Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney January 2, 2012

India's batsmen hope for SCG magic

185

Match facts

Tuesday, January 3
Start time 1030 (2330 GMT)

Big Picture


Australia. India. The SCG. Four years ago, those three elements together sparked one of the most controversial Tests in recent history. It was a match of umpiring blunders, a racism allegation, excessive appealing and ugly behaviour all round. Fortunately for the integrity of this upcoming contest, several of the key protagonists are gone. Andrew Symonds has retired. Harbhajan Singh is no longer considered one of India's two best spinners. Both of the umpires, who struggled to maintain control on the field, have stepped down from international cricket.

It was also a Test that went down to the wire, finishing late on the fifth day, as the shadows grew longer over the Sydney Cricket Ground. The fans will hope for a similarly tight finale this time around, albeit without the argy-bargy and ill feeling between the two teams. A memorable contest would be fitting, for this is the 100th Test to be played at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground. Only Lord's and the MCG have hosted more Tests.

This time, the teams head to Sydney with Australia 1-0 up in the series, having won inside four days in Melbourne. India's batsmen were the major disappointment in the Boxing Day Test. Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar all made 60s or 70s in the first innings but in the second, Tendulkar's 32 was the best score. Chasing 292, that was vastly inadequate. Australia's strong and consistent pace attack built pressure and the Indians could not show the skills that had earned them more than 53,000 Test runs collectively over their Test careers.

There is more of a chance of India's batsmen enjoying the SCG. Sachin Tendulkar's Test record at the venue makes for imposing reading. In four Sydney Tests, he has made 148*, 45, 4, 241*, 60*, 154* and 12. VVS Laxman's Sydney efforts have been just as impressive: 7, 167, 178, 109, 20. But they and their colleagues will need to show significant improvements after last week if they are to level the series.

Form guide (most recent first)


Australia: WLWWL
India: LDWWL

Players to watch out for...


This time last year, Nathan Lyon had not played for his state in any format. Now he is a veteran of eight Tests. In a year full of impressive debuts by Australian cricketers, his is the most remarkable story. The Adelaide Oval groundsman who was asked by the state coach to bowl in the nets, Lyon has shown every club cricketer that there is hope. All you need is an opportunity. He wasn't a key part of the attack in Melbourne, where the fast men dominated, but at the SCG, particularly later in the Test, he could be asked to bowl a lot of overs of offspin. Incredibly, Lyon has not played a first-class match at the SCG, traditionally the best venue for spin in Australia.

To watch Sachin Tendulkar upper-cut Peter Siddle over the head of the slips for six off the first ball after tea on the second day at the MCG was a sight to behold. Tendulkar played brilliantly in that innings and it was impossible not to anticipate his hundredth international hundred. Siddle ended that dream in the last over of the day by bowling Tendulkar for 73. It would perhaps be even more fitting if Tendulkar were able to reach his milestone in the 100th Sydney Test. He is the master of the SCG, and the only grounds around the world where he has a higher Test average are in Bangladesh.

Team news


Australia included Ryan Harris in the 12-man squad at the expense of Daniel Christian and Mitchell Starc, neither of whom made the starting line-up in Melbourne. However, the selectors chose to use the same XI as at the MCG, with Harris more likely for the third Test in Perth, where Australia might consider a four-man pace attack.

Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Ed Cowan, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Ricky Ponting, 5 Michael Clarke (capt), 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Peter Siddle, 9 James Pattinson, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus.

India's batting was a problem in Melbourne, so they might consider including Rohit Sharma at the expense of Virat Kohli. Should Rohit play it will be his Test debut but he will bring plenty of international experience - he has played 72 ODIs and 22 Twenty20s for India.

India (probable) 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Virat Kohli / Rohit Sharma, 7 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav.

Pitch and conditions


The SCG pitch has traditionally not bounced as much as other Australian surfaces, perhaps one of the reasons it has been appreciated by India's batsmen. But that character has changed, and the curator Tom Parker expects a similar pitch to that on which England's swing and seam bowlers set up an innings victory last summer. It is worth noting, though, that in that Test England's batsmen scored 644.

"In the last few years I think the Sydney pitch has changed texture from when it used to be a real dust bowl and really helped the spinners," Michael Hussey said on Sunday. "The last few years it has been really seamer friendly and particularly tough for batting, especially early in the match. It definitely looks a lighter colour. Generally that's the way it has gone over the years, it has slowed down a little bit and helped the spinners."

The forecast for the first day is sunny and 28C, while there could be the chance of storms and showers over the next three days of the Test.

Stats and trivia


  • Sachin Tendulkar has the highest average of all Test cricketers at the SCG. In four Tests there he averages 221.33
  • VVS Laxman averages 96.20 at the SCG, a far cry from the 14.25 he averages at the MCG
  • The changes in Australia's team from this time last year have been stark: only five men who played in the SCG Ashes loss are in the side for this Test
  • The only team to have beaten Australia in Sydney Tests in the past 15 years was England, who did it in 2003 and 2011

Quotes


"I am a bit nervous because the stars seem to be aligning with Sachin needing one more hundred in the 100th Test match in Sydney. He's made runs here before. It's a bit ominous."
Michael Hussey is wary of the elusive milestone on everyone's mind

"Well, he's always close to a milestone. If you see his career in the last three years, whatever he has done, somehow he has been very close to a milestone, whether he's playing the most number of ODIs or Test matches or the 100th hundred or all the things."
MS Dhoni believes Sachin Tendulkar is under no pressure since getting to milestones is second nature to him

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • veerakannadiga on January 3, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    178/8. day one tea. Another brick in the wall. Hey Aussies leave us Indian batsman alone.

  • longandshort on January 3, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    Dropping like fireflies now.

  • longandshort on January 2, 2012, 23:30 GMT

    getting a strong feeling the Aussies are going 2-0 up at the SCG.

  • longandshort on January 2, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    The most hyped team in the world. If they could not post a good total in the first innings and got bowled out at 169 with half the team not getting past 10 runs, then its a dream they win anything. This series is about to become a nightmare if they dont pick up and get cracking. The Indian team has to play no excuses cricket period. If the top batsmen cannot even put on a good score then they have a lot of soul searching to do.

  • gogoldengreens on January 2, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    The opening paragraph was interesting "It was a match of umpiring blunders, a racism allegation, excessive appealing and ugly behaviour all round. " There has been a major failing by the ICC to eliminate these issues - by using DRS - you would have the chance to eliminate all but one of these problems. In series where DRS has been used there is no need to appeal loudly as you have recourse in the review process this also leads to potential reduction in simmering between players/umpires leading to ugly behaviour...

  • crh8971 on January 2, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    There is a lot of pessimism here from the Indian fans. I don't think that you should be too disheartened. What test cricket has shown this year, and the Australians in particuliar, is that it is possible to make a few small improvements between matches and radically change the outcome. Of course the converse is also true. Even though many Indian fans will not give them credit for it the Australians bowled extremely well at the MCG. It was far and away the best I have seen both Siddle and Hilfenhaus bowl at test level and Pattinson continued on in his extremely promising way. But there is every chance that the same bowlers will not quite be able to replicate that at the SCG and with a favourable batting wicket the Indian batsmen could come into their own. I think both teams at times batted well at the MCG but also batted very poorly. The dismissals of Marsh and Warner in the second innings demonstrated both poor technique and a complete lack of discipline.

  • on January 2, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    As Sachin's figures on SCG.............. I am damn sure, he won't let this oppotunity miss from his hands to score a Tonner............All the Best SRT-10......!!!

  • hiren888 on January 2, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    it will be Australia all the way. @5wombats, dead right mate. On paper, India does have a great line up made up of past achievements, but the reality of now is they arent good enough to score 300 runs in a given innings. Australia will go up 2-0...

  • on January 2, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    We collectively are responsible for all the pressure we put on Sachin. Let him play the Sydney Test with all the freedom and with all peace of mind. If there are few we need to focus on are Gambhir and Seshwag. A good start is key to winning a test match as much as a bad start is key to losing it. So request all please send your message and comments to Sehwag and Gambhir. They will carry the hopes of 120 billion us Indians. We need to win the series down under

  • kashifpk on January 2, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    India will lose again and hopefully Tendulkar gets golden duck.

  • veerakannadiga on January 3, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    178/8. day one tea. Another brick in the wall. Hey Aussies leave us Indian batsman alone.

  • longandshort on January 3, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    Dropping like fireflies now.

  • longandshort on January 2, 2012, 23:30 GMT

    getting a strong feeling the Aussies are going 2-0 up at the SCG.

  • longandshort on January 2, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    The most hyped team in the world. If they could not post a good total in the first innings and got bowled out at 169 with half the team not getting past 10 runs, then its a dream they win anything. This series is about to become a nightmare if they dont pick up and get cracking. The Indian team has to play no excuses cricket period. If the top batsmen cannot even put on a good score then they have a lot of soul searching to do.

  • gogoldengreens on January 2, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    The opening paragraph was interesting "It was a match of umpiring blunders, a racism allegation, excessive appealing and ugly behaviour all round. " There has been a major failing by the ICC to eliminate these issues - by using DRS - you would have the chance to eliminate all but one of these problems. In series where DRS has been used there is no need to appeal loudly as you have recourse in the review process this also leads to potential reduction in simmering between players/umpires leading to ugly behaviour...

  • crh8971 on January 2, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    There is a lot of pessimism here from the Indian fans. I don't think that you should be too disheartened. What test cricket has shown this year, and the Australians in particuliar, is that it is possible to make a few small improvements between matches and radically change the outcome. Of course the converse is also true. Even though many Indian fans will not give them credit for it the Australians bowled extremely well at the MCG. It was far and away the best I have seen both Siddle and Hilfenhaus bowl at test level and Pattinson continued on in his extremely promising way. But there is every chance that the same bowlers will not quite be able to replicate that at the SCG and with a favourable batting wicket the Indian batsmen could come into their own. I think both teams at times batted well at the MCG but also batted very poorly. The dismissals of Marsh and Warner in the second innings demonstrated both poor technique and a complete lack of discipline.

