October 16, 2008

Regular service

Bangalore provided good cricket but not much to take the breath away. Will Mohali be different?
21


Rabbits with teeth: Harbhajan and Zaheer's rearguard left Australia short of answers © AFP
 

At stumps on the opening day of the Bangalore Test match the Australians were confident of winning. Already two significant advantages had been secured. Ricky Ponting had won the toss on a pitch expected to fall apart as rapidly as an American bank that has given mortgages to anyone with a dollar in their pocket. And Ponting and his left-handed allies had laid the foundations for a substantial score. The visitors were confident of putting the squeeze on the Indian middle order, creating the sort of panic among local supporters otherwise detected in smoking theatres. Although none is named John or George or Paul, let alone Ringo, the middle-order men have been lumped together as the Fab Four. It is passing strange that they are not treated as separate cases.

At stumps on the second evening the Australians remained confident of taking a lead in the series. Admittedly the home side's openers had sent the score rattling in the hour or so permitted to them, but that was of little account. Admittedly the pitch had not deteriorated as much as anticipated, but the cracks were widening and puffs of dust had been detected by the more optimistic fieldsmen. Ponting and his think tank were convinced they could undo their opponents with full-length bowling supported an appropriately placed field. It was not so much a conceit as a conviction, one stubbornly retained in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. Australia's tactics were out in place, and never convincingly reconsidered.

Not until after tea on the third afternoon did the tourists begin to doubt themselves. In every way the partnership between Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan was important. During the match, India's second saint was inaugurated. Bhaji is unlikely to be the third but he is a Punjabi through and through and a competitor to the core. In the past Zaheer has often seemed to regard injury as a welcome respite from the chore of bowling. He seemed to relish the life around cricket more than the game itself. All that has changed in the last two seasons. Now the fiery left-hander bowls with his head and bats with his heart. As a result his cricket has improved beyond measure. Few expected him to keep his eye on the ball for as long as he did at Chinnaswamy. And every minute lifted his colleagues and frustrated his opponents.

Australia's response to this tail-end resistance was surprisingly tame. In the past, governments knew how to deal with lower-order defiance: they sent in the army with full permission to wreak havoc. Ponting played a waiting game. Plans laid for the senior batsmen had been superbly executed, but suddenly it appeared that much less thought had been given to the supposed rabbits. Nor was Ponting able to think on his feet. Hereabouts Australia's cricket lacked urgency. Truth to tell, too many overs were given to willing but unthreatening spinners. That Cameron White bowled above expectations was irrelevant. There was a match to win and the visiting pace attack was streets ahead. Australia made the same mistake in the second innings, allowing the spinners to bowl half the overs. And it was not murky all the time, not even in the opinion of the absurdly cautious umpires.

 
 
Neither side looked like making a decisive break on the fifth day, upon which the game showed itself in a poor light, as a self-indulgent, self-important activity that thinks more about its highly paid but precious players than it does about spectators and the marketplace
 

By stumps on the fourth day India's chance of winning the match had come and gone. Between them the wagging tail and incisive pace bowling had changed the mood of the match so much that at 128 for 5 the visitors were in trouble. But the hosts too failed to recognise and seize the moment. As much could be told from the rapidity with which Anil Kumble spread his field, and the line bowled by Harbhajan, most of whose deliveries were directed at the batsman's pads. Since little was seen of the doosra in the match, an absence some put down to the presence of Chris Broad as referee, these deliveries did not present much danger. Kumble even bowled himself, though he lacked the menace seen in his pomp. Once inclined to skid or spit, Kumble's spinners took their time after bouncing and could be played off the back foot. An inquisitor in the past, Kumble now asked polite questions.

Neither side looked like making a decisive break on the fifth day, upon which the game showed itself in a poor light, as a self-indulgent, self-important activity that thinks more about its highly paid but precious players than it does about spectators and the marketplace. After losing two early wickets the Indians put up stiff resistance. Sachin Tendulkar played with characteristic skill, while VVS Laxman, whose backers include his captain and respectful opponents, presented a straight bat. It was a slow pitch upon which the ball kept low but did not move sideways. Moreover, Australia's spinners were ineffective. Before long the batsmen seemed to be more worried about the light than the bowling.

