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India v Australia, 4th Test, Nagpur, 2nd day
Chappell: India were overconfident
November 7, 2008
Katich and Krejza bring Australia right back in the game as India let things drift
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'This is the most assured that I have seen Simon Katich bat in this series' © AFP

Jason Krejza built on his good start on the first day of this Test to produce what has been quite a remarkable debut - eight wickets on debut - and it was a courageous performance from him after he had been attacked early on in the innings. It became even better when you saw the Indian spinners operate because they didn't get anything like the turn and bounce that Krejza got.

And his performance has really kept Australia in the game because he was the bowler who looked like getting wickets. In the end India were bowled out for a 441. It looked like being a match-winning score, but then the Australians, as they did in Delhi, batted extremely well. And the rate at which the runs have been scored suggest that there is still going to be a result in this game. Obviously India have got to be favourites but Australia are not out of this match.

It looked like Australia were well and truly out of the game when Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni started the day so well. Both of them were playing aggressively and were right on top of the Australians. Their partnership seemed to keep going on and on with Australia unable to take a wicket in the first session. And it looked as though India were going to put them right out of their misery. But Ganguly was then dismissed by Krejza and Dhoni was dismissed by him as well and then the tail disappeared as Krejza ran through them to end with figure for 8 for 215. Quite remarkable figures indeed.

Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich - particularly Katich - started very positively. This is the most assured I have seen Katiich in this series. He has been in good form but he didn't misjudge the length of even one ball today, particularly to the spinners. I thought he played them really well. Hayden ran himself out when Australia were starting promisingly and then Ricky Ponting made a misjudgement in length. He tried to cut Harbhajan Singh and gave the bowler his 300th Test wicket which was a tremendous moment from him.

I got the feeling at that point that India thought all they had to do was run up and bowl; having seen the way the ball spun and bounced for Krejza, it was just going to be a matter of time before they would run through Australia. Well they ran up against a couple of guys who were very determined and confident and who played extremely well. Katich was looking very assured and Michael Hussey was allowed to take too many easy singles early on in the off side - one of his favourite areas. That got him going and by the end he was looking almost as confident as Katich. Their partnership is looking very dangerous for India and the Indians will have to do some rethinking if they want to get back into this match quickly. Katich would have probably liked to get his hundred but if he continues on the same form tomorrow he can be assured of another Test century.

With Australia on 189 for 2, the match is quite delicately poised. Katich and Hussey have looked so assured that suddenly both teams have a chance of victory in this match.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is a cricket commentator for Channel Nine, and a columnist

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Posted by Rajaram on (November 8, 2008, 6:50 GMT)

The writer "hurry" who has commented on what I wrote earlier is unaware of the following: 1) that the Curator at the WACA Perth openly declared that he had "doctored" the pitch so that the match would spread over 5 days,because Dennis Lillee,President and the office bearers of WACA feared a loss iof gate money if the traditional bouncy WACA pitch was used. So the Indian win at Perth should be discounted. 2) Sachin Tendulkar was clearly out lbw to Michael Clarke,but was not given out (in Australia), and went on to score a century. But the Aussies did not make a hue and cry about it, like the Indians did. 3) here at Nagpur, Sachin Tendulkar showed his bat to the umpire indicating he had hit the ball, so not out lbw.He should know that he is not allowed to influence the umpire - so much so for his honesty. Ditto Harbhajan Singh.

Posted by Harish on (November 8, 2008, 4:07 GMT)

The match is just evenly poised now and may tilt the balance towards Aussies if Hussey, Clarke and others grind it out heavily on the Indian bowlers. But that is still a speculation and test cricket can't be that easy to predict from the end of second day's play taking into account the intensity with which these two teams compete with. There is no logic yet to write off Harbajan totally and say that Aussies will bat India out of the game. The way the Indian batsmen have batted in this series is also enough to suggest that an Australian victory from here can be just on papers or media...

Posted by kiri on (November 8, 2008, 3:53 GMT)

yes i agree with ian. probably indians thought that since Kretza could get 8 wickets then surely Harbhajan, Mishra and Sehwag would run through the Aussies. But since the last game the Aussies are showing lot of skill and guts in batting. I think their only problem was in bowling in this tour and that kind of got solved with Kretza taking 8 in the first innings. Ofcourse this is a very delicately poised test as of now. I know Aussie fans would be feeling that they are in kind of drvier seat now. But on such tracks alwasy wickets fall in bulk and it could very well be the case today. But yes the most important thing is for Indian bowlers to bowl well today and iam sure Dhoni just before going to the field would say to his bowlers" Mehnat Karo" meaning work hard for each wicket.

