricky Ponting whitewashing England 5 nil in The Ashes 2006 -07.

  • POSTED BY the-asp on | January 21, 2008, 0:00 GMT

    Even Roger Federer loses once every 17 matches or so. Does everyone jump up and down and shout his career is over because he can't win every event? The Australian cricket team owns every possible trophie except the t20 world cup. Only the American dream team in basketball could claim that sort of record.

    The same crap was sprouted when Steve Waugh's team lost after 16, and yet, less than 10 years later we are back to winning at well over 90%.

    All this test showed is that the Aussies have a weakness for very good swing bowling, and the fielding has gotten lax. Someone new needs to be trained in the specialist position of 1st slip for when Hayden retires.

    And whoever suggested that the Sri-lanka's might beat the aussie's now, didn't you watch the last series (2 months ago)? Only sangakkara's brillance made the series look anywhere near even, and not the demolishion it was.

  • POSTED BY friedmaggi on | January 20, 2008, 23:50 GMT

    Something like a banner at perth the last day,my heart says INDIA will push themselves to another win sydney and my head says its australia.. hello.. they know the winning formula; they know to play the best cricket.Its not easy for the greatest team ever to loose their way from one single well fought defeat.It can be like a hang over.Something that happend to them four years ago at adelaide and the rest is history.But still times have changed, players came in players have been left out their team balance has changed.In INDIA's perspective, cant still digest the thought that if we come through the adelaide hurdle with a win, it would mean the series would have been decided by one single test where the result was most influnced by umpiring decisions. HAving said all this no one even now can say they are struggling, which would surely be a point from where they are going to tumble down.Dear Peter you are being kind to Indians from the influnce of their victory well earned though.

  • POSTED BY pasta122 on | January 20, 2008, 23:29 GMT

    A fantastic game of cricket, with both teams at times playing exceptionally. Sharma was brilliant, India need to persist with him and give him a good crack at international cricket. The rear-guard actions by both teams were fantastic, Johnson and Clarke were great to watch. To those who were up in arms about Australia's reaction to wining in Syd, did you see the way India celebrated?? It hasn't been labled as anything but excitment and jubilation - which is exactly what Australia displayed in Syd because it was a fantastic game of cricket! Those saying India should be leading the series - they're not. It's 2-1, live with it and play tough cricket in Adelaide. One win does not make a champion side nor does one loss condemn one.

  • POSTED BY OldCynic on | January 20, 2008, 23:25 GMT

    What nonsense. This game saw a balance of poor decisions affecting both teams equally. Tendulkar and Dhoni got poor decisions - just as bad as Hussey/Symonds - and Ponting was clearly given a very generous benefit of the doubt. In Sydney, by contrast, the decisions were ridiculously one-sided. The Australians would have attacked the umpires with the stumps if they had been on the receiving end of such one-sided treatment.

  • POSTED BY dtparikh on | January 20, 2008, 23:15 GMT

    Did i read that poor umpiring decisions for Symonds and Hussey !! Hello we are talking about the 3rd Test match right? what happened to Tendulkar and Dhoni in the first innings ? werent those poor decisions? Tendulkar would have gone to hit another century the way he was playing if not coz of those poor decisions? and did any of them show any disgrace when given wrongly out ? when would the Australian editors learn to write an unbiasssed article ?

  • POSTED BY Thesentinel on | January 20, 2008, 23:04 GMT

    These comments are fantastic - must better reasoned and expressed than the correspondent's article.

    I'm not sure India will see it - but I hope the rest of the cricketing world will see how dangerous it is for countries to be able to dictate which umpires can and and which can not officiate in their games.

    At the end of the day - how does it not undermine the integrity of the whole game if an Umpire's impartiality can not be assured?

    On the whole Peter English I think Australian Cricket supports would be pretty happy with a win/loss ratio of 94%. Asside from the fact it was the batters who lost the game - Ponting lost 10% of his match fee and everyone else lost 5% - without having a slow bowler, how was this ever going to not be the case? It seems that the selectors got confused...

