India v Australia, 1st Test, Mohali, 3rd day October 3, 2010

Intriguing day of Test cricket ahead

India scored only 23 runs fewer than Australia, taking 43 fewer overs, a scoring rate which has kept the match alive
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The backs of the rock-solid chairs at the PCA Stadium don't move back or forward, else that movement could have been heard when Sachin Tendulkar moved too far across to Marcus North and was out lbw for 98. Tendulkar had played beautifully until then, and the century had seemed inevitable.

There were three other knocks in the Indian innings that met a similar fate. Virender Sehwag got a short ball that stopped a touch, Rahul Dravid got a good ball from Doug Bollinger, and Suresh Raina - who looked unstable in the second half of his innings - played around a skidding delivery from Mitchell Johnson. Neither of them was as good or as big an innings as Tendulkar's, but all three had centuries on offer after having blunted the attack. Had even one of the four men gone on to score a big hundred, India would have batted Australia out of the game.

Still, thanks to the pace at which India scored, and thanks to an Australian attack that isn't quite threatening to take 10 wickets in a day, the late collapse during which India lost five wickets for 24 should not hurt the home side too much. While theoretically all three results are still open, an Indian defeat is only a slim possibility. The only way India can lose now is for Australia to get bowled cheaply, and India to do even worse.

Australia, for sure, won't be too keen to declare too soon, thus giving India most of the final day to survive. The presence of Sehwag in the Indian line-up takes care of such declarations, especially after what he did against England in Chennai in 2008-09. Also, Australia will not be encouraged by how their bowlers hardly created any pressure on India for three sessions.

It was possibly this knowledge that prompted India to go for quick runs. They must have felt that they were the side that needed to push for a win. Dravid later said that the pace at which India went had kept the game alive. It was a remarkable approach, too, since they knew VVS Laxman was out for at least the day with back spasms.

India scored only 23 runs fewer than Australia, taking 43 fewer overs. It was clear from the in-and-out field set early in the day that Australia were not going to force the pace. They had the runs on the board, and asked India to risk losing wickets going for the quick runs needed for a win. It was a smart approach, and needed high-quality batting to be countered. India took the challenge, and Dravid, Tendulkar and Raina all seized the initiative.

Dravid said, though, that India would have loved to totally eliminate the possibility of losing, and force Australia to save the game over four sessions or so. "We had the advantage, and we looked like we were going really well when Sachin and Raina were batting," he said. "But we lost wickets in a heap. At the same time I wouldn't say we are behind now. We are on an even keel at this stage. You also got to give credit to the bowlers. [Mitchell] Johnson bowled really well towards the end."

In a strange way, though, this collapse might have given India a slight advantage. Had things gone to plan, India would have tried to bat until the third session of day four, getting a lead of close to 250 and asking Australia to save the game. That would have given Australia a clear approach. Now, they will have to weigh up whether to go for safety first or whether to attack, as a team with a slender lead and with the advantage of bowling last would usually do.

As it often happens in Tests where both the teams complete their innings quite close to each other by the end of the third day, the third innings of the match will be crucial here. In their first effort, Australia managed to defend well against spin, with a clear mindset on a fresh pitch. On day four, though, the pitch will be worn out, and there will be options running in the head. If Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan - who "bowled 50 overs on one leg" in the first innings - are at their best, the fourth day will make for some Test cricket.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mahesh_Eswar on October 4, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Only 2 results are possible now. A draw is ruled out. I bet on Aus to win because Ind has only Dhoni as the last specialized batsman. As I told earlier, anything beyond 175 as last innings target is difficult. My prediction is Ind will be bowled out for 150 between lunch and tea tomorrow. But my heart goes for another match winning innings by Sachin supported by Dhoni, Zaheer and Bhajji. In any case Aus has proved that their 2nd string bowling is capable of getting the over hyped Indian batting. Aus should be glad that they got bowled out for less than 200. If they had wickets in hand, they would have played for about an hour tomorrow morning and thought of declaration. India then would have an option to save the game if they lose wickets during the chase. A result is now inevitable and I am glad about that rather than a tame draw!!!