Posted by ian on (November 8, 2008, 2:08 GMT)

Well, good luck to Jason Krejza for the future. Unfortunately the statistical news is not that good, but may of course with luck and ability be overcome. Of the five who preceded him to an 8 wicket debut, only Alf Valentine went on to be a longer term significant bowler (30odd tests, 139 wickets at 30). Hirwani, the current Indian selector could only find 17 appearances in the 1990s, an era when good to greater bowlers played a lot more than that (66 wickets at 30). Lance Klusener played 49 tests but only really a bits and pieces bowler taking 80 wickets I think it was at 38. Trott and Massie both disappeared fast, only 3 and 4 tests respectively. In fact Trott only ever took one more test wicket after that debut innings. So history is against him, but as we now history is always being re-made afresh, so as I said, good luck.

Second thing is how from afar, India still seem so soft. When they should be driving home advantages, they seem to go to sleep at the switch.

Posted by Girish on (November 8, 2008, 0:35 GMT)

I echo MainHoonDon's comments that if Kumble had given away, Ian would blast him. Now Dhoni's mistake is shown in diff picture, which is not true analysis in itself. Well, Ian never has been a true critic, but has been hyped by Indian media and now being used by cricinfo. Alright, Dhoni's days will be tested now once the stalwart Kumble is out. Also I see very dull future for Indian test arean if all the fab members are to retire. I know Sachin will hang around for records, not worrying about results.

Posted by Hariharane on (November 7, 2008, 22:53 GMT)

I think 'popcorn' is unaware of India's Perth victory over Aussie and how Steve Waugh's last series sweated to level the series in Australia. Even in Sydney, had India been playing against Aussie 11 instead of Aussie 13(don't miss 2 valuable umpires), the result would have been otherwise. Regarding the pitch - Sub-Continent has a special track that is spinning. A good cricketer should know how to play in all conditions. Even then - di you miss the show in Mohali?

Posted by Ryan on (November 7, 2008, 22:40 GMT)

Australia just need to ensure they give themselves enough time to bowl india out again. Even if they get dismissed for 350 or 400 it might be a blessing in dusguise as there will be plenty of time for them to bowl india out again.

Posted by Paul on (November 7, 2008, 22:31 GMT)


The match is evenly poised.

Jason Krezja should be congratulated for taking 8 wickets in his debut test match.

However, his next step is to become a consistent performer at test level by bowling an attacking line and length around off stump to entice the batsmen to play their shots which could bring about their downfall.

The biggest test for Australia is for Troy Cooley to iron out the deficienices in Brett Lee and Stuart Clark before the NZ, South African and England test matches over the next 18 months. They have had an average series.

And, your theory on Ricky Ponting being given the poision challice is ringing to my ears. If Matthew Hayden retires in the next 12 months, we will lose an aggressive opener who can set the tone of our innings.

Is not it about time to bring in Shaun Marsh?


Posted by am on (November 7, 2008, 21:56 GMT)

India had a bad day. They lost quick wickets and also conceded many runs in the later half of the day. But that doesnt mean everything is over. Still 3 days of exhausting cricket left in this match. As usual all the bowlers when they appear on the international cricket look good in their first display but it is those who maintain it like kumble, harbhajan and warne their greatness is valued.Mr. Ian you should understand that Indian cricketers just like aussies play to win matches. No one is ready to give away matches with over confidence or arrogance like you point out. Ask any indian cricketer and they will tell you how privileged they are to wear that Indian cap and play for the country. Dont be so harsh and short sighted. Wait till the end of the match to see what the outcome is. Remember the captain is Dhoni and it is unlikely for Dhoni to have 5 bad days. I am sure they will come back strong and hard tommorrow removing katich, hussey,clarke

Posted by Arjun on (November 7, 2008, 21:56 GMT)

The match is interestingly poised. I think Harbhajan and Mishra will be key. Oh popcorn, why don't you wake up to the reality of the situation? Australia is a team in decline. Our victory in Mohali had nothing to do with a spinning pitch - India's pace bowlers were the key, getting the ball to reverse swing and move far more than any of the Aussie bowlers. I agree Australia has been the best, but India is starting to hold its own internationally too. We've had series victories in the West Indies and England, nearly won the series in Australia in 2003 (the Sydney test was saved by Waugh), and would probably have won this time too if not for the umpiring decisions that went against us in Sydney. I don't see how Australia 'came close' in Delhi - we were far ahead throughout. No where has Australia looked close to taking 20 wickets in a match.

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