Now attention turns to Mohali. By the look of things the pitch is evenly grassed, except at the ends, which have presumably attracted the eye of passing locusts. Reports that it had been left as damp and green as Ireland by a late monsoon appeared wide of the mark. In any event the track is firmer than Chinnaswamy and not nearly as cracked. Bangalore provided lots of good cricket but not much to take the breath away.

Having survived their predicament in the first Test, with the pace bowlers forming a potent partnership, the tail wagging, and the senior batsmen looking fertile, the Indians must feel the time has come for them to turn the screws. Kumble and company have not lost any of their last three Tests against Australia.

Contrastingly the visitors must regard Bangalore as a match that eluded them. Afterwards Ponting said that he had expected more chances to be created on the final day, but that otherwise he was happy with the performance of his side. Overall Australia had been the better team. His batsmen played their parts, and spinners cannot be microwaved, so the improvement must come from the pacemen, among whom Brett Lee took few wickets and had little luck. But three of the bowlers Australia relies upon, Shane Watson and the slower men, do not move the ball enough to trouble established batsmen.

Peter Roebuck is a former captain of Somerset and the author, most recently, of In It to Win It

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mojorisin on October 18, 2008, 23:11 GMT

    it was sad to watch Australian team playing such negative brand of cricket even in the 2nd day in a good batting track @ mohali.... their bowling and the field placements were far more than attacking... the only time they looked like having attacking intent was against Dhoni for a couple of overs (which quickly changed to a line wide of the offstump), and Ishant Sharma with the short balls.... Their batting in the whole series has been nothing like the agressive cricket that we've loved and respected as cricket fans.. truly disappointing.....

  • DamieninFrance on October 17, 2008, 18:09 GMT

    Love reading these articles, Peter. Keep it up! Like most lovers of this magnificent game, I too, adore watching great batsmen take a bowling attack apart. But if anyone tells me that the first test wasn't some of the most gripping drama seen on a cricket pitch.... well, you can't be alive! I've never been much of a fan of Katich, but his patience and determination to survive, in order to help the side prosper was sensational. I loved every minute of the contest. Yes, the Australian side is nowhere near as good as it has been in the last 15 years. BUT, now they actually have to rely on strategy and guile. The Indian team is in a similar predicament. I love watching the old guard struggle to maintain their reputations. Every supporter doubts they can, while knowing that a huge score is always possible.... Just love it! And really, to watch this same side with fearsome fast bowlers is just majestic. Sharma is the best pace bowler I've seen in a while! Mqy the series continue....

  • mikewegs on October 17, 2008, 10:14 GMT

    Peter, after reading all the comments read about this article i feel that only those who have a strong opinion write, therefore you are left with comments of an extreme nature, either way. Firstly i enjoy your ABC commentary during the Australian summer. I believe the first test left us with many questions, firstly when was the last time your saw a team attack a modest target on the last day, considering how the pitch played, where was the courage, for gods sake someone chase the target down. No guts! regarding our bowling lineup still not convinced with johnson, he's getting wickets but not well, and i believe that Lee is probably our weakest number one bowler for some time, no offence to him; think his last summer was great and he's fantastic, but needs much better support, where is Noffke? Im wondering if our selection panel has been hijacked by the english! Spinners did as well as could be expected; its the batsman from both teams that will win the series. Article - food for though

  • insightfulcricketer on October 17, 2008, 0:18 GMT

    Oh come on Peter! Your judgement of this Australian attack belies your understanding of cricket or lack of. Brett Lee averages a healthy 30+ .Mitchell Johnson less said the better. Stuark Clark is a decent trundler. Who when bowling wide of off stump looks good and when he bowls on the stumps he is usually found in the rafters. Look at his ODI and 20/20 record. So please let us not speak highly of this bowling attack. It might give shivers in English and SA teams who play them on reputation. An Indian team only sees them as an occasion to beef up their batting averages .Now Zaheer and Bhajji seem to have been let on to the secret too so beware! Take out the batting and this Aussie team is an average team. No more no less.