  • Meety on October 4, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    What a final session! I think Oz should restrict India to 1 run an over an wait for them to collapse in the last session - LOL! I wonder what excuses Indian fans will give when/if they lose tomorrow. Now for my grievances - 1. Oz attack unlikely to take 10 wickets in a day? - They were on target to take 10 in a session. 2. Oz negative tactics? what about the fact that India was 10 overs behind by Tea? Only bowled 23 overs by Lunch - 14 by spinners! That is negative my friends. India still can win this as long as SRT is still at the crease. If wickets fall @ the other end I wonder if SRT will go after the attack or be patient? What a final day - again as I said b4 the start of the day ALL 3 reults are on the table, (what odds on a tie???)

  • Razor88 on October 4, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    @cricket_fan_1980 : yea really Hope So.....Imagine Raina And Umar Akmal Playing together, Afridi and Dhoni Thrashing, Sachin n Yusuf Anchoring , Importantly Zaheer and Gul Reversing...with Ameer n Ishant Streaming its a match winning Combo.... But whatever We will be still the Worst Fielding side lol.....

  • Capricorn60 on October 4, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    JB77 - Maybe India rightly refused to accept this umpiring referral system in this series knowing the T.V. umpires in both matches would probably be someone as inept as this clown Mr Hazare! :))) Anyways, wot is the referral system got to do with the state of the pitches??? Whatsmore, doesn't every country prepare their pitches to suit their own bowlers! As for 'flat track bullies', haven't all the Indian batsman thrived on pacy overseas pitches too in recent years - which is precisely why they are the current No. 1 Test team! DiggersRus - If Ishant Sharma is the most ridiculous bowler at present, God only knows how he's already destroyed the Aussie top order in the second innings, taken three wickets as I write this & unlucky not to get perhaps a couple more!!!

  • on October 4, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    @ whippersnapper. Well said, nothing said will affect the result of two even teams. Well done to Tendulkar, Watson, Paine, Raina and Johnson. Watching the battle is the thrill. Go Aus.

  • moody89 on October 4, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    I don't know why a result is not possible. Harbajhan and Sehwag will enjoy bowling on this wicket tomorrow. There was some spin on offer, and also bounce for Harbajhan... and he is a much better bowler when bounce is available. Ishant really needs to step up, he has dwindled. Yet another Indian quickie fades after one good season. Absolutely ridiculous, what are they doing in chennai at the pace foundation?

  • longrun on October 4, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    gotta love test cricket. 3 results still very much on the cards. whippersnapper has it spot on, as does marcio. any chance out of a billion people they could get more than 5000 through the gates? or are they all chipping in to build foot bridges for the commonwealth games? oh and all this bucknor talk is silly really, take the good with the bad, damien martyn got some rough decisions in england, strauss last time in oz, yet we move on to the next ball because what has happened does not effect what is happening.

  • on October 4, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    I think Sidarth is right on the money here. I cannot see Australia winning the test match as they will not make a sporting declaration and dangle a 'carrot' for India to chase.Having said that, pressure does funny things to people so all 3 outcomes are still possible. People may see this as negative cricket, but I see it as intelligent and mature cricket from Australia. Whilst I love the fact we are seeing test matches rather than poxy ODI's, I think Indian cricket's decision to play this series instead of the original ODI series is more about beating Australia while they are down and strengthening India's no.1 ranking before the tough SA tour ahead. Therefore it is up to them to try to force a result much like Australia has had to do for many years in Australia.

  • DiggersRus on October 4, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    :Sweetspot - lack of menace hey? Ishant Sharma is the most ridiculous bowler in international cricket. It has been a long while since we've seen such woeful bowling in a test match. The only people he's be scaring are the little kiddies on Halloween.

  • DiggersRus on October 4, 2010, 2:52 GMT

    It is been a long time since I have read such a biased load of crap article on this website.

    Australia is ahead in the game, as shown by their higher first innings score. Their slower scoring rate shows a responsibility and an understanding of TEST MATCH cricket. While the fast scoring rate and fickle batting of India highlights their over-reliance on 'hit and giggle' T20 cricket. Shown up by some excellent Australian bowling yesterday, I reckon the game rests firmly in the hands of the Aussie batsmen. Sehwag controls the game - give me a break. On a crumbing 5th day wicket he will be inconsequential.