  • on January 2, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    As Sachin's figures on SCG.............. I am damn sure, he won't let this oppotunity miss from his hands to score a Tonner............All the Best SRT-10......!!!

  • hiren888 on January 2, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    it will be Australia all the way. @5wombats, dead right mate. On paper, India does have a great line up made up of past achievements, but the reality of now is they arent good enough to score 300 runs in a given innings. Australia will go up 2-0...

  • on January 2, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    We collectively are responsible for all the pressure we put on Sachin. Let him play the Sydney Test with all the freedom and with all peace of mind. If there are few we need to focus on are Gambhir and Seshwag. A good start is key to winning a test match as much as a bad start is key to losing it. So request all please send your message and comments to Sehwag and Gambhir. They will carry the hopes of 120 billion us Indians. We need to win the series down under

  • kashifpk on January 2, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    India will lose again and hopefully Tendulkar gets golden duck.

  • only_sehwag on January 2, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    I hope they don't select Gambhir...he is the biggest liability that the team is carrying around...can't bat, can't bowl, can't field...take ravindra jadeja instead...

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    When you see a sentence like this; "....Tendulkar is the only one above Bradman when it comes to pure cricketing genius", then you know that some people really are clutching at straws and haven't got a clue.... @Ajay Kumar Sharma; "the best team in the world" doesn't get whitewashed 4-0....

  • Alexk400 on January 2, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    Dhoni won't change his method. he will stick with what he knows. His HUNCH!. :). No one going to take risk. Only one guy has a permission to do anything he wants. Because if he succeed , india win. if not others has to fight to draw the game. The thing is others are not good enough to fight for draw. If you take risky move like promiting yourself and gets out , you will be chutney. BCCI honchos do not like changes. Gavaskar play both sides and critique. No one likes loser. So dhoni decided if we are going to lose , we play same way and if it does not work , we are not good enough. I know exactly what fletcher and dhoni doing. They want seniors to win the game or atleast draw. NOT HAPPENING. Everyone dumping the responsibility on sachin , he is supposed to be GOD for some people. So dhoni and fletcher waiting for GOD sachin to win the game. Not Happening in this universe. He can score century if we are going for a draw or sehwag goes berserk and make it easy for sachin grind a century.

  • Alexk400 on January 2, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    @g.narsimha , I am critical of India for sure because i want them to improve.I am not person who gloat over the success india have with dhoni as captain. He is extrodinary captain. No doubt about that. But india is not playing well , not even average level. There is a reason to it. Sachin 100th 100. It is messing up the minds of all the hard working players. Indian media stopped talking about winning and talking about side project of sachin 100th 100 become main story. I am least bit interested in his 100th 100. It shows he has the endurance and passion for the game but he is not a fighter and not a team man. He refuse to change position many times for the good of the team. he never won anything on his own. I want india to win but i know the reality. Sehwag has to go bonkers for india to win overseas. Someone has to carry and give a rocket boost. Bolwers did fantastic job but indian batsman laid egg and wasted golden oppurtunity to go 1-0 up. I will applaud if indians fight not give up

  • JG2704 on January 2, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    I think India has a problem in that they are afraid to drop players who have served them well in the past but are out of nick now. Dravid , Tendulkar and VVS are all likely to have to be replaced over the next few years. The former has had a formidable season and ST hasn't been as woeful as some but VVS has been poor of late regardless of what he did pre this summer. How long do you keep underperforming players in your side purely because of past achievements ? Rohit in for VVS and a pace bowler in for Gambir.

  • JG2704 on January 2, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (January 01 2012, 10:20 AM GMT) No point in being bitter there. SL have had a decent win in SA and you might be right re what happens in the final test but surely it's more important to concentrate on the present than bring up stats which go back further than SL starting playing test cricket

  • JG2704 on January 2, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    @LillianThomson on (January 01 2012, 06:57 AM GMT) - I half agree with you - esp with VVS , but Dravid was immense this year in England when all the rest of his fellow batsmen failed to deliver. 25 isn't that old to start playing test cricket. Sorry for quoting Eng players but Strauss debut was at 27 and Trott at 28. Batsmen mature/peak at different rates .

  • hhillbumper on January 2, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    If India don't win here than their tour is all over.They are good when in front but falter badly when under the cosh away from home.It is pretty worrying if they can't beat Australia considering how poor they are at the moment.This is not a great Aussie team and if there was ever a time to beat them then it is now.Will India do the hard work and try to win or sit back on their egos and lose badly once again?

  • on January 2, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    Come on India.you were the best team in the world and still one day champs.All the best and happy new year.

  • on January 2, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    Indian Batsmen should try and go past 300 and look to spend time in the middle.

  • on January 2, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    awesome innings Australia how many ikes this <3

  • IndiaNumeroUno on January 2, 2012, 20:25 GMT

    Its understandable that Aussie press and players are so interested in Tendulkars 100th as this is something they (and the world) will never witness again from any player... It's special for them because Tendulkar is the only one above Bradman when it comes to pure cricketing genius.

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    @LillianThomson, man, you are an ace! Why has it taken you so long to come onto cricinfo? Dead right about Dhoni/Umpires and Sydney 2008. Regarding this Sydney Test... In England 2011, India's margins of defeat just got bigger and bigger. If it had been a boxing bout the Referee would have called it off after the 3rd Round. I suspect that the same thing will happen in Aus. In England India just had no stomach for it. Once Sehwag got his King-Pair in the 3rd Test - india more or less gave up. Australia may not have the sharks they used to have, but once they get their noses ahead they are hard to reel in. It's the Australian way. Aus to win at the SCG.

  • on January 2, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    Everyone lets hope Gambhir recovers from his slump.

  • on January 2, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    this may be the 6th consecutive loss of the home champions.

  • CandidIndian on January 2, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    This is the place where i have defended and backed team India many times,would still keep supporting them, but sad thing is body language of Indian team is same as it was in Eng, yes the bowling is improved but that wont be enough.Sorry if i sound cynical but i doubt that we will see any improvement in batting overnight.I wont be surprised if we witness another whitewash.

  • dalersinghazrot on January 2, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    its a good move rohit will play at the place of kohli. rohit is better player than kohli

  • on January 2, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    Cricket is an unpredictable game. We all remember Lord's,2002, When, resigning to India's fate, while, Kaif's parents where busy seeing "Devdas", their son was creating history at Lord's. Chasing 325, India was 146-5 with all big guns back in pavillion, that too in space of 40 runs, from 106 to 146. Defeat loomed on India,but two young boys have some other plans for the night.Ganguly's post match reaction was the perfect reply to Freddie.

    Last time down under, just after the Sydney fiasco, when India moved to Perth's bouncy track, 4-0 doomed large. But, there was the most unlikely turnaround.India came out victorios with a magical team display.

    Above all was the high voltage drama of 2004. After a one sided affair at Mumbai, India was down and out at Eden Garden following on after trailing by 274. Hopes had resigned at Sachin's departure leaving India tottering at 115-3, still 159 behind. But it was the perfect timing for a VVS Innings to show us the biggest turnaround of our Life.

  • Nampally on January 2, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    @MR. RAHUL_DRAVID: Please do not insult the test player Dravid with such insensitive comments using his name.Dravid will be backing VVS, 100%. Laxman if he plays up to his potentioal will shock you with a Century. I will be pleased to see that happen which will help you eat your words. GO VVS!

  • Nampally on January 2, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    Understandably there is optimism in the Indian camp mainly because of great performances on SCG in the past by Tendulkar & Laxman. This is great sign for giving one the confidence. Can these two guys get a century each? The actual results mean more than past records.All batsmen need to perform with no passengers. In placing too much emphasis on batting, the bowling must not be forgotten. ZAK, Yadev, Ishant & Ashwin must fire and get the 20 wkts. between them. India must live up to the reputation of the best test batting side in the World.In the last match India faltered because of poor batting. Can Gambhir resist his addiction to the balls outside off stump? Kohli/Rohit & Dhoni must bat as well as they do in ODI's where they control the bowlers.Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin & VVS must not settle for anything <50 against their names with at least one century.Mental toughness is badly needed. Forget the first test & move forward with the lessons learnt.If you Play like winners, you will WIN.

  • coolmrtz on January 2, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    i think there should be one more spinner in the indian team.and one more thing that even suresh raina or ravindra jadeja can also play because in ranji trophy raina is hitting big tons and jadeja has scored a triple century.even pragyan ojha can replace the not in form kohli .rohit sharma is not prepaed for it because he's not experienced .

  • on January 2, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Mark my words, India will win this test.

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on January 2, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Aussie bowling attack is in-experienced. Even if they won the last test they can be put under pressure and they will fall apart. If India are to win they need to put the bowlers under pressure and they need to include ROHIT instead of Virat or Gambhir. I am sure ROHIT will filre and definitely Sachin. He will roar! He is destined to get his 100th 100 here.

  • on January 2, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    umesh yadav is the one to watch out . Consistently above 140kmph, he is a natural quickie , one we havent seen in India's bowling ranks for almost a decade now. He should be honed to adapt to different scenarios in test cricket, given the new ball regularly, and used in tandem with zak, ishant and ashwin. He can certainly help India's cause by inducing genuine edges from the aussie bats . as far as batting is concerned, it is too premature to make a call on kohli . He can be given a few more chances , keeping in mind some of the fine performances he has produced in ODI's and T20's. Rohit Sharma can get a lookin at perth if kohli fails to fire at SCG

  • sk12 on January 2, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    Another 2000th test on the cards?? hmm hopefully not.