  • Dilly81 on October 16, 2008, 21:51 GMT

    India surely has the upperhand on paper at Mohali.Their pace battery is looking all the more dangerous and is even slightly better than the one played in Australia a year ago.Their senior batsmen had their time in the middle and its time fo them to show what they are made of.But saying that no one write off Australia.Hayden is due and if India doesn't get first up then its trouble.Also it would interesting with Dhoni at the helm,his tactic have done wonders for India in the shorten version and so we expect the same here.I doubt whether Kumble would play and this might be blessing in disguise for India considering his recent form.Depending on the picth either Munaf Patel or Amit Mishra would get a chance and with Bhajji in form it would be interesting how Australia deals with it.Hussey and katich are still the thorns in the flesh for India as they can really get stuck in.We are in for a treat in Mohali

  • religion_cricket on October 16, 2008, 18:00 GMT

    I've read some reports and articles declaring this australian side as one of the weakest in recent times. But I rate this Australian side very highly. Although team lacks services of Andrew Symonds but they have the best pace attack in the world cricket. Watch out for Siddle and Bollinger. From India's point of view, Zaheer was super and Sachin was divine to watch.

  • Go_F.Alonso on October 16, 2008, 13:06 GMT

    As much as I agree that this article is boring, there's one mention that I didn't quite comprehend - the relation between the absence of the doosra and the presence of Chris Broad. I'd appreciate if somebody can help - I find these stories fascinating :).

    To be honest, I agree with most other comments - Peter's article made painful reading despite his masala tactics - American banks, India's second saint and Ireland's greenery.

  • Anushan_Jega on October 16, 2008, 12:44 GMT

    I thought at the end of the 4th day, this game was going to be another 2005 Edgbaston thriller, with all three scenarios (Australia win, India win and a draw) on the cards, however it didn't quite pan out to be the thriller it was shaping up to be, no thanks to bad light. I thought it was a cracking game, but the Aussies definitely played the better cricket with a inexperienced team, for which credit should go to the Australian senior members, Ponting, Hussey and even Hayden in the field. India played alright, but certainly not to their capability, however they are renown for bad starts to series. I am concerned about their fielding though, they really do lack the enthusiasm in the field shown by their T20 and ODI players (Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh etc.). I thought this artice was a brilliant read. Thanx Peter. I cant wait for the rest of the series, its going to be a cat fight to the end, lets hope we get some good weather and good light, and more drama too, it adds to the ambiance.

  • tusharkardile on October 16, 2008, 12:26 GMT

    Tell us something new Peter, or don't write. Are these reporters reading what their colleagues are writing? Everyone who can type or write churns out the same story and cricinfo publishes it. The wine is not even old to put in new bottles. The test was not thrilling and these article are even more boring. Try weather reports.

  • Andrew_S on October 16, 2008, 11:57 GMT

    I think in criticising Australia's use of the spinners for so long, Peter Roebuck has overlooked the fact Ponting was forced to by the atrocious over rates of the quicks. My recollections may be wrong, but isn't Ponting, as captain, under threat of suspension after being fined previously for allowing slow over rates?

  • mojorisin on October 18, 2008, 23:11 GMT

    it was sad to watch Australian team playing such negative brand of cricket even in the 2nd day in a good batting track @ mohali.... their bowling and the field placements were far more than attacking... the only time they looked like having attacking intent was against Dhoni for a couple of overs (which quickly changed to a line wide of the offstump), and Ishant Sharma with the short balls.... Their batting in the whole series has been nothing like the agressive cricket that we've loved and respected as cricket fans.. truly disappointing.....

  • DamieninFrance on October 17, 2008, 18:09 GMT

    Love reading these articles, Peter. Keep it up! Like most lovers of this magnificent game, I too, adore watching great batsmen take a bowling attack apart. But if anyone tells me that the first test wasn't some of the most gripping drama seen on a cricket pitch.... well, you can't be alive! I've never been much of a fan of Katich, but his patience and determination to survive, in order to help the side prosper was sensational. I loved every minute of the contest. Yes, the Australian side is nowhere near as good as it has been in the last 15 years. BUT, now they actually have to rely on strategy and guile. The Indian team is in a similar predicament. I love watching the old guard struggle to maintain their reputations. Every supporter doubts they can, while knowing that a huge score is always possible.... Just love it! And really, to watch this same side with fearsome fast bowlers is just majestic. Sharma is the best pace bowler I've seen in a while! Mqy the series continue....