  • POSTED BY ndogcricfan on | January 20, 2008, 22:56 GMT

    I agree that the umpiring at this match did hurt the Aussies, but there is always an umpire who makes mistakes in cricket these days since we refuse technology. Also, Mr English forgot that Dhoni and Tendulkar were victims of lbws that were questionable, and Symonds has nothing to complain about; how many times has he been gifted another life wrongfully in this series? Good show by India, proves that the Aussies are nothing more than a talented team with its flaws. If India can take this win to heart, this series can end 2-2. (If we keep this squad, and if we take out Jaffer-god, he's unable to hand Bret Lee)

  • POSTED BY okmate on | January 20, 2008, 22:36 GMT

    When I listened to the australian commentators during the Sydney test, I thought it lacked a balance professional commentators should demonstrate. Defending decisions that were awful mistakes. For example, Ganguly's wicket, which Ponting raised his finger to (what else would he give after all he was thinking of the record and nothing else). He followed this with taking a catch where the ball had touched the ground. Australia needs to respect the fact that India is now a very good cricketing nation ( probably with the help of outside coaches and managers and also the embarassment of exiting the ODI world cup in the first round). Their rotation policy is brnging a number of fine youngsters competing for places a bit like the ausies have been doing for years. So, instead of this article concentraing on the demise of the australian dominance, it should reflect more on the improvement of other nations who are professionally apporaching the sport and it makes the game much more interesting.

  • POSTED BY Amitava on | January 20, 2008, 21:15 GMT

    I don't think that we can say that Australia's era has ended. They have only been beaten in one test match. Although I believe that the umpiring at Sydney was horrible and India suffered the most.They lost a match they should have at the very least,drawn. At Perth, both sides were affected by erroneous decisions but by and large India were dominant. But what this test has proved is that the Indians are probably the ones who can give the Australians a run for their money. But the Australians have won against all teams home and away. The Indians are strong are at home and have started to win some matches away. They need to do that consistently to be put in the same bracket as the Australians.

  • POSTED BY shoonya on | January 20, 2008, 20:33 GMT

    people very conveniently forget the umpiring errors against India. Hussey was struck in line, but the ball was going over the stumps. Sachins hopped and was struck at the top of his pads, but still given out. Wht abt Dhoni's LBW decision? Symonds' was a very difficult decision to make, given that his bat and pad were very close and it's virtually impossible to detect the edge through naked eye. Now, going back to Sydney

    1) bucknor didn't hear the edge when the pad was miles away from body. The noise couldn't have come from anywhere else.

    2) giving Dravid caught behind when bucknor couldn't have seen the bat and the glove from where he was standing.

    3) The third umpire not ruling Symonds out. There was not doubt whatsoever after the TV replays. The stumps were broken while the foot was still in the air. Probably, the third umpire didn't see the bail fall. Probably he thought that the bails are glued to the air.

    4) Bucknor not referring the Symo's stumping to the erring third umpire.

  • POSTED BY tabhat on | January 20, 2008, 20:23 GMT

    Don't even dare to compare the umpiring decisions of the two tests. India got at least 6 against them in Sydney.Here too Dravid was not out. Instead of trying to find excuses give a good side its due. It is well known that it is only India who can shove it up the Aussie arse.

  • POSTED BY sijan on | January 20, 2008, 19:55 GMT

    I definitely disagree with English's "Ricky Ponting's stunning tower has toppled." I feel its too early to say this. dave4: how Australian is it to whine about media support? how plausible is it to undertake ANY mode just to win a match and smear the whole sport? If the only way for Aussie to win is to sledge, then i'm sure no cricket supporter want Aussies in the field. Yes, few decisions went against Aussies. aint it you who advocate that in the long run, such decisions will be even'd out? just accept it that YOU LOST A TEST MATCH........ india once again ruined your chance for a world record. Im sure if ICC were to ban sledging, and give RED card (like in soccer for foul play) to players who sledge, im sure within 15 overs, at most 4 or 5 Aussies players will be in the ground. BEAT ME ON THIS......

  • POSTED BY jaimtriv on | January 20, 2008, 19:09 GMT

    Yes, the mighty Australians are defeated once but it may be too early to say that it is beginning of the end. Indians have one more time showed to the world that Australia can be defeated. Australia not only has a good side even without McGrath and Warne but they also have intense approach to every single game they play which is to attack the opposition and consistently do it till they succumb. And to win against Australia any side must have similar approach in excess of talent. So keep up the consistent attacking approach India and hopefully we will have an exciting finish to the test series in Adelaide.