  • Mahesh_Eswar on October 4, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Only 2 results are possible now. A draw is ruled out. I bet on Aus to win because Ind has only Dhoni as the last specialized batsman. As I told earlier, anything beyond 175 as last innings target is difficult. My prediction is Ind will be bowled out for 150 between lunch and tea tomorrow. But my heart goes for another match winning innings by Sachin supported by Dhoni, Zaheer and Bhajji. In any case Aus has proved that their 2nd string bowling is capable of getting the over hyped Indian batting. Aus should be glad that they got bowled out for less than 200. If they had wickets in hand, they would have played for about an hour tomorrow morning and thought of declaration. India then would have an option to save the game if they lose wickets during the chase. A result is now inevitable and I am glad about that rather than a tame draw!!!

  • Meety on October 4, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    What a final session! I think Oz should restrict India to 1 run an over an wait for them to collapse in the last session - LOL! I wonder what excuses Indian fans will give when/if they lose tomorrow. Now for my grievances - 1. Oz attack unlikely to take 10 wickets in a day? - They were on target to take 10 in a session. 2. Oz negative tactics? what about the fact that India was 10 overs behind by Tea? Only bowled 23 overs by Lunch - 14 by spinners! That is negative my friends. India still can win this as long as SRT is still at the crease. If wickets fall @ the other end I wonder if SRT will go after the attack or be patient? What a final day - again as I said b4 the start of the day ALL 3 reults are on the table, (what odds on a tie???)

  • Razor88 on October 4, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    @cricket_fan_1980 : yea really Hope So.....Imagine Raina And Umar Akmal Playing together, Afridi and Dhoni Thrashing, Sachin n Yusuf Anchoring , Importantly Zaheer and Gul Reversing...with Ameer n Ishant Streaming its a match winning Combo.... But whatever We will be still the Worst Fielding side lol.....

  • Capricorn60 on October 4, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    JB77 - Maybe India rightly refused to accept this umpiring referral system in this series knowing the T.V. umpires in both matches would probably be someone as inept as this clown Mr Hazare! :))) Anyways, wot is the referral system got to do with the state of the pitches??? Whatsmore, doesn't every country prepare their pitches to suit their own bowlers! As for 'flat track bullies', haven't all the Indian batsman thrived on pacy overseas pitches too in recent years - which is precisely why they are the current No. 1 Test team! DiggersRus - If Ishant Sharma is the most ridiculous bowler at present, God only knows how he's already destroyed the Aussie top order in the second innings, taken three wickets as I write this & unlucky not to get perhaps a couple more!!!

  • on October 4, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    @ whippersnapper. Well said, nothing said will affect the result of two even teams. Well done to Tendulkar, Watson, Paine, Raina and Johnson. Watching the battle is the thrill. Go Aus.

  • moody89 on October 4, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    I don't know why a result is not possible. Harbajhan and Sehwag will enjoy bowling on this wicket tomorrow. There was some spin on offer, and also bounce for Harbajhan... and he is a much better bowler when bounce is available. Ishant really needs to step up, he has dwindled. Yet another Indian quickie fades after one good season. Absolutely ridiculous, what are they doing in chennai at the pace foundation?

  • longrun on October 4, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    gotta love test cricket. 3 results still very much on the cards. whippersnapper has it spot on, as does marcio. any chance out of a billion people they could get more than 5000 through the gates? or are they all chipping in to build foot bridges for the commonwealth games? oh and all this bucknor talk is silly really, take the good with the bad, damien martyn got some rough decisions in england, strauss last time in oz, yet we move on to the next ball because what has happened does not effect what is happening.

  • on October 4, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    I think Sidarth is right on the money here. I cannot see Australia winning the test match as they will not make a sporting declaration and dangle a 'carrot' for India to chase.Having said that, pressure does funny things to people so all 3 outcomes are still possible. People may see this as negative cricket, but I see it as intelligent and mature cricket from Australia. Whilst I love the fact we are seeing test matches rather than poxy ODI's, I think Indian cricket's decision to play this series instead of the original ODI series is more about beating Australia while they are down and strengthening India's no.1 ranking before the tough SA tour ahead. Therefore it is up to them to try to force a result much like Australia has had to do for many years in Australia.