  • mikewegs on October 17, 2008, 10:14 GMT

    Peter, after reading all the comments read about this article i feel that only those who have a strong opinion write, therefore you are left with comments of an extreme nature, either way. Firstly i enjoy your ABC commentary during the Australian summer. I believe the first test left us with many questions, firstly when was the last time your saw a team attack a modest target on the last day, considering how the pitch played, where was the courage, for gods sake someone chase the target down. No guts! regarding our bowling lineup still not convinced with johnson, he's getting wickets but not well, and i believe that Lee is probably our weakest number one bowler for some time, no offence to him; think his last summer was great and he's fantastic, but needs much better support, where is Noffke? Im wondering if our selection panel has been hijacked by the english! Spinners did as well as could be expected; its the batsman from both teams that will win the series. Article - food for though

  • insightfulcricketer on October 17, 2008, 0:18 GMT

    Oh come on Peter! Your judgement of this Australian attack belies your understanding of cricket or lack of. Brett Lee averages a healthy 30+ .Mitchell Johnson less said the better. Stuark Clark is a decent trundler. Who when bowling wide of off stump looks good and when he bowls on the stumps he is usually found in the rafters. Look at his ODI and 20/20 record. So please let us not speak highly of this bowling attack. It might give shivers in English and SA teams who play them on reputation. An Indian team only sees them as an occasion to beef up their batting averages .Now Zaheer and Bhajji seem to have been let on to the secret too so beware! Take out the batting and this Aussie team is an average team. No more no less.

  • Dilly81 on October 16, 2008, 21:51 GMT

    India surely has the upperhand on paper at Mohali.Their pace battery is looking all the more dangerous and is even slightly better than the one played in Australia a year ago.Their senior batsmen had their time in the middle and its time fo them to show what they are made of.But saying that no one write off Australia.Hayden is due and if India doesn't get first up then its trouble.Also it would interesting with Dhoni at the helm,his tactic have done wonders for India in the shorten version and so we expect the same here.I doubt whether Kumble would play and this might be blessing in disguise for India considering his recent form.Depending on the picth either Munaf Patel or Amit Mishra would get a chance and with Bhajji in form it would be interesting how Australia deals with it.Hussey and katich are still the thorns in the flesh for India as they can really get stuck in.We are in for a treat in Mohali

  • religion_cricket on October 16, 2008, 18:00 GMT

    I've read some reports and articles declaring this australian side as one of the weakest in recent times. But I rate this Australian side very highly. Although team lacks services of Andrew Symonds but they have the best pace attack in the world cricket. Watch out for Siddle and Bollinger. From India's point of view, Zaheer was super and Sachin was divine to watch.

  • Go_F.Alonso on October 16, 2008, 13:06 GMT

    As much as I agree that this article is boring, there's one mention that I didn't quite comprehend - the relation between the absence of the doosra and the presence of Chris Broad. I'd appreciate if somebody can help - I find these stories fascinating :).

    To be honest, I agree with most other comments - Peter's article made painful reading despite his masala tactics - American banks, India's second saint and Ireland's greenery.

  • Anushan_Jega on October 16, 2008, 12:44 GMT

    I thought at the end of the 4th day, this game was going to be another 2005 Edgbaston thriller, with all three scenarios (Australia win, India win and a draw) on the cards, however it didn't quite pan out to be the thriller it was shaping up to be, no thanks to bad light. I thought it was a cracking game, but the Aussies definitely played the better cricket with a inexperienced team, for which credit should go to the Australian senior members, Ponting, Hussey and even Hayden in the field. India played alright, but certainly not to their capability, however they are renown for bad starts to series. I am concerned about their fielding though, they really do lack the enthusiasm in the field shown by their T20 and ODI players (Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh etc.). I thought this artice was a brilliant read. Thanx Peter. I cant wait for the rest of the series, its going to be a cat fight to the end, lets hope we get some good weather and good light, and more drama too, it adds to the ambiance.