  • POSTED BY Kichaa on | January 20, 2008, 18:36 GMT

    I go with Sush67! There was an lbw decision each against Hussey & Symonds and so was it with Sachin & Dhoni. Perhaps Ponting & Hussey among them had a few close LBWs too. Perth game was won by shere team spirit and self-belief with the exuberance of youth for India, not by any umpiring mishaps. As far as Sydney is concerned, that was one of the utter shameful moments of the longstanding test tradition. I mean, India was literally robbed of their victory. Mark & Steve were once a great duo of reliance for Australia and there, at Sydney, Mark & Steve showed up once again assuring an Aussie victory, but only difference is this time it was Mark Benson & Steve Bucknor instead of the Waughs. I still couldn't digest Ricky ad his men saying Sydney was a game of fair play & good spirit. If I was an Australian, i wud darn be ashamed about my home team and the way they played the game at Sydney. Irrespective of the outcome of the series or Adelaide combat, it's India that stays on top wit pride!

  • POSTED BY Giacamo009 on | January 20, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    The only reason Australia have lost test matches in the last 5 years have been due to selection errors. Remember in the 2005 Ashes, how they left Stuart MacGill out of the attack despite the pitches favouring spinners( Shane Warne and even Ashley Giles got plenty of purchase from those wickets). Here it was folly to leave out Hogg. If 3 fast bowlers can't do the job, 4 can't as well. I'm pretty sure that come what may in Adelaide, Australia will triumph and begin another new era of dominance.

  • POSTED BY Shantan on | January 20, 2008, 17:08 GMT

    I don't think this is the end of Aussie domination. They're still the best in the world and expect them to come back with a vengeance in Adelaide. India played well and they deserved to win... but the reactions in India are little overblown. Our test match wins overseas are so few and far between that we just go berserk when we do win. But that doesn't mean the team doesn't deserve to be commended. I don't also agree with Mr. English's comments on the umpiring. If Hussey got a rough one where the ball was going over the stumps, then Sachin also got one in the first innings, so that evened out. For Symonds, let's not even get there... he got a big nick, was out stumped twice and then went on to make 160-odd. That really turned the series on it's head, if he had been given out at 30 (or if he had walked!) when he edged it, India would surely have won in Sydney. But, I don't think the decisions of Sydney were evened out with the bad ones here. After all, two wrongs don't make a right!

  • POSTED BY jessey on | January 20, 2008, 17:03 GMT

    well peter english u r apure supporter of australian team. where were u when india lost to australia in sydney,which was a nightmare for every cricket fan just b'coz of umpiring blunders,and some so called professional cricket players sportmanspirit.ofcourse world has watched that match,despite loosing to aussies they won the game by sportsmanship.as i agree aussies are unbeatable team so far,but i agree even fortune favors brave.well ABT PERTH TEST...u were telling there were one or two umpiring mistakes for australia's defeat,but there were also one biggest umpiring mistake against sachin in 1st innings he was given out for lbw(i think u were not watching cricket at that time???? lol ..)which was not actually,and at that time sachin and dravid was building a big score...strong . so on the overall i want to say is loosing one match to india doesnt crack their pillers,,infact it was india who outplayed very strongly after the nightmare of sydney. try to make good analyse of my report

  • POSTED BY Night-Watchman on | January 20, 2008, 16:58 GMT

    ...The body language of the batsmen also gave signs of doubt in their minds.

    The magnitude of the defeat - down and out in four days is also staggering. It is a fate often reserved for the Oz opponents. Champion sides show their true character when faced with champion challenges. This has always been a chink in the Oz armour when they have failed to come to terms with doggeded opposition like the Indians or inspired ones like the England during the ashes.

    For the Indians, the question must be asked why they could not bottle up the #9 and #10 in under an hour. The field placing and attack seemed to be dictated by panic. Micheal Clark was given a long rope by the Indian bowlers, they bowled too full for him and it is known that he enjoys playing off the front foot. He should have been asked a few probing questions by some well directed short pitched stuff and a few away swingers with a packed off-side field. Indians may regret his new found confidence at Adelaide.