  • DiggersRus on October 4, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    :Sweetspot - lack of menace hey? Ishant Sharma is the most ridiculous bowler in international cricket. It has been a long while since we've seen such woeful bowling in a test match. The only people he's be scaring are the little kiddies on Halloween.

  • DiggersRus on October 4, 2010, 2:52 GMT

    It is been a long time since I have read such a biased load of crap article on this website.

    Australia is ahead in the game, as shown by their higher first innings score. Their slower scoring rate shows a responsibility and an understanding of TEST MATCH cricket. While the fast scoring rate and fickle batting of India highlights their over-reliance on 'hit and giggle' T20 cricket. Shown up by some excellent Australian bowling yesterday, I reckon the game rests firmly in the hands of the Aussie batsmen. Sehwag controls the game - give me a break. On a crumbing 5th day wicket he will be inconsequential.

  • Marcio on October 4, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    So only an Indian win is possible? Talk about blindness! Is this a fan website? But judging by the comments on cricinfo, getting anything resembling a rational perspective on a game is near impossible. It all comes back to the same old same old about how great India's batsmen are. I reckon I could average 50 on some of these decks! Secondly, Australia is evil, India morally superior. When Indian players are caught sledging or abusing opponents, they were 'provoked', when Aussies do it, they are just plain bad. Check the citations for misbehaviour -India and Pakistan top the list, not Australia. But wait, that's because of a conspiracy by the ICC, as is the case when neutral umpires have to be replaced because they favour Oz!

    Reality check: India have to bat last on a wicket which might deteriorate. If they have to chase more than 250, they could very well lose. If they win all the best to them, but to suggest they cannot lose is simply delusional.

  • ballofthecentury on October 4, 2010, 1:41 GMT

    Capricorn60 - I find it really funny that you are asking for neutral umpire now that an Indian one makes a decision you dislike. But you're right. I'm sure all neutral umpires would remember the fate of Bucknor and make the right calls for the sake of their careers.

  • BillyCC on October 4, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    Masterclass, your comments show a lack of understanding of test cricket. 430 is a good score in a first innings and the first day was one of attrition, a classic test match opening day. Sure, the scoring rate was slow, but who cares? Australia were trying to take wickets yesterday and had they succeeded to break the Tendulkar/Raina partnership, India may have folded for 300, a lead of 130 with 7 sessions remaining which is a dominant position despite the low scoring rate. The fact is, India batted too well for them until the last 15 overs of their innings. Give credit to India, don't try and blame Australia. In terms of the situation today, I think Australia will only chase the game once the openers are out. Knowledge eater has got it spot on.

  • Mahesh_Eswar on October 4, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Interesting situation. Had Steve Waugh been the captain, Aus would have scored 425 before lunch on day 2. That allows them to bowl out the opposition, bat aggressively in 2nd innings and bowl out the opposition 2nd time. By batting slow, they were already in a defensive frame of mind. I wont blame ponting for this approach because their bowling is not as strong as few years back. If Aus scores more than 225-230, it will be interesting. I was really impressed with North's bowling and he could prove crucial in the 4th innings. The best chance for India is to bowl Aus out for 150-175 max. I have confidence only in Sehwag and Dravid to chase in the 2nd innings. Remember, Lax is not well and cant be depended for a chase. India should not compromise on the overall fitness while selecting the team. They should pick the best 11 from the most fit players. Fitness I mean is a player's ability to play 5 days of cricket giving 100%. My team for next test-drop/rest Ishant & Lax, take Sree & Pujara.

  • maddy20 on October 4, 2010, 1:20 GMT

    Only one side was trying to get a result here and thats India. Australia scores 400 in 160 overs(at 2.5 RPO) and India scores the same at over 3.5 runs an over. @Dsig We will see who will grind whom into the dust. There is no Bucknor to save you this time!