  • MathewsAdelaide on January 2, 2012, 18:27 GMT

    OF COURSE ROHIT MUST PLAY IN KOHLI'S PLACE,WHATEVER HAPPENED WITH RAHANE IN THE PRACTICE MATCH, RAHANE must play in the opening position with Sehwag. GAMBIR and KOHLI BECAME 20/20 - ONEDAY PLAYERS,the way Gambir shown going after outside the offstumb ball reminds that,hes poor in leaving those balls. Kohli also a poor performer of bouncy test wicket, India must try how Rahane/Rohit cope with situation.RAHANE did a good job in England. India needs to groom some youngsters while their 3 seniors retirement.

  • mr.truth on January 2, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    They did not play for the country,For individual person (sachin) That is why failure enough chance to sachin. give chance to youngster they will learn (rohith)

  • on January 2, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Love to see some contest... As an Indian Fan.. i am still hoping against the hope that our batters will click in sydney and level the scores with OZ.. if they fail to do so then bye bye India no one can save you from another whitewash on the face of India.

  • on January 2, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Two equally matched teams, although Aussies have won the Melbourne triumph but still no teams coming to Sydney have advantage of any sort! Whether you agree or not...

  • Dhananjaykumar on January 2, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    India will win sydney test and sachin will also complete his another milestone...........and its wil be a good move if Rohit sharma replaced virat kohali.....

  • kartfx on January 2, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Everytime too much emphasis is given on Laxman, Dravid, Tendulkar to rescue Team India. But I feel bowling is the area where Indians are gonna get thrashed. Infact its strange on how we won the world cup with this horrible bowling attack which till today is a mystery.I felt Umesh Yadav was quite lucky in the first test as he got 3 wickets which was a suicidal by the aussie batsman. Looks like aussies are slowly climbing on to the top spot which they are so used to in the last decade or so. All the best to both the teams but nothing much is gonna happen with the Indians this tour

  • on January 2, 2012, 17:40 GMT

    1st day will decide the result of this test match. if aus batting 1st making 300+ runs with not losing more than less 5 wickets "India inns defeat "

  • MR_RAHUL_DRAVID on January 2, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    @AvidCricFan yep i think so too laxman is way too inconsistent and is not worth it in the field either.

  • o-bomb on January 2, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    Assuming Harris is fit, I'm surprised he's not been put in. I'd choose him over Hilfenhaus.

  • on January 2, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    Hoping for a great game here but a bit disappointed that the Selectors haven't gone for a team to suit the conditions instead of just sticking to the last team. Anyway lets see how it goes. Go Aussies...

  • varunvinod06 on January 2, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    why change kohli. he has scored the most no of odi runs. pls take out gambhir and let sachin open

  • on January 2, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Rohit Sharma should play rather than Kohli, because Kohli didn't impress last test, and Rohit is a good ODI batsmen, and can make contributions. Plus, he could be an extra spinner with Ashwin throughout the test.

  • zuber21886 on January 2, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    this time its batsmen, bowlers showed lot of potential in the first test, but batsmen turned it down, why does it have to happen that one thing has to go down so badly

  • on January 2, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    I can tell you guys when Sachin will score his 100th 100, just tell me when India is playing Bangladesh or Zimbabwe at home?

  • Mukundan on January 2, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    As a fan I dont see a reason why India cant win, but as a cricketer I see that its tough for India to comeback in the series... but Australia is not at its best and they have a vulnerable batting line up... Warner, Cowan, Marsh and Ponting (current) cannot be compared to Langer, Hayden, Ponting (few years back) and M Waugh... their bowling clicked rather Indians made them click, but Aussies batting was found wanting in both innings... Haddin needs to score century from now one on all matches he plays to be as respected as Gilly... For India it is difficult, but definitely not impossible or all is lost... they have to bat really well and out of their skin... hopefuly Rohit Sharma gets his shot in this series if not in Sydney... he is a like to like replacement for SRT and Kohli for RD...

  • kasyapm on January 2, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    For guys talking of blooding youngsters, you have to realise that we are already doing that. Kohli, Ashwin, Ojha & Yadav are all youngsters on their first tour of Aus. But for some of the young guys to replace the BIG 3, they must show that they are able replacements. The big 3 along with Sehwag are still India's best 4 batsmen in tests (love to put Gambhir into this list, wishing that he recovers from his slump). What happened to the young guns tried in the tour of England? Raina was a flop & Kohli is yet to stake his place with Rohit pushing him close & Pujara waiting for a comeback. I wish we have a good combination going in the top order and not just a one-man show.

  • on January 2, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Any amount of hopes & claims after the miserable failure & Flop at Melbourne would fall in deaf years as the show by Indians was a matter of agony to me. I even thought of boycotting every match involving India in future.Yet to take a final decision on this. The change suggested to include Rohit Sharma is encouraging.at the same time Irfan Pathan& Manoj Tiwari shoudvalso be included if at all India hopes in vain for a win in Sydney.what veteran Sunil Gavaskar said to the effect that India can not win a series in India with the present outfit seems to be correct & very much justified.such horrible was the show from even the Veteran THRIMOORTHYs.one could never expect Laxman sinking into such a low &shameful form that too in Australia where he used to excel. Now the only rays of hopes are Irfan,Rohit& Manoj. They are capable.they have Calibre.and they perform. They are the need of the other.as otherwise the captain & others would continue to tell next venue is better. SreedharanM

  • hussainiiiii on January 2, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    It will a Sachin last serious. Becoz he is not be fit as he waz. I hope itz a good time for Mr.Sachin to take retirement.

  • on January 2, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    I think India should play Rohith Sharma instead of Virat Kohli. Rohith should be given a chance in the test arena as well.Or else how will the Indian selectors know about his test game.It may be a match winning decision.

  • on January 2, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    SACHIN TENDULKER.....that will be the name which is going to speak all over the cricketing world all along sydney test..since he is gonna make it tomorrow...yes..the legendary 100th 100 comes here...watch on.....

  • Mukundan on January 2, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    India needs to put a better show in Sydney than what in MCG. Agreed that their batsmen are tigers in flat tracks or at home, but at least one or 2 must rise up to the occassion. Batting of Aus is no good. I dont see any one who could score a big 100 or a 200 plus score and get Aus to a winning postion. Umpires, no DRS and RD hepled Hussey reach 80 odd runs, else he too wasnt fluent. Ponting is like Dravid, Laxman, old and not as dominant as in yester years... Viru is getting older and he must slightly mature now, but he keeps playing his shots all the time. He gets out rather than someone getting him out. He should know the price tag of his wicket. it is one of the most expensive scalps. Gambhir is suffering from lack of confidence. It looks so simple but he cant leave the ball outside off. SRT looked fluent in MCG and hopefuly this 100th 100 is achived and media shut their mouth. I only see the bowling line up of both teams better. Of the 2 teams, whoever bats well will and win

  • heshan666 on January 2, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    im not agree with those past statics .Yes it was a measure about your performances and your talents.But the important thing is "what you have to do now".Especially when you are on the brink in the very first match of the tour,it will be hard to perform ,what you did before 4or 5 years ago even they have sachin,vvs,dravid and shewag.I think sydney is a different track now.it's should be more bounce and carry.So indians will be test by young quick bowlers of Australia.Whatever good luck to both teams.

  • RejuKoshy on January 2, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Not sure about the logic of replacing Kohli with Rohit. I prefer to take Rohit in place of Gambhir.

  • Aussasinator on January 2, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    Australia will win the Sydney test and go on to win the series 4-0. The reason is that never have I seen such lack of competence in the Indian batting. The manner in which the last test was thrown away through irresponsible batting in the 1st innings and ineffective field setting for the tentative Australian batsmen was compellingly a statement made. There is something fundamentally lacking in this Indian team to be a winner. The batting has once again come to revolve around Tendulkar, like in the old times. Dravid or Laxman may click in Sydney but that will not help in winning the test because Dhoni has developed a way of letting the opponents off the hook, which was very uncharacteristic of him. The captain has let down his good bowlers big time. They will never forgive him. On the other hand, Michael Clarke has turned out to be a very smart and positive captain, and he has given this average team the edge. He has given what a superior Oz team lacked earlier. Effective captaincy.

  • Herath-UK on January 2, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    One of the batsmen should score big like Dilshan's 190 at Lords after the Cardiff loss.It is Dravid who looks most likely if gone by the display by Shewag or Tendulkar in England.Harbajan won the IPL dramatically when Tendulkar failed so would not he be a good future captain. Ranil Herath-Kent

  • on January 2, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    Focus is the key for India. Partnerships should be built if India want to win it,or else.. Also, a good matured team should be selected keeping aside all new comers except Ashwin because he's contributing anyhow. If you score around 120 runs in first 20 overs,surely one will be in the drivers seat.

  • AvidCricFan on January 2, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Looking at the past records mean nothing. One needs to look at how players are performing now. Going by the recent records, VVS needs to be out of the team. He had poor 2011 and is getting old. He is a big liability in the fielding too.

  • Valavan on January 2, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    DRAVID SACHIN and SEHWAG stands between Australia and whitewash. cricinfo please publish

  • DETeamIndia on January 2, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    I remember what Chief Selector K Shikant said after annoncing World cup team. He said let us back this team and give then positive ennergy. With so much positive engergy from millions of people, I am sure we will win world cup. That came out true for whatever reason. Let us back this team playing against Auzis. Have faith in our team and I am sure they will come out good. They are just missing this little spark to perform good. I live in Germany and matches starts here at 00:30 hrs and ends at 8:00 hrs. I spend whole night on my sofa and tries to take littel nap during break time. I hope my efforts will not be wasted this time. Best of luck team india. Give your best and dont think about the results.