  • POSTED BY AsGoodAsItGets on | January 20, 2008, 16:52 GMT

    Emotions run high and even experts can get carried away. India played some hard cricket and I for one always felt that Aussies in the recent past compensated for skill with spirit and a phenomenal work ethic. The Indian batting line up used to the glamor of pulverizing the bowling on flat tracks are known to be at sea on a good wicket. But when they are ready to grind the opposition we see different results. It was yet another poor batting performance by Australia after Sydney. With Haiden injured, Gillie and Ponting's form failing they seem vulnerable. I believe the Aussies were out bowled and the cause for the defeat was their batting and not so much their bowling. India an emotional team if they can hold their heads, which has been their achilles heel, I am sure they can pull of a famous win in Adelade to what must rightfully a drawn series. But India like their neighbours (Pakistan) have been one of the most unpredictable sides so a fortune teller might have a guess as good as mine

  • POSTED BY Night-Watchman on | January 20, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    The article appears to assign the weight of wrong umpiring decisions acting against Australian fortunes. True. However, to maintain a balanced and even analysis, it is only fair to mention that the decisions were LBW decisions not routine caught behind or grassed catch ones. In addition it is self evident that of all the LBW decisions given in this test - there were 3 against the hosts - two close ones went against Australia (Hussey, Symonds) and two close ones went against India (Sachin, Dhoni). The first innings decisions, if reversed, could well have put it beyond reach of the Oz and the second innings decisions could well have taken the test to a closer finish.

    A few points that the article failed to analyse in totality - the famed Oz bench strength failed when Matty Hayden stepped out. India, without Zaheer, Sreesanth however came up with quality pacemen. The middle order is having a lean patch by Oz stds, a few players of awesome reputation have been brought down to earth....

  • POSTED BY Dawer on | January 20, 2008, 16:29 GMT

    without taking any credit away from the way they play as a team, but australia over the past few year was all about warne, mcgrath, gilchrist, ponting, hayden. Now, with the departure of warne and mcgrath and the absence of hayden, they faced a real challenge. Agreed that gilchrist and ponting could still have taken the game away from india, because of their destructive style of batting, but anybody can have a bad game, and so did they. I feel, that they face the real challenge, now that the big guns are gone. If not like a 1-man team, aussies are a 3-man team.

  • POSTED BY ak71 on | January 20, 2008, 16:23 GMT

    Peter English deliberately forgets to mention that Indians got 2 wrong decisions, Tendulkar and Dhoni when both were set batsmen in Perth first innings. Just to even suggest that Perth was lost due to umpiring errors and Australians were graceful in accepting the decisions is ridiculous as to suggest that Australian dominance over cricket has ended. The win shows the world that Australians are vulnerable to the pace and swing bowling and it requires solid team effort to beat them in their own backyard. It also goes to show if umpires are consistent with the approach towards leg before,as Asad Rauf was, sides do not complain for bias.

  • POSTED BY Adrian_McFarlane on | January 20, 2008, 16:04 GMT

    One swallow does not a summer make.

    Neither does one gulp.

    The Perth Test was many things but I doubt it is the end of an era, more like a series of events that conspired against the world's best sporting team.

    1. Misread pitch. The dropping of Hogg for Tait was a costly error.

    2. No Matthew Hayden. Made 380 at the WACA (albeit against Zimbabwe), replaced by a nervy debutante (remind anyone of Hussey at the Gabba?).

    3. Lost the toss. Can't have helped that. Happens 50% of the time.

    4. Pressure to tone down their aggression. Might have been a factor, hard to tell. India were certainly quiet as well.

    5. Two bad decisions on the last day. Hussey and Symonds' dismissals would have sent the game in a different direction, just as Dravid's in Sydney did.

    6. Michael Clarke + Lara Bingle. Has anyone noticed that his decline in form has coincided with his hooking up with this bubblehead?

    Adelaide will be the time to talk about the death of a dynasty.

  • POSTED BY Janapro on | January 20, 2008, 15:18 GMT

    "Australians believe official decisions even out over time. In Sydney it seemed an unfair pronouncement, but it has taken only four playing days for the theory to be proved." This is ridiculous.What about decisions to Sachin & Dhoni?? To say the least India would have drawn the test match at Sydney.Imagine a situation where we go into the final test with series tied at one each.I would say umpires have played enough in Sydney to spoil,what could have been one of the greatest test series of our times. When will it even out? After the series is over?

    "Australia have played in a manner that their supporters can be proud of, even in defeat. " - You mean to say the Aussies have restored the respect & spirit they lost in Sydney.... No way..

    "Ponting's men continued to be dignified in a defeat that ended their all-conquering rule." what else can they do.. they cant behave in the same arrogant manner in defeat... one or more defeats like this would serve them right....

  • POSTED BY KingofRedLions on | January 20, 2008, 14:24 GMT

    I don't think anyone doubted the Austraians could be beaten. No team is invincible forever. However, Australia has such an amzing production line, that I don't think the "Tower has toppled" in any way, shape or form. Its actually good to see them lose once in a while.

