India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day

India take 1-0 lead with eight-wicket win

The Report by Daniel Brettig

February 26, 2013

Comments: 399 | Text size: A | A

India 572 (Dhoni 224, Pattinson 5-96) and 50 for 2 beat Australia 380 (Clarke 130, Ashwin 7-103) and 241 (Henriques 81*, Ashwin 5-95, Jadeja 3-72) by eight wickets
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Virender Sehwag was dismissed for 19 by Nathan Lyon, India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day, February 26, 2013
Virender Sehwag had his second failure of the match when he was dismissed for 19 by Nathan Lyon © BCCI
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An Indian victory that seemed imminent minutes after tea on day four was eventually completed by Sachin Tendulkar, 40 minutes before lunch on day five. Australia's resistance over that period arrived too late to change the result, but in it may be found the clues to a tighter contest when the second match begins in Hyderabad on Saturday.

MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Virat Kohli and Tendulkar were the pivotal contributors to India's 1-0 series lead, showing greater discipline and awareness of the sort of cricket best played on the MA Chidambaram Stadium's clay court. Save for Michael Clarke's first-day century and James Pattinson's fiery pace, it was not until Moises Henriques stood up with the bat in the second innings that the tourists showed evidence of catching up.

A target of only 50 to win was reached with the help of some Tendulkar fireworks - towering sixes from his first two deliveries against Nathan Lyon - but Pattinson again bowled well to the openers and Lyon showed far greater consistency of line and control of length than he had managed while being taken for 3 for 215 in the first innings.

Smart stats

  • India's eight-wicket win is their 13th in Chennai. It is their most successful venue followed by Delhi, where they have 11 wins.
  • India have now won three of their last four Tests against Australia in Chennai (draw in 2004). The last defeat for India against Australia in Chennai came in 1969.
  • This is only the third time that Indian spinners have picked up all 20 wickets to fall in the match. The previous instance was against New Zealand in Auckland in 1976. Pakistan have done so twice and England once (Old Trafford 1956 when Jim Laker picked up 19 for 90).
  • The win is India's best-ever against Australia in terms of wickets. Overall, they have won eight times chasing (seven at home).
  • With the win, MS Dhoni now moves level with Sourav Ganguly on the list of Indian captains with the most Test wins. His win-loss ratio (1.75) is also slightly superior to Ganguly's 1.61.
  • The 66-run stand between Moises Henriques and Nathan Lyon is the second-highest last-wicket stand for Australia against India. The highest is 77 between Allan Border and Dave Gilbert in Melbourne in 1985.

India were left with some questions about their opening pair, M Vijay and Virender Sehwag doing little in either innings, and they may also wonder about subtracting another seam bowler from their XI should the Hyderabad surface be anything like this one. Australia have found a steady batting hand in Henriques, but much of their display in this match will be the cause of serious introspection.

Henriques and Lyon had put on 66 for Australia's last wicket, a defiant gesture after the earlier batsmen had failed to stand their ground. Henriques' unbeaten innings completed a fine double for the debutant, who has surely made his place safe for the second Test.

Ultimately it was Ravindra Jadeja who ended the stand after 25 minutes on the final morning, switching from over to around the wicket against Lyon and coaxing an inside edge onto pad that was snapped up by short leg.

Pattinson's first ball of the innings was a snorter, pitched short and seaming back sharply at Vijay, though it angled away from Matthew Wade and flew away for four byes. The ball kept Vijay thinking, and after depositing Lyon for one straight six, he fell when an indecisive drive was well taken by Henriques at a shortish mid-off.

In the next over Cheteshwar Pujara offered a sharp chance when padding up to Lyon, the ball striking pad and glove but eluding Wade, who was unable to adjust to the ball's shifting trajectory. Sehwag sliced a brace of boundaries over the slips cordon from Pattinson, and when Peter Siddle replaced him he drove sweetly down the ground.

Lyon, meanwhile, showed some evidence of improvement in his bowling. He twirled down far fewer deliveries that could be tucked around the corner behind square leg, and the better line forced some impatient premeditated strokes from Pujara. It also undid Sehwag when he snicked to Clarke at slip. This little joust was ultimately immaterial to the result, sealed as it was by Tendulkar's sixes, but demonstrated that Lyon was learning.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

India deserved to win, given Oz's apparent vulnerability and the nature of the pitch. That said, such manufactured wins won't be leading you anywhere. And, unmistakably, the umpiring was disastrous. (One must say however, of the two, Dharmasena was, at least, generally unbiased.) Clarke's arrival itself followed bad decision; so his reprieve is not as much a sin as it's made out to be. While Clarke personally capitalized on his let off, it's the team that did on Sachin's. Don't say Sachin's was less obvious; even less was Henriques'. And all the 7 bowled were even more obvious than most the lbw's. When you get 7-0 lbw's in your favor while your 7 batters get bowled, and as this happens with too much regularity, your reluctance to use DRS becomes understandable. Anyway it's the concerned bodies' impotence that's landing their sides in trouble; so one feels no sympathy except worry for the game's future.

Posted by Harmony111 on (February 27, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

@Meety: I had asked this a long time back but it seems even the Oz fans have now forgotten Krejza. What happened to him? He did a hell lot better than any other Oz spinner I have seen in the last 2-3 yrs. One major reason why Eng were successful were that Panesar, with all due respect to what he did, got unexpected success. No one saw it coming. And the secret of his success was that he was able to give the ball more revolutions at a faster pace. He has big big hands. His natural angle to the RHB helped him too. The ball was coming in at 90-95 kms and then turning away sharply. The Indian spinners were either too slow with same revolutions, giving Eng batsmen time to re-check or fast with no revolutions. I mention Krejza here cos IMO he is just like Panesar. He does give the ball lots of revolutions and he does get lots of spin. Even in the WC QF he did get plenty of spin. For India, Jadeja is a bit like Panesar but can't get that much spin. Surely none can do as bad as Lyon's 200.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 27, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

@Shaggy: Indeed, Minnow victories are all Australia have these days, I understand that. It seems to me that the 'Rebuilding Phase' needs to start right here. It will take quite a few years for new youngsters to come through, but Australia should without question make a start at rebuilding a new team from scratch.

Posted by aplomb on (February 27, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

A splendid knock by Dhoni by all measures. Any team who is not performing well would look at his captain for inspiration e.g. After Sourav Ganguly 144 knock Indian came within whisker to win series down under only denied by magnificent resilience by Waugh. And at the beginning of any series you would like to attach opposition weakest link which they are praying to be successful. Dhoni did just that and now even Australian fan were not sure about their spinner success. Indian bowling were never good but at least we could boast our batting. That also was waning since last 12 test. I would hope that this inning by Dhoni could instill some confidence in other batsman and they could provide their bowlers above par score to succeed. In a team sport like cricket, as an audience we still search for show man for any match whether it could be Ambrose spell at WACA or warne bowling against SA in memorable WC SF or Sehwag or KP dictating terms at their day. Hope that test outlook would be changed.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (February 27, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

@Michael Whyte Some other pivotal points you should have considered for a balanced view here 1)clarke not walking of when on 39 2)sehwag dropping warner in first innings 3)Cowan surviving 2 close calls in second innings 4)kholi dropping clarke on 0 in second innings. And only you dont seem to believe in dhonis edge when every one else has seen. If these pivotal points were also taken into consideration the game would have become one sided.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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