  • whippersnapper on October 4, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    Just listen to yourselves! All of ya! This is good test cricket! Evenly poised with a couple of days to go! It could go either way! Stop whinging and complaining with all the Tendulker vs Ponting rubbish and just enjoy it! This is way better than any 20/20 crap! All your arm chair analysis on who's trying to win or not to lose or whatever is meaningless drivel. Get over yourselves! ENJOY!!!!!!

  • JB77 on October 4, 2010, 0:56 GMT

    @Capricorn60 - India have no right to whinge about dodgy umpiring decisions. They had the chance to use the referral system in this series, but despite Australia being keen to use it, India refused. Why are India so reluctant to use the referral system? Control. They can control the pitches in India - make them flat tracks which negate visting bowlers and let the flat-track bullies thrive. Allowing referrals to a visiting team would lessen the control India has on each match and lets face it - the only way India will remain Number 1 for any extended period is if they control conditions in their favour as much as possible.

  • on October 4, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    Australia is playing to their capabilities. Of course it took Australia 43 over more to reach a score is a forgein continent, where all variable are totally different. If Australia rushed and were at the same pace as India, we could be on the verge of not only losing this game but the series too. I say good on them, for sticking at it. Now we know Indians capabilities and have developed some form, I think it was all about staying out there as long as possible and make some runs, annoy and gather some form for the next game. ANd if we doing well by last session open the flood gates make some runs then try to bowl tomorrow. This has been a really good test against the no.1 side. The series is gonna come down how much heart rather than talent, does the aussies have against a formiddable and talented india.

  • on October 4, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    @safwan123... mate wats wrong wid u... this has been goin on forever... if a wicket is seaming and is unplayable its a sporting wicket but if if it starts spinning its not gud... flat wickets in inidia are flat for both the teams not jus india n still india almost never looses a home series... every country prepares the pitches according to their strength... n talking abt england, india won the test series last time they went their

  • jamrith on October 4, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    Come on, the so-called best batsman in the world lets an average bowler like Marcus North dictate terms and get him out. Notwithstanding all the commentator hype, Sachin is definitely past his peak, in days of yore he would have pasted this Aussie attack for a double century. And are there any physical fitness tests dligently administered,if so, how could one bowler and one batsman go crock. If Laxman was goingto bat he should have come in at # 8 or 9 not 10.

  • Maui3 on October 3, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Thats nonsense to think that collapse would help India. A lead is a lead. Sure, there is an element of doubt to set a target for ateam with a batting line up as strong as India. But the fact that Aus scored more than India and India has to bat fourth put Aus at an advantage. Like Dravid, India would rather be in front and eliminate the possibility of a loass and push for a win.

  • Meety on October 3, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    @Sidharth Monga - I am sorry to say that this report is quite dissappointing as it really is quite dismissive of what Oz achieved. Isn't it fair to say that if Oz survived longer in their innings that India's bowlers were not likely to "take 10 wickets in a day"? - yet you go on to talk about the possibility of bowling Oz out cheaply & that it is unlikely India will lose. Oz did create chances - and they dropped a few too, like India did. This match is like test series of old, & to talk about run rates is very IPL-ish. Very poor.

  • Meety on October 3, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    @ Bukhari - its comments like this that make the non-Indian world not respect India's ranking. There is a belief that India are clinging to this ranking despite insipid 1all draws against SA & SL over 2 TEST SERIES, and a hastily arranged 2 Test series against Oz. The rankings are nice guide - but do have flaws, which are being highlighted by India currently. I think there will be a big wake up call in Sth Africa coming for your band of geriatrics & cripples dude!

  • MasterClass on October 3, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    @dsig3 - U got one thing right: grind. Aus will grind away at 2 runs/over because the pathetic batting is only good for that.

  • David47 on October 3, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    What do you mean "Australia are batting too slow" - we're none for 23 in our second innings and haven't faced a ball yet. Anyway, what I really want to ask is - where are all the Indian supporters?? Mohali is almost empty - can't you guys drag yourselves out of the internet cafes and go to the game? Are the ticket prices too high?

