Australia in India 2008-09 November 11, 2008

India stooped to conquer

Peter Roebuck writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that although India were the better team and deserved their win, the way in which they completed the series left a lot to be desired.

India stooped to conquer. Only 21.3 overs were bowled in the morning session, a ruse designed to slow the scoring and to bring bad light into play in the event of the Australians putting up a sustained fight. ...

If this is the best Test cricket has to offer, then it is not worth the bother. For all the weight it carries, it is still a game. Slow over-rates are a blight and an insult to the paying public. Hereafter, lunch must be taken not at a set time but once 30 overs have been bowled, with play to resume on schedule. That'll hurry things along.

In the BBC, Mihir Bose writes that aTest series win, even one as emphatic as India's over Australia, does not change the cricket world. But what made this series remarkable, he feels, is how often Australia played like India and India played like Australia. Australia specialised in letting India off the hook. The script when playing Australia is not meant to be like this.

An editorial in the Hindu says that after their 2-0 defeat, Australia remain the No. 1 side but have lost their aura. It says the main difference between the two sides was the bowling.

... confronted by difficult conditions, Australia’s bowling was exposed for its lack of skill, control, and imagination. The absence of a front-line spinner — before Jason Krejza’s expensive but potent fourth Test debut — hurt the visitors badly. Great sides have versatile and balanced attacks that can take wickets differently in differing conditions.

In the same paper, Steve Waugh writes the Australian team lacked a spark right through the series. He also has some high praise for Man-of-the-Series Ishant Sharma.

the true superstar in the making is Ishant Sharma ... He has incredible accuracy, is fast, has height and is a quick learner. He reminds me of Glenn McGrath in his accuracy and of Jason Gillespie in his hand speed.

In the Guardian, Mike Selvey queues up in the list of people criticising Ricky Ponting's tactics in the final session of the fourth day. He says that after the emphatic loss to India, Australia are no longer a truly great side.

Sharda Ugra in her blog on the India Today website believes the series, replete with incident and controversy and high emotion, has not contained the gut-churning, dare-not-blink intensity that was the hallmark of 21st century India v Australia. Barring a couple of sessions, it has been one-sided and not much of a contest.

More tension was generated in the press conference room than on the field. The most dangerous question asked of batsman or bowler was not via a curling outswinger or on-drive to a yorker, but one that contained the cussword of the month: “defensive.” Are too. Am not. Repeat ad nauseum.

Ayaz Memon writes in the DNA that Australian cricket's decline started with the controversies of the Sydney Test.

Stephen Brinkley wonders in the Independent whether it is the end of Australia's dominance and the end of Ricky Ponting.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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