  • krici_lover on January 2, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    I don't understand why people expect India to so well in Australia and England and criticize them when they fail to do so. Just want to know what have been accomplishments of Australian and English cricket teams in India in recent past. India has at least managed to win a test or two in last 2 outings in Australia with one series drawn and other lost by 2-1. While in England except for last series Indian won and drew previous two series. While Australia has not been able win any test match in India in last 2 outings and England has not won any series in India since 1984. Playing abroad is not all about different country its more about how different are conditions from your country, do the conditions suit your strengths - England or Australia more or less offer bouncy and fast pitches so when players of these countries play in other country they don't find too alien conditions as they find in India. And stats show what happen to them when they play in India.

  • on January 2, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    Sydney Test...Ponting,Marsh,Hussey,Pattison will super Performence......

  • me54321 on January 2, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    Got a few days off work, and I'm really looking forward to watching this match. Don't think very much has changed from the first match, which makes Australia favourites again in my mind, but not by a huge margin. Sure it will be another tense affair, but just get the feeling the Indians can't win the big moments, so unless they can get really far ahead I think the Aussies will power through in the end.

  • usernames on January 2, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    I expect it to be a draw, or an Australian win. Can't see how India can win in Australia -- there are just too many weaknesses (with some positives, too).

    If it were me, I'd replace Gambhir with Laxman. Yes, he has played some memorable knocks at the SCG but it's time to go. You need to blood youngsters in and no better a series than this one to get Rohit to debut. That's not going to happen though, knowing how we operate. :-D

  • WeeBee on January 2, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    hmmm It would be a great contest and a hard task for INDIA! .. cause they are living with a tag of being LIONS but only of their backyard. If they want to remove this tag , they really have got to play like LIONS. Otherwise their so called World Champion would have to face the music by indian people ....! Anyway i am here for only for good cricket .. Good luck to both teams .. But i do have a soft corner with Ozz ...

  • Thalapathy07 on January 2, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    dhoni,U make us proud in 2011..make the mark for 2012 from here all the best..mahi..

  • Cricanalyser on January 2, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    I wonder Dhoni would go with the same team but this time there is a possibility of success in batting bcoz of previous failure..Eventhough Indian bowlers bowled well in mcg,Except Zaheer no one looked threatning..and since they have had a taste of india 's new guys(Ashwin,Yadav).Aus would try to play them much better than they played them in mcg

  • abhi54321 on January 2, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    I think freom the Indias' point of view Dhoni should come back into form otherwise it will be too difficult for India to come back. It is only lack in Dhoni's aggression which has led the team down. He is not being able to lead the tem from the front in tricky situations. His technique is inefficient in countering the moving ball. He should work on his technique to score on lively pitches. From Australia's point of view they are going on quite nicely but for them consistency is the key which will help them in developing a world champion team again.

  • cricketcrazy555 on January 2, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Australia will win 4-0..........................................................................................................................................................

  • Mukundan on January 2, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Agree that India's batting is vulnerable against the fast swinging seaming cherry... but how could Aussie win without their batsman contributing? Taking 20 wickets of your opponent doesnt gurantee a victory.. India did in the first test and still lost. Ponting, Hussey and Clarke are the only ones who can possibly play match winning innings and all 3 are currently not in their golden touch with the bat. Would not be a surprise if they fail too in this test. I would say it is still even - stevens as of now... Aussie have the morale and psycological advantage over India. I would bet that Aussie batting would fall like a pack of cards once more in this test. Dhoni though must be smart enough to wipe of 9, 10 and Jack... Aussie media and players talk a lot and Indians are always a bit weak in giving replies... hopefully someones or twos bat would give a stronger reply. there has been too many stress on SRT to get his 100th 100, media is having fun :-)... geared up and waiting for 05:00 IST.

  • Nish8738 on January 2, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    This might be the last overseas tour for the likes of laxman,tendulkar and dravid. So i really hope they pull off a victory in this match and level the series for a cracker in perth. India might have lost the first match but you could how they fought untill the last innings when they all went down in a flash. Zaheer khan also doesnt have too many years left in cricket so it's important for india to have praveen kumar,yadav,ishant,aaron fit to play test cricket in future. The biggest worry for india in this match will be the opener gautam gambhir. if he doesn't score now he should be dropped for rohit sharma(dravid should open).

  • on January 2, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    It will gr8 to see 100th test of SCG bcm the 100th ton of SRT. & india level the serise(hope not).

  • Naresh28 on January 2, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    ONE THING IS OBVIOUS - India need a good openning partnership at least 50+ to be able to score over 300. This should be their first goal. In test cricket they have not been able to do this in quite a while now.Openers fail and then rest also crumble. I hope India open with Shewag and Rohit.

  • on January 2, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    I hope no debut for rohit on an spinning sydney pitch.unlike other indian batsmen rohit is extremely gud at fast bowling and bouncy pitches he shd hav debuted in mcg itself !! On a spinning sydney pitch i would choose kohli any dayy over rohit even raina or yuvraj !! Fact is rohit doesnt play spin bowling as gud as others or. As gud as he is against fast bowlers .once the spinner starts keeping pressure on rohit he gives away his wicket irresponsibly.i have seen this many times in odis and t20's.i want him to have a great test debut on a testing bouncy pitch like perth !!any wayy kohli deserves another chance if he fails again we can replace him but india shd play kohli at no.3 and dravid at no.6 becoz dravid can stabilise the tail not kohli who is a newbie and lacks experience.

  • Romenevans on January 2, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    If BCCI want i can arrange a quick match for sachin against my local street team, so he can score his 100th 100. Oh wait, no! That won't happen i'll bring the mid-off mid-on back in the circle and choke him for singles, Bam! Sachin itching to score a single and caught at gully! Awwww! I'm so sorry, and the obsession for 100th 100 continues......! ROFLMAO!

  • on January 2, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    India's Batting order is not just about Sachin/Dravid or Laxman, its about Sehwag, Gambhir/ Dhoni.... These people never contribute to the team while playing overseas.,., While playing in sub continent conditions they throw their bat, but in these conditions, they never contribute to a team. Only if they can contribute India can win... Dhoni needs to contribute, which he hasn't done suceesfully done in test cricket. If India thinks about future of test cricket after Senior pro leave.. India cannot win even under sub continent conditions.. Fingers crossed.. Yet another time, Dravid / Sachin and Laxman should play more than expected to turn this series around....

  • rahulcricket007 on January 2, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    PLEASE , PLEASE INCLUDE ROHIT IN THE TEAM IN PLACE OF GAMBHIR/KOHLI . HE HAS A VERY SOILD TECHNIQUE . GAMBHIR IS OUT OF FORM & LOW IN CONFIDENCE . PLAESE DHONI AT LEAST GIVE ROHIT A CHANCE TO PLAY .

  • rahulcricket007 on January 2, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    @RAMESH DHARSHAN PARERA . LOOOL . YOUR SL HAS ALREADY BECAME MINNOW IN TESTS . JUST ONE WIN IN LAST YEAR . YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT CAPETOWN TEST . SA ARE VERY ANGRY NOW & PHILANDER IS BACK IN TEAM ALSO DURBAN WAS NOT THAT QUICK AS IT USED TO BE THIS YEAR . LAST TIME INDIA PLAYED THERE ALL THE FOUR INNINGS SCORES WERE IND 205 & 228 SA 131 & 213 .

  • rahulcricket007 on January 2, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    @SAAD , NAVEID . IF WC WAS HAPPENED OUTSIDE INDIA . THEN I M PRETTY SURE THAT YOUR PAKISTAN TEAM WOULD HAVE NEVER REACHED INTO SEMIFINALS . INDIAN TEAM SHOULD HAVE REACHED INTO SF EASILY . BUT NOT SURE THEY WOULD HAVE WON THE WC .

  • okbkpk on January 2, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    i think it will be great contest and AUS have better chance because of there bowling strenth...

  • only4gladiators on January 2, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    I'm going to be the happiest man in the coming 4 days because he never gonna a score a hundred Siddle comes with his line and length \ It's better sachin can take rest for Sydney at least to hold his record of having highest avg.Poor guy! India may won the test but sachin will definitely fails he can't keep the average as well as his record.. hey boys you are having tests till october 2013 in your subcontinent prepare a pitch like mumbai at least he can score a 90+ score there

  • patelzinith on January 2, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Dear CricInfo Team,

    It would be great if you can list match officials as well in math previews.

    Thanks

  • JimmyMilton on January 2, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    This Test should be a classic! Aussies mainly young and developing side versus the Indian veterans with a few young lads. Time for the Indian youngsters to step up to the plate and assert themselves as they will form the back bone of this team for the next ten years. Who can predict who will do what? But on current test form the Aussies should shade the Indians.

  • andrew27994 on January 2, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    @shouvicic: You are wrong. India won a test against Australia at the SCG in 1978 by an innings and 2 runs.

  • Pritt32 on January 2, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    I am struggling to be positive for team India. If India win toss and elect to bat, it will be 70 for 3 at lunch and then bowled out for 250 all out by tea. Aussies will bat and it will be 120 for 1. The next few days Aussies will reach over 400. This is similar pattern of play in England and I fear it will happen here, as everything is so gloomy in the dressing room. There is no will and passion to fight. India will lose by an innings. The point is Indian cricket team is not good enough to beat stronger oppositions and have so many issues to ponder over. It is falling on deaf ears of the selectors. I hope that I am proved wrong, but doubt it.