  • Meety on October 3, 2010, 22:38 GMT

    @DHOBIRONA - mate if only.... if only India had decent fans! LOL @hollandindian - Oz tactics were no more negative than India stacking one side of the field. India batted with more intent because Oz set more attacking fields. @knowledge_eater - you might be eating humble pie by the end of Day 5. There is a result for the taking for both sides. Oz played old fashioned grind em down cricket. It is no secret that Indian conditions do not suit Oz cricketers in the Test format. With Sharma injured - Oz employed a wear them down attitude - which worked. India did not have that much sting (Zak aside), as Day 2 wore on. If you remove the batting assault late on Day 2, India's scoring rate was only marginally above Oz. Also Oz set more attacking fields than India who (partially because of Sharma being injured), bowled one dimensionally and didn't go for the 2nd new ball. I do agree that Oz 2nd innings will decide the outcome of the match - Oz will need to bat an hour into Day 5 for 330 lead.

  • Bukhari on October 3, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    Aus seem afraid of loosing while India is pushing for victory. The approach two teams have shown in this game pretty much justifies their ranking. Go India and win this game..

  • rattoir on October 3, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    This Monga guy has the saffron glasses on again as do many of these posters.

    India's batting C O L L A P S E D.

    6 for 50-odd. And that's with Aus unusually spilling chances.

    They went down quicker than a 100 rupee hocker.

    No menace in the bowling? Then what happened? All the Indian batsmen got themselves out? So how are they the best batting line up in the world if they get themselves out? Lack of intelligence? Lack of a backbone when a little pressure came on? Forgetting they are playing test cricket? A joke!

    Then it just goes to show the over-inflated averages of Indian batsmen from producing flat tracks for home series have resulted in over-inflated egos who think they can smack any attack out of the park.

  • dsig3 on October 3, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    @ MasterClass get real mate. India are the most timid number one side of all time. Aus are certainly not as aggressive as Steve Waughs side who would rather lose than draw. Dhoni plays to not lose. This has been shown time and time again yet ignorant indian supporters fail to see this. Ponting is not Steve Waugh but he's certainly better for cricket than Dhoni. We will grind you into the dust until only one of us can win and then have a crack. Never know what can happen with the prima donna indian batting line up.

  • safwan_Umair on October 3, 2010, 21:22 GMT

    @rachits .... that was arrogance personified....and i guess you can show off, given the fact that you have the number one team, the richest cricket board, the wealthiest bookmaking industry and the indian cricket council (ICC) on your side....flat, back breaking home pitches have elevated your team to dizzy heights....wonder how ur fantastic batting line up would perform on a seaming headingly pitch? ....

  • MasterClass on October 3, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    While I couldn't fathom the Indian approach in the 3rd session (of 3rd day) gifting their wickets chasing quick runs when they had a very healthy RR, I think the situation poses an interesting character question for Aus & Ponting, who always trumpet how they're the only team looking to win. They now have a Catch 22 to face: try to score quickly and in the process almost certainly loose regular wickets, or be shown-up as hypocrites. Let's see which Aus team shows up tomorrow. I bet it's the hypocrites.

  • rachits on October 3, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    @muhammad ali: hey, nice surprise to see a pak supporter here (forgive me for taking the liberty of making that assumption!)...how did u manage to find the time? dont u hv any more cheating bowlers, bookies, intellectually challenged cricket administrators, ball eating captains, retirements-comebacks-retirements and many more wonderful pak cric things to see already?

  • sweetspot on October 3, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    The only way ANY result is possible is if Australia are bowled out cheaply. If Australia go on to lose this, they richly deserve the #4 position they are in. No menace in their bowling at all. India won't be worried about taking on this attack in any conditions anywhere in the world.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on October 3, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    I wish Tendulkar had made a century. I'm a Pakistani cricket fan but I love it when the Indian batsmen are in full flow, a delight to watch. (Not against us ;). I think Tendulkar is one of the reasons why Pakistan and India still share common love. He's a home grown legend. That is why, deep down, when India is playing other teams, I want them to win, because we are the same people ethnically, maybe not politically, but ethnically, which in my humble opinion matters a lot. If our two countries hadn't been split in 1947, imagine the potential of quality PK bowling and quality Indian batting in one team! wow ....