  • POSTED BY tnrc66 on | January 20, 2008, 13:57 GMT

    I think Australia lost because they played the way the game is played in other parts of the world. Without the taunts they are like snakes with the venom taken out. When they start winning the way West Indies used to, just with their Cricketing abilities, they will be called true champions by the people even outside Australia. Also remember in the Perth test some of the umpiring decisions went in favour of the Aussies. Just watch the game carefully and you will know.

  • POSTED BY ashwinkrish on | January 20, 2008, 11:43 GMT

    'End of an era came quickly'.Yes the end has come for the australians.why this loss s special is that they have been beaten at PERTH.PERTH was the venue where the aussies thought they would blow indians off.What happend was the opposite.Ricky ponting is having the worst series by his strandards and it is right 'ricky ponting's stunning tower has toppled'

  • POSTED BY tegigis on | January 20, 2008, 11:33 GMT

    Dear o dear, we lost one game... now the end is nigh, Australian Cricket as we know it is over

    Hang on, the last time we lost a test, we actually had Warne, McGrath, Langer and Martyn in the side, and we lost to a side which played out of their skins, much like India yesterday. Then look what happened.

    The reason we lost the test was because we had an inexperienced opening partnership and no dedicated spinner. In short we selected the wrong side for the job.

    Then you mention an undermanned attack... how is it exactly that they are undemanned, in relation to the Australian atack, you could only say that the two were on a par, perhaps with the balance in India's favour there too.

  • POSTED BY Sush67 on | January 20, 2008, 11:24 GMT

    Mr English I don't think the result of this test match was influenced by umpiring unlike the Sydney test. Both sides got some rough decisions at Perth so I feel these evened out. The decisions at Sydney didn't! Even Ponting has admitted that they were outplayed at Perth. Not even the most ardent aussie can claim that India won due to umpiring errors. I feel the Aussie team will bounce back stronger for Adelaide! The end of the streak but perhaps not the end of an era. Swing is the only way to beat the Aussies - are the Englishmen reading?

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 20, 2008, 10:12 GMT

    Nothing is lost,really. The Perth Test can be summed up as errors in four areas.Easily correctable. 1. Selection:A mistake to bring Chris Rogers into the side. What was the point when the selectors knew that he would have to sit out Adelaide? Australia needed to crush India.Getting together an inexperienced opening pair, they presented a psychological edge to India. Sure enough, this pair failed. Experienced Mike Hussey,who has opened in Test cricket before,should have opened with Phil Jacques and blunted India's attack. Experienced Brad Hodge or Simon Katich could have been brought into the middle order in Hussey's place. 2.The pitch: Who is this so-called experienced curator? Said the WACA pitch has been brought back to old. Hogg,a local from WA should have played -a handy batsman too. 3. Michael Clarke: was irresponsible. Dropped two important catches --Dravid and Lakshman.Also,there was no need to jump forward to Anil Kumble.4.Phil Jacques should have run out RP Singh

  • POSTED BY jarydd on | January 20, 2008, 10:03 GMT

    It seems the hysteria surrounding the events in Sydney is contagious. After losing a test match by 70 odd tuns, "Ponting's stunning tower has toppled". Ridiculous. This article is a complete waste of energy. One test match loss in two years. Get real, Peter English. AUSTRALIA LEADS SERIES 2-1

  • POSTED BY dave4 on | January 20, 2008, 9:57 GMT

    If we are to put the blame on anyone for Australias recent loss to India in the third test, it is not on Ricky Pontings leadership, nor on one of the best teams we have been blessed to watch. It is the lack of support the team recieve from the media and so called professional analysts of cricket. You people seem to be willing them to lose, and lose they did. With Australian sportsman of the past questioning the intergrity of the team, who I must add achieved nothing of any significance in their own careers. How can this team feel they have the full support of the nation. They celebrated in the second test like this really meant something to all of them, and I truly believe it did. Yet we have to cut them down and question them as sportsman, this makes me feel very embarrassed to be Australian if this is how we embrace success. Australia lost the third test, where poor decisions went against them. Unlike India, they have not complained. They get on with it and will continue to succeed.

  • POSTED BY sampras27 on | January 20, 2008, 9:35 GMT

    The Australians did themselves proud by holding their head thru a great disappointment. The did not, like their opponents, whine at umpiring decisions going against them. They are the true champion side!