  • Lmaotsetung on January 2, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Here is the deal Indian fans...this is supposed to be India's best chance of winning a series in Australia but they are already 0-1 down. If Australia wins this match, it's bye bye series win and the best you can do is tie. Could be another 20-30 years before you get that chance again so in short...THIS IS A MUST WIN GAME!

  • ssenthil on January 2, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle on Twitter, "didn't see rohit bat in the nets....and saw virat bat. that is often a giveaway. Australia playing lyon for harris. India shouldn't mind!" So Rohit not going to debut and India will play the same 11 unless any injury in the last minute. Good to see Zak first time ever going to play his 2nd consecutive Test in Australia. I hope India plays aggressively and win this match as there will be a definite result as both team bowlers on good form in a bowler friendly wicket. I won't say the Batsman are out of form expect Virat who not yet belongs to Test Cricket

  • on January 2, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    I do hope Sachin gets his 100th internationality century , but i do predict an Australian victory, India in indeed the world champion of the flat pitches, since their world class batsmen are incapable of playing short pitch bowling. Pattinson reminds me of Allan Donald , Australia are on the road to recovery but for me England remains the best test team at the moment

  • Saad.Navaid on January 2, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    hmmmm... lets see lets see... lets see...!!!

    watching the Indian team perform during the last year or so i often wonder what would have happened if the world cup was to be held anywhere outside India...?

    and I hope Sachin doesn't get a Century anywhere outside in India...!!!

  • chokkashokka on January 2, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    "...for this is the 100th Test to be played at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground. Only Lord's and the MCG have hosted more Tests." - therein lies the problem. These venues are the last vestiges of a by-gone era in cricket. The new centers of cricket that should be hosting 100+ tests in the next era of modern cricket should be Eden Gardens, Feroz Shah Kotla and Wankhede. Enough of these 3 day affairs - lets leave the greenery for the grazing sheep. If teams want to play India - they should ask for an invitation to play India in India. Simple - these other teams won't last a year without the patronage of the BCCI and the opportunity to play the Indian team. Recognize and respect your masters.

  • on January 2, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    This is my two cents' worth of advice for M.S. Dhoni in the 2nd Test. You should be more aggressive and set an attacking field when the opportunity arises. A good example in the 1st Test was when you had Australia at 4 - 27. You should have gone for the jugular when the opposition was in disarray! Instead you relaxed, and allowed them to re-group! Learn from Sun Tzu's Art of War, mate!

  • on January 2, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    My prediction: Australia will win the toss and make around 400 in the first Innings. India all out little lesser, Australia around 250 in the second innings, I expect a tight finish unlike we have seen in the recent past. My money is on Australia.

  • FoollyFedUp on January 2, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    SRT and VVS runs amount to nothing at the SCG. Great averages, and nothing more. We will never win, as they take a couple of days to complete their 'milestones'...And then the Aussies take a day and half for theirs.

  • Meety on January 2, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - I thought Dravid's captaincy was quite good at the MCG, his batting lacked leadership, he should of gone down swinging not poking. A month ago, I thought the SCG would be the test India would be LEAST likely to win, as Sydney had copped a lot of rain & I thought the Pitch would be a Greentop. Shouldn't be the case, but I expect it won't be easy batting - I also expect the Indians to bat better.

  • Nish8738 on January 2, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    i hope we have better commentaters in this match. i hope harsha bhogle and sunny gavaskar can come back!!

  • hhillbumper on January 2, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    some of the comments here would have us believe that india are picked on by umpires.Well back the DRS system then and stop your whingeing.Have you ever thought that actually India are just a poor team away from their own roads

  • Smithie on January 2, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    What impact will the DRS split in the Indian dressing room have on their cricket? Captain versus Coach, Captain versus Vice Captain, Bowlers versus Batsmen. Akram seems to have the inside knowledge?

  • Nish8738 on January 2, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    I dont think india needs to drop any of their players. if they hadn't let their tale wag india would have won the match. the biggest plus for india is yadav and zaheer back in form. the bowling is not an issue against a young aussie batting line up. the concern is the batting which hasn't crossed 300 in 10 innings(except WI) the pressure on sachin to score a 100 is huge but can't understand why gambhir hasn't scored in 30 innings. i also don't understand what dhoni tries to do in test cricket as a batsman. he should play his natural game like gillly did no matter what situation india is in. india showed a better fight in the last match. i have a feeling india will do better at SCG. cheers

  • shouvicic on January 2, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    pretty amusing stats of Sachin and Laxman. But other than that everything is kind of against India. Indians are very low on confidence, where in specially Dravid who has been bowled thrice(one being no ball). High expectation on Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma(reminds of the magic spell against Ponting). India has never won a test in SCG and conditions gets friendly for India as the pitch gets older, so I really hope Dhoni wins the toss and elects to field first.

  • LillianThomson on January 2, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    For many months most of us in Australia have been saying that these are two teams well short of the elite level in test cricket, but whose flaws make them evenly matched. Both batting line-ups are capable of big scores but vulnerable. Both teams have only four frontline bowlers, and if they don't bowl the opposition out cheaply could find themselves on the wrong end of a big total. I don't see that anything has changed. There has been a reality check for the Indian fanboys who thought Australia would be a "47 all out" 4-0 whitewash, sure. But either team could win at Sydney. But on this track either or both of the teams could score 600+, like England last year, and Tendulkar has a good chance of reaching his 52nd Test century. I'm old-fashioned. I think that 52 Test centuries is an astonishing and magnificent achievement. But I don't see why you add them to ODI centuries any more than tallying up the combined total of Test centuries and children a man has. Two different games entirely.

  • DETeamIndia on January 2, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    I just hope and pray Sachin completes his milestone. Not because I want him to have another record but for the benefit of team. Everyone talks about his 100th 100 since England series. Seems like he is stuck in some kind of shell. I am sure he himself desperately want to come out of it. I want him to complete this landmark so that everyone can concentrate on winning series. I am more optimistic, India going to win at SCG.

  • Prasant_NSW on January 2, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    Same team from Aus? Hope they are turning proper cards.

  • on January 2, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    India needs a chrismas miracle !..Aussies are a far superior side so I guess India will once again get defeated by an inns margin..they are becoming a minnow as oldies have past their prime

  • suresh_pallickal on January 2, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    if india find its potential ausies is not an opposition

  • g.narsimha on January 2, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    i cant understand the personal problem mr alex 400 have with team india ,he gets publeshed hie insulting, hate coments where as our simlple & true stats drawn fro m this very site are not publeshed mr alex& other india haters are having field as our team is not doing well at present out side india , he was not seen in the first 3 days of melbourne test as match was equally poised ,he surfaced with his vemon after india lost ,he was not seen during wi series even if he was , it was to demean indias wins at the same tume he was busy in talking very highly of pakistan ,against bd , what a disgusting , jeleous mentality , mr alex , cricket will enjoy center stage in india , even we loss no problem , now adays all teams are more or less home tigers ,pl publish cric info

  • Okakaboka on January 2, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    Like some of you, I'm over this constant talk of Tendulker making a 100. Geez, focus.... Do we want Australia to win? Personally, do you know what would make my day.....Siddle gets another test hat-trick..... Sehwag, Dravid, and Tendulker in the one over. Now there would be some fist pumping the like of Leyton Hewitt has never seen! ......And....And.....Pattinson makes a test 100. Oh well, back to reality.... But we are allowed to dream! ...but heres hoping.

  • on January 2, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    My Suggestions:

    1- Drop Kohli and bring in Ojha! Yes, batting has been a problem, but if 6 batsmen can't do it, can the 7th batsman work magic? We need 5 bowlers to wipe out the tail and Sydney would be a spinning pitch.

    2-If Sehwag gets out early, then Dhoni should come up the order and play in his place. We need to do things differently and maybe this is the only way Dhoni can strike form outside Indian conditions and improve his average of 26 abroad!

    Play positive and play your shots! We need to cross 300 runs, something that we have failed to do in last 12 innings overseas!!!

  • on January 2, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    My Predictions .. India winning toss deciding to bat... all out by lunch or before tea 120-130 max. Australia scoring 320-350. India second innings 350-400. Aus needing 130 odd runs to win ..Aus win 4th day post tea 7 wickets...

  • Silverbails on January 2, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    Although I'd like to see the Indians come back hard, and win the second Test, unless these so - called batsmen STOP playing One Day shots, and start playing true Test cricket, then I fear that this won't be the case!! This will TRULY be the ONE chance of India levelling the Series. If they don't level it here, well a 4 - 0 drubbing is the ONLY result. Pathetic display of batting so far, but hopefully it can only get better...Let's hope that Dhoni can set aggressive fields for the tailenders and get them out CHEAPLY; otherwise, there'll ONLY be one result: Aus 2 - 0!! There's no point being defensive with tailenders, although I realise that tailenders these days go generally have better techniques (thanks to the One day game!!) and also have heavier bats but that NO EXCUSE for being defensive. I mean Dhoni COULD learn a lot from the English thrashing last year: even with a somewhat limited bowling attack, there was simply NO LET - UP for the Indian tail!! COME ON INDIA!!!

  • on January 2, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    During the MCG test, I saw an Indian fan holding a sign that said: "The MCG is my temple and SRT is my god." A slight loss of perspective, don't you think? Regardless of whether he makes 3 figures or not, Tendulkar needs to bow out at the end of this series. Indian cricket is on the wane, and SRT cannot possibly be part of the rebuild. Great players eventually retire - Warne, Botham, Richards, Ambrose, Akram, Dev, Khan, Hadlee, Bradman. Sachin's time has come. He and his unbalanced fans just need to realise it so that Indian cricket can move on.