  • rachits on October 3, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    @aussasinator: dude, its hell averted for aussies...u shud hv seen the face of ponting wen tendulkar n dravid were together n more so wen raina n tendulkar were going...some inspirational "teapot" captain!!

  • knowledge_eater on October 3, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    "India scored only 23 runs fewer than Australia, taking 43 fewer overs, a scoring rate which has kept the match alive" Enough said and right on the money. Australia was playing for not to lose test match from Day 1. India is playing with only two wicket taking bowlers. Taking 11 aussy wickets with only two bowlers is not great way to compete. If India is still to win this match, then Bhajji and Zak must strike and Ohja must bowl aggressive stump to stump. No short pitch or no juicy out side of wicket Zone. Bhajji was still getting bounce and to be honest batsman were not that comfortable facing him. Seeing Aussy spinners bowled enough, India must take advantage of foot marks and try to push for result. Because I don't see Aus. taking any chances. Let's hope Zak once again gets Katich and Watson early. Because Clarke will try to play positive against spinners so does Ponting, let's see how Aus. batsman play on 2nd lap. If India manages to take early wickets, we might see thrilling chase

  • Capricorn60 on October 3, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    The third umpire's decision to give out Dhoni was absolutely ridiculous! With Watson's fingers pointing downwards in taking the catch, it clearly appeared the ball bounced before it was pouched by the fielder. Dravid has a similar catch in the Aussie innings which rightly was given not out! With such clear uncertainty as to whether this 'catch' was taken, the benefit of such doubts has surely got to be in the batsman's favour! One can could understand an on-field umpire giving an incorrect decision but for this clown of a third umpire to give one - with the full use of replays & all the technology at his disposal - is simply unforgivable! Rather have a neutral T.V. umpire off-field too rather than a local bungling incompetent guy like this Mr Hazare!

  • hollandindian on October 3, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    Its actually a shame that only india can force a result now. The way the Aussies batted was not from a team which want to be the best. Lets hope the pitch will start reversing and bouncing on day 4 so that india can bowl out aus cheaply. They deserve to win after forcing a result.

  • Razor88 on October 3, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    Rightly said!!!! Certainly India Got their nose Ahead....Don't Forget Ishant...He looked pretty Good in the end of the 1st Ings....Hope he strikes to Justify the selectors....else he needs to be changed....Aussies on the other Hand should take whatever small momentum they have gained and try and dominate(thats what they know best)......Hope they don't think abt drawing First thing in the morning.......Even now its evenly poised guys...nything can happen....Hopes watto will adapt to a much aggressive Approach cause thats when he is really Dangerous.....

  • on October 3, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    go aussies go and crush indians...........

  • Analytical_Sathya on October 3, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    We need following changes to make India a better test team: 1.3 pace bowlers should be the norm in India.Spin is no more our strength. 2.Don't ignore deserving players. Munaf Patel is an automatic choice for a pace bowling slot for all forms of cricket. 3.Dhoni at the most can hit a opportunistic six to a spinner which only flatters to deceive. There are far better players than him. 4.Similarly there are far better bowlers than Harbhajan/Ishanth/Sreeshanth

  • DHOBIRONA on October 3, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Only if Dhobi had held all catches...and Harbhajan was a genuine spinner, and we had a better 2nd spinner instea do of Ojha, and a fit and better 2nd pace bowler instead of ISHANT SHARMA (sharma means shameful, this lanky lad is shameless)....then Australia would not have scored so many runs and India would be in aleading position.

    My recommendations.DROP Dhoni, Ishant, Ojha and Harbhajan, the overhyped useless players for 2nd test . Take Sreesanth, chawla, mishra, and Parthiv Patel. India will win 2nd test then. SELECTORS R U AWAKE AND LISTENING?

  • Jim1207 on October 3, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    Thankfully the pitches is helping bowlers who can use it well unlike some of recent pitches seen in some grounds in India. But I would object to the comments that non-Indians often give that Indian pitches are flat roads, batsmen need to play spin and reverse swing very well to survive here. Seeing the rate at which aussies are usually playing in India, one has to understand that the batting in India is not easy. Sometimes pitches do not tend to change its behavior after one or two days, for which I am not clear about the reasons behind such happenings. It could be various causes starting from how weather behaves over the five days in sub-continent conditions that sometimes makes curator's job difficult. Having said that, Aus played well in the first innings even after losing 5 wickets on first day.This looks a good contest and hopefully would have a thrilling climax too.