  • POSTED BY MickP on | January 20, 2008, 9:27 GMT

    Of course you could also say that since 2001 "Australia's Era" has ended 11 times, or you could look at it that Australia and India have been going 50-50 since 2001 and this is just more of the same, or you could see it as a very good game that proceeded largely as the prior test did, though not remarked upon as such in the media. Perhaps cricket didnt die last week and, just maybe, australian cricket isnt due for the eulogising just yet either. The rip-roaring spin from the assorted hackery not withstanding, of course.

  • POSTED BY Sri-Lankan_Lion on | January 20, 2008, 9:09 GMT

    It's hard to say Australia's dominance has ended but whp knows 2-3 or even 4 more straight loses can put them in back foot. I think to attact Australia this is the right time but their next series will boost them up a bit.West Indies wouldn't be a threat but if it was Sri-lanka or even South Africa, it will be a different story. Lets see how Australia reacts in the next test.They are not an easy time and the words you say a pretty harsh, though anything can happen.

  • POSTED BY Swissie on | January 20, 2008, 8:59 GMT

    I do not agree with Peter English that much but I do agree with one conclusion. Instead of their woeful whingeing in Sydney the Indians could take a leaf out of the Australian book. No complaints about decisions and no calls for umpires to be replaced.

  • POSTED BY JB77 on | January 20, 2008, 8:53 GMT

    In 2005 it took the a series win by England to get people proclaiming the end of Australia's era of dominance, but now apparently, all it takes is the loss of a single game. Surely Australia isn't expected to win every single game, all of the time, in order to be considered the best team in the world? Australia were beaten convincingly at the WACA by an Indian team which played far better cricket. The Indian bowlers made the Australian's look very ordinary indeed. However, who knows what the rest of the series has in store. Will India continue this form and beat Australia in Adelaide or will the Aussies bounce back? How will Australia fare in India later this year - will they be able to win or will the Indians upstage them again? Time will tell. At this stage it is far to early to be making any judgements about the future. A post Langer, Warne and McGrath Australia is a far weaker team, but never assume a defeat will lead to an Australian decline.

  • POSTED BY heartly_welcomes_you on | January 20, 2008, 8:52 GMT

    Can we please wait till the end of the series till we proclaim the onset of Armageddon? What if Australia win the next test and we(India) lose 3-1? What then? Australia becomes the all time greats again?

  • POSTED BY whits106 on | January 20, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    For you guys so far who have commented,

    I think you are missing the point of the piece. If you read carefully he shows that Australia aren't invincible as everyone believes, and aren't really as good as everyone still believes.

    He hasn't said it is over, but it is looming. He states (And it's in the title) How Australia's cracks and chinks in their armour are finally exposed. And now that they are, teams will be able to work them over more often.

    They are, for the moment, still the best team in the world by a considerable margin. Times are changing though, and it won't be that way in 24 months from now, and they won't have 16 in-a-row again.

    He is simply saying that the tide is finally turning.

  • POSTED BY constro on | January 20, 2008, 8:41 GMT

    You mention the dismissals of Hussey and Symonds as being due to wrong decisions. What price the decisions against Tendulkar and Dhoni? Don't they even out within the Test Match itself, and not over a period of time? And not even Andrew Symonds would have had the gall to make a song-and-dance about the decision going against him, given that he was out about thirteen times in the Sydney test.

    "Ponting's men continued to be dignified..." Now why does that make me want to laugh? Aren't you getting carried away just a little, merely because they did not carry on as they are wont to do?

  • POSTED BY dmonk on | January 20, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    Very good article, very well written.

    However your bit about there won't be calls for an umpire to stand down brought a smile to my face.

    It is very clear the point you are trying to make is about Bucknor, but what you do not see or want to see is the fact that he was not crucified for wrong LBWs given. I am a firm believer that LBWs can go either way. Umpires get very little time to make LBW decisions.

    The real issue is if Bucknor has passed his prime with regards to his hearing ability or even concentration over long periods of time. Those were the decisions that were questioned and not LBW's. Even though there were a couple of shocking ones in that area as well.

    Also one thing that you are forgetting is Bucknor was the umpire who mocked dravid by mimicking the ball shining incident. At his level as an elite umpire, to do something like that is appalling.

    You are intelligent without a doubt, but reviewing historic facts also contributes to great journalism.