  • on January 2, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    its now or never for india loss here and dream australia is over and they need to win this series to reomove the kings at home and poor tourist tag that has come again nothing else will do my change will rohit for virat and why arent we talking of playing a 2nd spinner sydeny turns later in the match no matter what grass on pitch . Gambhir is one of my fav players but have to agree time is runnig out scg maybe be his last chance though i like him i have to fair perform or perish but i have confidence in him and i am sure he will do well if not then time is over

  • LillianThomson on January 2, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    What Harper really said: "In the pre-tour meeting with the West Indies manager, coach and captain they were very concerned that the excessive appealing by the Indians was influencing the umpires and that cricket wasn't being played in the best spirit of cricket. I told them we would be vigilant and what happened in the first Test? One of the Indian fieldsmen charged at least 13 metres down to my colleague Ian Gould demanding a bad pad catch be given. I reminded MS Dhoni that he was responsible for his team's behaviour but he didn't want to acknowledge that. India is holding the world to ransom while a weak International Cricket Council fails to enforce mandatory adoption of a Decision Review System wanted by all other Test nations". Australian batsmen Mike Hussey and Ed Cowan were given out in first innings howlers against India in the series opener at the MCG - "precisely the errors the DRS was intended to address" says Harper. "It is a ludicrous situation".

  • on January 2, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    Many ppl here seems to not hv any clue abt wt happnd in SCG last tour.. Its not "normal umpiring errors" which created controversy.. And quote that incident in favour of current DRS(Hot spot and Hawkeye).. We Indeed hd snicko back then to assist umpires.. Chk these instances.. 1)Symo was out stumped.. Third Umpire refered.. Cud find his feet on the other end of line whn the bails r OFF.. Still ruled NOTOUT. 2)Symo again OUT stumped.. This time, Bucknor didnt even care go upstairs.. 3)Ganguly edged to slip cordon.. Clarke took d catch on one bounce.. This time its Benson, who didnt care to go upstairs.. Bt, he chkd wid fielders.. And the finger raised.. No, not the umpire's.. Its Punter who declared Ganguly OUT first and then, Umpire raised his finger.. Aprt from these 3 mentioned, Symo and Ponting was OUT once caught behind in first Innings and Hussey twice in second.. Yes, I accept the last 4 decisions r part of game.. Bt, the first 3 r clearly not.. And it has nothing to do DRS..

  • 161969 on January 2, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    the first week of 2012, "SACHIN+SCG=100 CENTURY'

  • sm601 on January 2, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    I think Sachin is the key to help make the middle order and the bottom order bat well in australia. This is what India missed from sachin in england as well. Sachin seems to be having issues these days with the influence IPL and then the DRS. He uses the longish front foot and then sweep, which disturbs the rythem of the spin bowlers. After DRS came in, that's becoming a rarity. The IPL influence is that a dravid or a kohli can take him away from strike for almost two overs when he is in the 90s which has troubled him. In Melbourne, siddle counted on a sequence of high bounce variable speed good deliveries which restricted sachin from rotating strike. Well, we have seen sachin evolve himself with new restrictions. I would like him to play more freely against spin first like his usual self, and then worry about other psychological restrictions of being unable to rotate strike. It must be said that a shane warne under DRS would have been real dangerous.

  • LillianThomson on January 2, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    @IndiaNumeroUno has the cheek to misquote Daryl Harper "against" DRS. From an article three days ago in which Harper called India's opposition "ludicrous"! Let's remember that earlier this year the ICC recorded Harper with an above-average 96% correct judgment rate against India in the West Indies - his errors couldn't be corrected by DRS of course. Dhoni then led a chorus of unsporting and slanderous criticism and this bullying drove Harper into premature retirement when he stepped down on the eve of his farewell Test rather than face more Indian attacks. This, by the way, is the same Dhoni who this week opposed DRS "because we in India always support the umpire". For a bit of light-relief, IndiaNumeroUno also claims that "the foreign press are more interested in SRT's 100th hundred than anyone else". The only mention I've seen of it here in Australia is of it being a contrived, meaningless landmark that noone outside India recognises, as he has still got only 78 First Class 100s.

  • on January 2, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    I don't get how folks figure that India was totally outclassed in the 1st Test. 210-2 in the first innings (and then, a collapse - which can happen to ...ahem, any team) and having Australia at 4-27 in the second innings (and then, 170-8) is not being outclassed. If anything, I guess the big difference was the contribution of the lower middle order and the tail. McGrath and Chappell may say all they want, but I don't really think the Australian team is as good as they say it is.

  • cricketcrazy555 on January 2, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    I have no doubt in my mind, Australia will will this match as well as the series very convincingly.

  • IndiaNumeroUno on January 2, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Daryl Harper on why DRS (in its current form) is so rubbish :

    "When a batsman plays a shot well away from his body, and you as an umpire see the ball strike a glove, go through to the keeper, and you hear the sound, you can draw no other conclusion than it has been gloved to the keeper and the batsman is out, that it can't be confirmed by a camera at 25 frames per second, that's technology's problem. If they were filming at 1800 frames per second, like those super slow-mos, you'd see the glove depressed with the contact from the ball"

  • on January 2, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    Agree with Hussey. Wouldn't be suprised if Sachin notches his milestone at the scg. Will be interesting to see the mcg was part of India's habit of slow starts to series or whether Australia will keep the momentum going, especially as the Aussies have been lacking consistency badly. Have no idea how Haddin has been retained. He hasn't played an innings of note since SA, meanwhile Peter Nevill's averaging 67 in the shield this year with a career average of 49. Good luck to both teams.

  • on January 2, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    Hi Chaps, I would really be amazed id Sachin gets this 100th TON. I really think the pressure on him is very high, he did look good in Melboure but it remains to be seen. I back the Aussies to win this one and I sure that the Indians are very concerned about a number of their players.

  • on January 2, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    I think its time for Indian captain and his tour selection brains to think of being bold and play rahane at front with sehwag atleast one in every three matches while trying to retain kohli and rohit both. and if the pitch is going to support spin then take ozha and ashwin in. ideally ishant should be left over considering the strike rate of yadav.

    But nothing above will happen like nothing changes the mindset of indians who are out of sorts to short pitch bowling. God only knows what is the use of experience(of sachin lakshman and dravid) if they cannot stand to short pitch stuff.

    Kohli be better watchful in this match if at all retained. This can be his last chance considering the heat from rohit waiting.

  • IndiaNumeroUno on January 2, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Looks like the foreign press and players are more interested in Tendulkars 100th than anyone else!

    Very clever strategy :-)

  • okbkpk on January 2, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    i think india must look for young blood in the team now....

  • disco_bob on January 2, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Hopefully all the hype over Sachin's 100/100 will allow Ponting to quietly steal his own ton as well as the match and the series.

  • Alexk400 on January 2, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    There is no MAGIC. Dream on people...here comes 4-0. It is good one way that indian fans stopped expecting these chokers play well against hyenas and vultures of australian attack. Indians refuse to change. I know why though. Pundits and experts alike sunil gavaskar will blame it on change or who ever made the change and make that person as scapegoat. Games are played different way with respect to India. Idea is play same way and hope indian seniors play well to draw the game. That is only option left for duncan and dhoni. They won't take risk changing things. They will get the blame and seniors will escape the Guillotine. This way culpirit (big 3) will get punishment if they don't play well. Great plan. 4-0 is coming ... Duncan can't coach these seniors to do anything. I can't fault him though. He follows kirsten formula. Let seniors run the show and if they do well you get the credit , if they don't they get the sword. :)

  • AJF.da.man.94 on January 2, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    If the pitch is going to be similar if not the same where we got smashed against the poms last summer, I don't get why Nathan Lyon is picked. Michael Beer who is of about the same quality player only picked up the most outofform Collingwood and he was supposed to tear through the batting? wow. Indians froth spin bowling they are the best in the world at playing it and the selectors pick Lyon based on the history that it will turn. I bet Harris could seam a ball further than Lyon could turn one. Harris has an average of 21 and is outstanding in his short international career and we need to include him and have a four-man pace attack for the SCG and WACA where India will get crippled. The Aussie selectors have this terrible habit of keeping the same team from the previous test match, YOU PLAY YOUR BEST 11 ACCORDING TO THE CONDITIONS! With Hilfenhaus, Harris, Pattinson and Siddle, India will crumble with the bounce and movement and we need to get the fab three out cheaply to have a chance

  • Romenevans on January 2, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    ......and the 100th 100 obsession continues....Gawd im sick of it.

  • RDR2727 on January 2, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    As an Indian, I think it would be fitting for Sachin to get his 100th century in Australia. it was a little disappointing when he came real close in the West Indies tour but it would be really an awesome sight to watch him get it at SCG! 100th test match brings up 100th century for Sachin !!!.. I can't wait to read the news paper headlines go crazy if he is to score his Century. The upper cut of Siddle convinced me that he was destined to get his century at MCG. Scoring it here in his home grounds would be a special treat for us Indians, But it would be the Special scoring it in Australia.

  • on January 2, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    India should play wid OJHA....he can be the match winner on this Sydney Pitch....Ashwin didint really impressed at MCG..even Harbhajan could be better than Ashwin at MCG..!!

  • on January 2, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    Indian Batting is really bad, I think its the weakest among top teams, specially outside India, but if they improve there top order batting, middle order batting and tale they can be a better batting side.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 2, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    INDIA Ist INNINGS 88 ALL OUT ( ASHWIN 32 , SACHIN 19 ) PATTINSON 5-27 , AUS Ist innings 285 ALL OUT ( PONTING 68 , COWAN 82 ) YADAV 4-88 , INDIA 2 nd INNINGS 132 ALL OUT ( SACHIN 46 , ISHANT 24 ) SIDDLE 4- 31 . AUS WIN BY INNINGS .

  • loveforcric on January 2, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Hope India will turn around ........... All the best boys ............. Waiting for Kholi to fire ........