  • ashdan on October 3, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Anything around 300 vl be tough for India to chase.. less than 250 vl be a easy walkover for India...

  • Aussasinator on October 3, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    Nothing intriguing. The match will be drawn. But India will make it look like hell averted.

  • CricketMaan on October 3, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Sid, Harbhajan - who "bowled 50 overs on one leg" in the first innings, the problem was not he bowled with one leg, he just bowled with one plan...one dimensional..its time Ashwin is drafted in..

  • ajay_01 on October 3, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Hoping to get a result as it is interestingly poised. I reckon once again zak will gear up for another 5 for... All the best india

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  • ajay_01 on October 3, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Hoping to get a result as it is interestingly poised. I reckon once again zak will gear up for another 5 for... All the best india

  • CricketMaan on October 3, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Sid, Harbhajan - who "bowled 50 overs on one leg" in the first innings, the problem was not he bowled with one leg, he just bowled with one plan...one dimensional..its time Ashwin is drafted in..

  • Aussasinator on October 3, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    Nothing intriguing. The match will be drawn. But India will make it look like hell averted.

  • ashdan on October 3, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Anything around 300 vl be tough for India to chase.. less than 250 vl be a easy walkover for India...

  • Jim1207 on October 3, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    Thankfully the pitches is helping bowlers who can use it well unlike some of recent pitches seen in some grounds in India. But I would object to the comments that non-Indians often give that Indian pitches are flat roads, batsmen need to play spin and reverse swing very well to survive here. Seeing the rate at which aussies are usually playing in India, one has to understand that the batting in India is not easy. Sometimes pitches do not tend to change its behavior after one or two days, for which I am not clear about the reasons behind such happenings. It could be various causes starting from how weather behaves over the five days in sub-continent conditions that sometimes makes curator's job difficult. Having said that, Aus played well in the first innings even after losing 5 wickets on first day.This looks a good contest and hopefully would have a thrilling climax too.

  • DHOBIRONA on October 3, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    Only if Dhobi had held all catches...and Harbhajan was a genuine spinner, and we had a better 2nd spinner instea do of Ojha, and a fit and better 2nd pace bowler instead of ISHANT SHARMA (sharma means shameful, this lanky lad is shameless)....then Australia would not have scored so many runs and India would be in aleading position.

    My recommendations.DROP Dhoni, Ishant, Ojha and Harbhajan, the overhyped useless players for 2nd test . Take Sreesanth, chawla, mishra, and Parthiv Patel. India will win 2nd test then. SELECTORS R U AWAKE AND LISTENING?

  • Analytical_Sathya on October 3, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    We need following changes to make India a better test team: 1.3 pace bowlers should be the norm in India.Spin is no more our strength. 2.Don't ignore deserving players. Munaf Patel is an automatic choice for a pace bowling slot for all forms of cricket. 3.Dhoni at the most can hit a opportunistic six to a spinner which only flatters to deceive. There are far better players than him. 4.Similarly there are far better bowlers than Harbhajan/Ishanth/Sreeshanth

  • on October 3, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    go aussies go and crush indians...........

  • Razor88 on October 3, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    Rightly said!!!! Certainly India Got their nose Ahead....Don't Forget Ishant...He looked pretty Good in the end of the 1st Ings....Hope he strikes to Justify the selectors....else he needs to be changed....Aussies on the other Hand should take whatever small momentum they have gained and try and dominate(thats what they know best)......Hope they don't think abt drawing First thing in the morning.......Even now its evenly poised guys...nything can happen....Hopes watto will adapt to a much aggressive Approach cause thats when he is really Dangerous.....

  • hollandindian on October 3, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    Its actually a shame that only india can force a result now. The way the Aussies batted was not from a team which want to be the best. Lets hope the pitch will start reversing and bouncing on day 4 so that india can bowl out aus cheaply. They deserve to win after forcing a result.