  • POSTED BY goodhoot on | January 20, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    Sorry to say Phil Jacques is not a test opening bat.The way he was dismissed on Friday evening was embarassing for him and the team.Chris Rogers was marginally better,he could almost say he got a roughie in the 1st and possibly a decent ball in the 2md.Jacques was well and truly suckered in the 2nd and gave it up so meekly,it's hard to believe he's going to be part of the 1st eleven on a regular basis.It's also hard to believe he got out like he did after playing so many years of interstate cricket.

  • POSTED BY Ultimo_Posto on | January 20, 2008, 8:16 GMT

    It was a well-deserved win for India, who won the match on every level. However, I am not sure that the end of one great run equates to the end of an entire era. Australia may have lost some great players, but new players such as Hussey and Stuart Clark have carried on the torch. While India demonstrated that they can beat Australia on their day, they are not the team who has won 16-in-a-row. Australia are probably still the best team by a reasonable margin, with Adelaide looming as a genuine test of their ability to respond to adversity. India have rocked the establishment, but they have yet to become the establishment.

  • POSTED BY thinker on | January 20, 2008, 7:49 GMT

    Author mentions umpiring decisions even out over a period of time. It's true that decisions evened out in this match but not yet for this series. Author fails to indicate that even Tendulkar and Dhoni got out for these bad decisions. so it 2 for 2. Who knows what would have happened, if Tendulkar was not given out wrongly. I mean these decisions are as important as Hussey or Symonds decision.

    Regarding recalling umpires, I think in Sydney they were blunders. Even a novice in umpiring could have given them properly. Decisions in this test match are not blunders, but mistakes that happen in any match. Author fails to point this. It's actually the nature of decisions rather that who won decides the outrage.

  • POSTED BY jamal22066 on | January 20, 2008, 7:11 GMT

    Oh my lord.....it's just one loss. I think every one needs to CALM DOWN! 'End of an era came quickly' 'ricky ponting's stunning tower has toppled'? You have to be kidding me right? It's ONE LOSS!

  • POSTED BY MrHatsuka on | January 20, 2008, 6:15 GMT

    peter you have no idea what you are writing about

    people in the press will write anything to beat up a story and make a few dollars.

    australia simply lost a game of cricket to a side that was better on this occasion. of course india are a good side, probably more so than other world test teams, however for you to write that this loss means the end of australia's dominance is extremely short-sighted.

  • POSTED BY rupal111 on | January 20, 2008, 5:28 GMT

    Mr. English,

    Let's examine your statement - "Australians believe official decisions even out over time. In Sydney it seemed an unfair pronouncement, but it has taken only four playing days for the theory to be proved". In the Sydney test, Indians lost a match they could have won handsomely because of one-sided umpiring "errors". Let's look at Perth - Sachin given out wrongly - EXACTLY LIKE Hussey. Ponting given out wrongly, AFTER he was given not out to a plumb LBW, and AFTER a number of runs. Symonds given out wrongly - JUST LIKE DHONI was. So as far as the Perth test is concerned, the result was a fair one. So the umpiring decisions DID not even out - it gave the Aussies a 2-1 unbeatable lead in the series. No?

  • POSTED BY heath_eld on | January 20, 2008, 5:28 GMT

    I'm querying if Ponting is australia's "second best batsmen" who is the best?? Or do you mean second best after bradman? Thats certainly a big call... Pontings a great player, but....

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY heath_eld on | January 20, 2008, 5:28 GMT

    I'm querying if Ponting is australia's "second best batsmen" who is the best?? Or do you mean second best after bradman? Thats certainly a big call... Pontings a great player, but....

  • POSTED BY rupal111 on | January 20, 2008, 5:28 GMT

    Mr. English,

    Let's examine your statement - "Australians believe official decisions even out over time. In Sydney it seemed an unfair pronouncement, but it has taken only four playing days for the theory to be proved". In the Sydney test, Indians lost a match they could have won handsomely because of one-sided umpiring "errors". Let's look at Perth - Sachin given out wrongly - EXACTLY LIKE Hussey. Ponting given out wrongly, AFTER he was given not out to a plumb LBW, and AFTER a number of runs. Symonds given out wrongly - JUST LIKE DHONI was. So as far as the Perth test is concerned, the result was a fair one. So the umpiring decisions DID not even out - it gave the Aussies a 2-1 unbeatable lead in the series. No?