  • on January 2, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    I am sure.. sachin will do it here and i am very sure.. India will win this test match and go on to win the series as well..

  • on January 2, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    hopefully sachin get his 100th hundred here , nd our indian people lives move on,,,,,,kind of stuck wd sachin's century,,,,

  • Aspraso on January 2, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    India's preoccupation with Sachin's100th is obviously a devastating influence on the Indian team. We lost the whole series in England and yet it was made to appear that even IF the series score was 4-0 in England's favor but he had scored his 100th ton -- we are a winner in a big way and it is all that counted. Similarly the tour to Oz is going the same way. Media's fascination with not only Tendulkar but his family is disrupting -- one would be made to believe that Indian batsmen facing Tendulkar's son's bowling in the nets is the best prescription for improving their batting.

  • BoonBoom on January 2, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    No matter what India does in the Sydney test, Austrlia will win and make it 2-0 on their way to another 4-0 thrasing that awaits Indians!!

  • RandyOZ on January 2, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    Should be another easy win here. Especially if Rohit doesn't play. I agree with Chappel, this kid is a gun and its a disgrace the big 3 are holding him out.

  • on January 2, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    If statements made by the curator are to be believed, pitch is going to favor quicks.India is gone.Agreed they have a decent bowling especially considering the way they bowled in Melbourne but they just dont bat at Nos5,6 and7.While VVS may come good again 6 and 7 wont make runs.And you just cant afford to bat only till No:5.Remember India were 200/2 at MCG and were bowled out for 283.Now even if the Indian batsmen (seniors)do score tons it just wont be enough because it is a case of 4 against 7.(batting wise)Not to mention Aus bowling is better than India's under Aus conditions.India play 4 batsmen on prayer-Gambhir,Viru(may/may not... its a given),Kohli and Dhoni.Of these Dhoni and Kohli are assured failures.How the heck are you gonna win test matches abroad with these batsmen.Also the Dravid and Laxman were dismissed at MCG(against fuller length bowls)spells doom for India..sad but true..at least give us a contest.happy new year!!!

  • srikanthgaddala on January 2, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    All the Best Team India.... Sachin will rocks.... @indian fans and media... please dont start the countdown For the 100th ton when he reached double figures :)........ Let the god play his natural game.. Chack de india......

  • veerakannadiga on January 2, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    Sachin & Laxman's average are flattering. Hope they do justice to that average. India needs a special something from someone to pep them up. Their body language is not encouraging.But who is that someone to create magic? If Harris plays in place of Lyon, India could well end up scoring 40- 60 runs lesser. Seaming wickets........ does not make good hearing to Indian fans. But lets hope for the best. God Bless everyone associated with cricinfo (staff,bloggers,writers etc) & all those who read & write on this site, with Health & Happiness. Here's WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012. ...veerakannadiga, India.

  • ksk154 on January 2, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    I believe India would retain the same team for the 2nd test.

  • AidanFX on January 2, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    Perth viewer who thinks Sydney is fantastic ground - both from its aura and all round look and feel and also in terms of the pitch and ground - great cricket viewing. Yep last test was one of the most bizarre tests I've seen with an exciting finish. Aus back then were guilty of bad behavior - although the statement "we were the only team playing in the spirit of the game" was a gross over-statement both teams were pretty bad in the own way. Pretty sure the heat and bitterness is for the most part over now. Expecting a good match and good viewing.

  • on January 2, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    Indian batstmen must show grit and determination all the time if they want to win the test match. Gambir should resist flashing outside off stump ball which will cost his wicket. Running between wickets should improve in the absence of which pressure will mount to score runs which will make batsmen play poor shot and gift their wicket. Dhoni should place agressive field for lower order bastmen. It may some time gift runs but the wicket taking results will improve by leap and bournd. As Ian Chappell said Tendulkar should not worry about 100th century and play natural game. This will give India good chance to win the test match/

  • on January 2, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    This series will be a difficult one for the Indian batters.The abject manner in which they surrendered the Boxing Day test said it all. Losing without a fight does not go down well...either with the team or the fans. I would love to watch the Indian batters pelt the Aussie bowling this time...and really pelt it. Dhoni has to lead by example and score well. Gambhir has to be confident and stop hopping around. Laxman....this may be your last test if you fail to score again. Dravid and Sachin need to be the pillars of the effort. Sehwag should come out blazing and plan to bat for a full day.Is that asking for too much? One day at the crease with the bat for Sehwag will see the Aussies surrender....am I asking for too much? The bowlers have done well and any improvements should be directed towards polishing off the Aussie tail.The Aussies have been suffering from foot-in-the mouth disease as everyone in that camp is confident of a 4-0 whitewash. STAND UP INDIA AND BE COUNTED.

  • on January 2, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    indias losin this aswell!

  • BustIPL on January 2, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    If Aussies go with four quicks, it will be treat to watch. Dont think now Tendulkar will score 100th 100 so easily as bowlers come to ground to deprive him of that target. Also, indian batting is under pressure so tendulkar has to look beyond his personal targets. Aussies already have enough of it and now they will not let it go.

  • on January 2, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    Rohit is better than virat

  • on January 2, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    Gambhir should really be dropped and India should really bring in both Kohli and Rohit Sharma in order for the two to show some real mettle against Australia in Australia and prove to the Indian selectors that they are ready for the responsibility to take over from the older generation when the time comes

  • ssenthil on January 2, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    All the Best for team India and Sachin to score his 100th Century in SCG

  • Mark00 on January 2, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    This is basically a sub-continent pitch. It should be no surprise that Australia has never allowed Murali to bowl on it or that Tendulkar has done so well on it. Tendulkar's averages on the other grounds are 36 (AO, 4 Matches), 7.67 (BCG, 2 Matches), 44.9 (MCG, 5 Matches), and, 50.75 (WACA, 2 Matches), but an astonishng 221.33 (4 Matches) at the SCG!

  • moBlue on January 2, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    IND are yet to play in sydney, perth and adelaide. the following are facts. VVS at the SCG: ave. 96 with a century in each of his last 3 tests there! dravid's last 4 scores at the SCG tests in 2003 and 2007 were 38, 91 n.o., 53 and 38... VVS at perth in the only test he has played there: 27 and 79 in 2008; dravid @ perth: 93 and 3 in 2008 in the only test he has played there. VVS @ adelaide: ave. 47 in 3 tests with 1 century; dravid at adelaide: ave. 94 in 3 tests with 1 century. hmmm... some of you guys think kohli, raina or rohit can do better than dravid or laxman?!? do you understand test cricket?!? pujara just might be able to based on what i saw of him at this time last year in SA, but he is not in the team! by the way, we all know - based on the england series - that dravid is in form. but laxman, you ask? laxman last year had a test average of 42 (with one century) and one match-winning performance in durban and a test hundred at home on 14th nov. 2011. you want to drop VVS?!?

  • jonesy2 on January 2, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    scg will be much much much harder for the indians to bat on than the mcg. if clarke wins the toss he should put dhoni's men into bat, bundle then out for 150 or less

  • rajat-column on January 2, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    India should consider an extra bowler in place of Virat Kohli i.e. no. 6 batsman bcoz in recent past it has been of no use to india be it Yuvraj, Raina or Kohli. India desperately need an allrounder at no.7 dhoni being pushed to no.6 such as Irfan Pathan who would be very handy in australian conditions.

  • on January 2, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    There is no logic in keeping the losing team in tact for the second Test. India failed in both the innings to get rid of Australian tailenders. They should bring in Pragyan Ojha, whose turns, variations and flight the Australian tailenders cannot handle. To strengthen the batting India should replace Gambhir and include Rohit Sharma. Virat Kohli should make way for Pragyan Ojha. Not picking up Gambhir would help him to concentrate to improve his performance.

    kcs rao, Los Angeles, USA

  • on January 2, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    I THINK INDIAN BATSMANS FALL AGAIN BECOZ INDIAN BATSMAN'S HAS NO POTENTIAL TO SCORE RUNS IN OVER SEAS.

  • Mervo on January 2, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    The old Indian guys need a slow pitch these days. Could be their only chance.

  • hmmmmm... on January 2, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    Why all this obsession with a false statistic? There is no doubt that Tendulkar is great but the cumulative total of 100's, across two completely different sports is distracting the Indian team from their goal of being in Australia - to win test matches!

  • VivGilchrist on January 2, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    Marsh is underdone, and I can't help but think a REAL fifth bowling option would be handy in Sydney. Christian should be in the XI... Horses for courses.

  • Marcio on January 2, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    What I liked most about the Melbourne text is that there were no dummies spat over the umpiring blunders. When the Dravidian bowled decision was overturned via a no-ball replay (when replays had been denied to two wrongly dismissed AUS batsmen the day before) Australia and the Australuan crowd present had every right to protest long and loud. But the crowd accepted it and the players got on with the game. Nobody turned the event into national mythology of victimhood. Amen.

  • Alexk400 on January 2, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    The average thing is flawed. India do not have fighters. Draw is possible. Most probably india lose again. It is not fans just lost hope...it is deja vu all over again..every test loss after we fan think next test would be different and imagining big 3 willd do that do this. Hmm they did nothing. They still got selected. Even after 8-0 drubbing they will be with the team..

  • on January 2, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    I remember SAC did not play a single cover drive in that knock of 241* in 2004. That was to get rid off the bad form he had in the previous tests. Guess he might go with a similar approach this time to reach his 100th hundred especially given the fact that he was out chasing the wide bowls outside the off stump in MCG!!