  • POSTED BY MrHatsuka on | January 20, 2008, 6:15 GMT

    peter you have no idea what you are writing about

    people in the press will write anything to beat up a story and make a few dollars.

    australia simply lost a game of cricket to a side that was better on this occasion. of course india are a good side, probably more so than other world test teams, however for you to write that this loss means the end of australia's dominance is extremely short-sighted.

  • POSTED BY jamal22066 on | January 20, 2008, 7:11 GMT

    Oh my lord.....it's just one loss. I think every one needs to CALM DOWN! 'End of an era came quickly' 'ricky ponting's stunning tower has toppled'? You have to be kidding me right? It's ONE LOSS!

  • POSTED BY thinker on | January 20, 2008, 7:49 GMT

    Author mentions umpiring decisions even out over a period of time. It's true that decisions evened out in this match but not yet for this series. Author fails to indicate that even Tendulkar and Dhoni got out for these bad decisions. so it 2 for 2. Who knows what would have happened, if Tendulkar was not given out wrongly. I mean these decisions are as important as Hussey or Symonds decision.

    Regarding recalling umpires, I think in Sydney they were blunders. Even a novice in umpiring could have given them properly. Decisions in this test match are not blunders, but mistakes that happen in any match. Author fails to point this. It's actually the nature of decisions rather that who won decides the outrage.

  • POSTED BY Ultimo_Posto on | January 20, 2008, 8:16 GMT

    It was a well-deserved win for India, who won the match on every level. However, I am not sure that the end of one great run equates to the end of an entire era. Australia may have lost some great players, but new players such as Hussey and Stuart Clark have carried on the torch. While India demonstrated that they can beat Australia on their day, they are not the team who has won 16-in-a-row. Australia are probably still the best team by a reasonable margin, with Adelaide looming as a genuine test of their ability to respond to adversity. India have rocked the establishment, but they have yet to become the establishment.

  • POSTED BY goodhoot on | January 20, 2008, 8:31 GMT

    Sorry to say Phil Jacques is not a test opening bat.The way he was dismissed on Friday evening was embarassing for him and the team.Chris Rogers was marginally better,he could almost say he got a roughie in the 1st and possibly a decent ball in the 2md.Jacques was well and truly suckered in the 2nd and gave it up so meekly,it's hard to believe he's going to be part of the 1st eleven on a regular basis.It's also hard to believe he got out like he did after playing so many years of interstate cricket.

  • POSTED BY dmonk on | January 20, 2008, 8:40 GMT

    Very good article, very well written.

    However your bit about there won't be calls for an umpire to stand down brought a smile to my face.

    It is very clear the point you are trying to make is about Bucknor, but what you do not see or want to see is the fact that he was not crucified for wrong LBWs given. I am a firm believer that LBWs can go either way. Umpires get very little time to make LBW decisions.

    The real issue is if Bucknor has passed his prime with regards to his hearing ability or even concentration over long periods of time. Those were the decisions that were questioned and not LBW's. Even though there were a couple of shocking ones in that area as well.

    Also one thing that you are forgetting is Bucknor was the umpire who mocked dravid by mimicking the ball shining incident. At his level as an elite umpire, to do something like that is appalling.

    You are intelligent without a doubt, but reviewing historic facts also contributes to great journalism.

  • POSTED BY constro on | January 20, 2008, 8:41 GMT

    You mention the dismissals of Hussey and Symonds as being due to wrong decisions. What price the decisions against Tendulkar and Dhoni? Don't they even out within the Test Match itself, and not over a period of time? And not even Andrew Symonds would have had the gall to make a song-and-dance about the decision going against him, given that he was out about thirteen times in the Sydney test.

    "Ponting's men continued to be dignified..." Now why does that make me want to laugh? Aren't you getting carried away just a little, merely because they did not carry on as they are wont to do?

  • POSTED BY whits106 on | January 20, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    For you guys so far who have commented,

    I think you are missing the point of the piece. If you read carefully he shows that Australia aren't invincible as everyone believes, and aren't really as good as everyone still believes.

    He hasn't said it is over, but it is looming. He states (And it's in the title) How Australia's cracks and chinks in their armour are finally exposed. And now that they are, teams will be able to work them over more often.

    They are, for the moment, still the best team in the world by a considerable margin. Times are changing though, and it won't be that way in 24 months from now, and they won't have 16 in-a-row again.

    He is simply saying that the tide is finally turning.