  • LillianThomson on January 2, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    The Australia v India Test at the SCG four yeasr ago was only ever going to be an Australian win or a draw. Australia declared on the final day to try to bowl India out, but India's ship had sailed when they failed to bowl Australia out twice. The umpiring was poor, but Indians have no right to whinge about it, given than they alone refuse to play with DRS which is intended to fix such problems. But the issue of whingeing brings us nicely back to the 2007-8 SCG Test. Australia's over-zealous appealing was annoying. But the rest of the behaviour - from Harbhajan's disputed comments to the childish threats to go home now the series could not be won - were basically entirely Indian. And let's not forget what happened with Harbhajan. Whatever he did or didn't say, the match referee banned Harbhajan for an unprecedented 3 tests after finding him guilty, only for the BCCI to suspend the tour and the ICC to overturn the ban in response. Only in cricket!

  • on January 2, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Once again little mention of India's senior batsmen's miserable record overseas in recent times. Once again India's glaring weakness is overlooked and will no doubt be brought up in hindsight AFTER the Sydney test is over with Ozzies winning big as India's senior batsmen fading away past their primes.

  • on January 2, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    How is that Australian selectors choose Ryan Harris for Sydney test before even the curator publicly commented that the pitch assists fast bowlers. Should I be drawing conclusion that this pitch is prepared for Australians ? Is is fair to say curator was being not fair?

  • satish619chandar on January 2, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    Ha.. People speak of fans obsessed and putting pressure on Sachin on the 100th 100.. How about every Aussie coming out to press conference speaking about the 100th 100.. Last time Shane Warne and many declared it will be great if it is in MCG and now Mr.Cricket.. Mental disintegration!!

  • johnathonjosephs on January 2, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    ............ Tendulkar averages 231 at the SCG? If he doesn't make his 100th century there, he'll never make it folks

  • moBlue on January 2, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    more memorable to me than the controversial SCG test in 2007 was the one in 2003, which happened to be the last test in a 4-match series which IND had tied with AUS 1-1 going into the sydney test. that test remains IND's best effort at winning a test series in AUS, at least in my memory... IND piled on 705 against AUS in steve waugh's last test, with tendulkar scoring 241 n.o. and 60 no. and laxman scoring 178... sehwag made 72 and 47 and dravid, 38 and 91 n.o as well!

    IND lorded over AUS in that test! IND should have won the series then, no question about it! but bucknor intervened for reasons known only to him! steve waugh in his last inning was only one of four crucial beneficiaries [before waugh had scored 10, battling to save the series, when he was plumb in front to kumble, who was unplayable on days 4 and 5!] of bucknor's largesse! ...and the match was drawn from a hopeless position for AUS.

    i am sure the 4 players from that test remember day 5 of that test very well indeed!!!

  • on January 2, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    India will WIN or it will be a DRAW! Indian players dont usually play the first game well, so I expect them to play better than earlier

    Also if TOSS goes india's way then for sure India's WIN

  • krish75vijay on January 2, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    India though has a strong batting line up they failed to show grit and determination. The way by which Gambir got out both time by slashing the ball going out side is not the hall mark of a good test batsmen. This slashing may work in T20 not in other formats. Running between wickets should improve otherwise batsmen will be under pressure to get runs and thereby throw their wickets. As far as tailenders are concerned Dhoni should keep attacking field to take wickets. This may sometime give few runs but wickets will be for the take.

  • on January 2, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Hope SCG magicians VVS and SRT will be in their best

  • chad_reid on January 2, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    a draw is likely but anything can happen anyone's game both have weak batting line-ups and saying India has the best batting line up in the world is an overstatement and is kind of getting old now after all those losses they are average to say the least just like aus the bowling will decide the match n test

  • on January 2, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    Sachin is gonna rock the india innings!

  • sankar8000 on January 2, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Eagerly awaiting for this test....Hope a quite sporting pitch...Expecting Indians to come hard at aussies!

  • Nampally on January 2, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    India is so hamstrung for the lack of a back up opening bat that they are forced to play Gambhir. This guy is very irresponsible, fishing constantly for balls outside the off stump. So India is one down even before they start batting. What has India learnt from MCG defeat.1. Indian batting needs to improve by a huge margin + Dhonis captaincy needs to be more rational & aggressive. Batting cannot improve if India does not get a good start- not possible with Gambhir opening. At least one century from Fab 3. Good performance from the Indian bowlers. Aussie team is average. Their bowling is just hoping for Indian batting mistakes & knows that if they keep the ball on or outside the off stump, they will get Indians out.India must not fish for the balls outside off and frustrate the Aussie bowlers by just ignoring those balls. They will then have to go to a lesser plan B & adopt new field placing to which they are not used to.Frustrating their bowlers is the best tactical way to Win.

  • on January 2, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    best luck to team and hope this will be match to look out for in new year !!

  • on January 2, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    I don't understand why the people and the media is again putting pressure on Tendulkar? They are once again expecting him to score a hundred on his favourite hunting ground. Guys, why don't you leave him alone and let him play his natural game, there is no need to put pressure on him.

  • .Raina on January 2, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    IND started as favourites @ MCG and practically controlled the match till Rahul Dravid's wicket in the first innings. And then they came back with AUS reeling at 4/27. Dhoni's reluctance to attack after that probably cost them the match. If they can't realise it themselves, It may be a good idea for IND think-tank, especially Dhoni, to take a leaf from Pup's approach when IND batted. SYD offers IND a great chance to come back in the series. Although they have never won a match here, they still have a formidable record against better host teams. They have to be sharper in the field and their captain has to be more pro-active than just hoping for the things to fall in place. IND offered too many easy runs to AUS at MCG, and they all matter, especially in a tight match. Unlike MCG it will be a 'better-batsmen' game in SYD, and IND should be confident enough with their history of batting here (and the umpires seem to be more neutral now!!)....Enjoy the game....

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    If Dhoni doesn't resort to normal, conventional, elementary test captaincy, India will have to settle as the second best team in this test match, unless the individual players' performances nullify Dhoni's horrible captaincy, the performance of the opponent players and the opponent captain. That's a quite a huge task the players have achieved over the last 2-3 years under this clueless captain. But not everytime the players will be able to put up excellent performances to nullify Dhoni's horrible captaincy. Hopefull our players will be able to pull this off despite Dhoni trying his best to pull our team back. Good luck to both the teams.

  • yorkshirematt on January 2, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    Can't wait for the second installment of How Not to Bat in Test Cricket with Australia and India. Should be a laugh a minute again.

  • on January 2, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    Yes, India needs to hope for something, and magic is the best hope with this geriatric line up. May be by magic the Aussie bowlers will bowl a few yards slower, that might help the Indians see the ball better.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on January 2, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    Yes, India needs to hope for something, and magic is the best hope with this geriatric line up. May be by magic the Aussie bowlers will bowl a few yards slower, that might help the Indians see the ball better.

  • yorkshirematt on January 2, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    Can't wait for the second installment of How Not to Bat in Test Cricket with Australia and India. Should be a laugh a minute again.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 2, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    If Dhoni doesn't resort to normal, conventional, elementary test captaincy, India will have to settle as the second best team in this test match, unless the individual players' performances nullify Dhoni's horrible captaincy, the performance of the opponent players and the opponent captain. That's a quite a huge task the players have achieved over the last 2-3 years under this clueless captain. But not everytime the players will be able to put up excellent performances to nullify Dhoni's horrible captaincy. Hopefull our players will be able to pull this off despite Dhoni trying his best to pull our team back. Good luck to both the teams.

  • .Raina on January 2, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    IND started as favourites @ MCG and practically controlled the match till Rahul Dravid's wicket in the first innings. And then they came back with AUS reeling at 4/27. Dhoni's reluctance to attack after that probably cost them the match. If they can't realise it themselves, It may be a good idea for IND think-tank, especially Dhoni, to take a leaf from Pup's approach when IND batted. SYD offers IND a great chance to come back in the series. Although they have never won a match here, they still have a formidable record against better host teams. They have to be sharper in the field and their captain has to be more pro-active than just hoping for the things to fall in place. IND offered too many easy runs to AUS at MCG, and they all matter, especially in a tight match. Unlike MCG it will be a 'better-batsmen' game in SYD, and IND should be confident enough with their history of batting here (and the umpires seem to be more neutral now!!)....Enjoy the game....

  • on January 2, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    I don't understand why the people and the media is again putting pressure on Tendulkar? They are once again expecting him to score a hundred on his favourite hunting ground. Guys, why don't you leave him alone and let him play his natural game, there is no need to put pressure on him.

  • on January 2, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    best luck to team and hope this will be match to look out for in new year !!

  • Nampally on January 2, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    India is so hamstrung for the lack of a back up opening bat that they are forced to play Gambhir. This guy is very irresponsible, fishing constantly for balls outside the off stump. So India is one down even before they start batting. What has India learnt from MCG defeat.1. Indian batting needs to improve by a huge margin + Dhonis captaincy needs to be more rational & aggressive. Batting cannot improve if India does not get a good start- not possible with Gambhir opening. At least one century from Fab 3. Good performance from the Indian bowlers. Aussie team is average. Their bowling is just hoping for Indian batting mistakes & knows that if they keep the ball on or outside the off stump, they will get Indians out.India must not fish for the balls outside off and frustrate the Aussie bowlers by just ignoring those balls. They will then have to go to a lesser plan B & adopt new field placing to which they are not used to.Frustrating their bowlers is the best tactical way to Win.

  • sankar8000 on January 2, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Eagerly awaiting for this test....Hope a quite sporting pitch...Expecting Indians to come hard at aussies!

  • on January 2, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    Sachin is gonna rock the india innings!

  • chad_reid on January 2, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    a draw is likely but anything can happen anyone's game both have weak batting line-ups and saying India has the best batting line up in the world is an overstatement and is kind of getting old now after all those losses they are average to say the least just like aus the bowling will decide the match n test