  • tusharkardile on October 16, 2008, 12:26 GMT

    Tell us something new Peter, or don't write. Are these reporters reading what their colleagues are writing? Everyone who can type or write churns out the same story and cricinfo publishes it. The wine is not even old to put in new bottles. The test was not thrilling and these article are even more boring. Try weather reports.

  • Andrew_S on October 16, 2008, 11:57 GMT

    I think in criticising Australia's use of the spinners for so long, Peter Roebuck has overlooked the fact Ponting was forced to by the atrocious over rates of the quicks. My recollections may be wrong, but isn't Ponting, as captain, under threat of suspension after being fined previously for allowing slow over rates?

  • RDamodaran on October 16, 2008, 11:25 GMT

    Unbalanced article from Roebuck. For a start, why claim Zaheer has been lazy and is bowling with his head now, same can be said of Lee or any other bowler. Aus pace attack is usually stronger but Zaheer and Ishant are showing more skill than their counterparts. Munaf and RP are still waiting. Bhajji scored 50 against Australia in last 3 tests. If he is a rabbit, please find a new word for Australian lower order. Visitors scored 250 on day one paradise and expect India to score to 298 on day five? Were visitors really aggressive, with more time and a target of 250 India might have won. Please stop bickering about light. With 6 wickets and a settled Laxman/Ganguly India would probably have saved the game. Indians competed well, with middle-order showing signs of form visitors have a mighty challenge.

  • paritoshuttam on October 16, 2008, 10:47 GMT

    The writer meant Australia's pace attack is streets ahead of their spin attack, not streets ahead of India's pace attack. Learn to read carefully, buddy.

  • xdsl_profile on October 16, 2008, 10:16 GMT

    I do not agree with Peter's remark about Australia's pace attack being streets ahead. On paper, may be yes, they are good but this match proved that Ishant & Zaheer proved much more effective than Lee & Co. I find the only difference between the teams was the fielding & Mr Cricket. Remember Australia played on the 1st day of the pitch at its best & still scored only 250 & the fact that both our spinners are struggling. India can easily blow away Australia if our spinners start performing little better. Lets keep our fingers crossed!!

  • paku11 on October 16, 2008, 8:10 GMT

    The only concern I have is the media into this beautiful game of cricket. every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion, which is fine, but what needs to be understood is that, at the end of the day, all players are human beings. Agreed, they are professionals and they have to perform to earn their dollar/rupees, but look at yourself in the mirror and ask the question; do you perform consistantly as you should putting in effort every minute? On the different note, the question is why are the matches scheduled at the venues where India hasn't performed well? and that too in such a high profile series with the world champs? None the less, the test was still a brilliant piece of cricket in its own terms,regardless of the fact it was a draw. Any person who understands cricket will know that a draw match can be thrilling too. If winning is everything, then we sould just go by the toss and dont spend five days to find out the results.

  • Aswin_ganesh on October 16, 2008, 7:39 GMT

    Being a regular follower of Indian cricket, I have to say that India go to Mohali with lot of concerns: 1) Kumble's bowling form and his aging body will be India's biggest concern. 2) The unnecessary attention on Sachin' record. Pardon me people, I am also a big fan of Sachin, but I am afraid that those 15 runs are nothing compared to an Indian win. Let us remember that Sachin's own form has been pathetic. He is still a great ODI batsman, but in tests, his performance has been pathetic, he should have been dropped. 3) The fitness of the Indian team is found wanting as always. Experience alone does not win matches, only runs and wickets count. It is high time, India improve upon their fitness and performance. 4)The Indian spinners are hardly troubling the Aussies. 5) The lack of a proper strategy is appalling. You cannot beat an Australian team without planning a proper strategy. Hope the Indian team prove me wrong.

  • donthaveaclue on October 16, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Though not a nail-biter, the Bangalore game was a gripping contest on an 'interesting' surface. India did well not to come off 1 down but I think Australia got more out of the series by way of its middle order finding form.

  • Chestnutgrey on October 16, 2008, 6:21 GMT

    I only hope, with too much of cricket between the two nations and so much at stake, that the series doesn't descend to the boring safety-first pattern of India-Pakistan tests.

  • don69 on October 16, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    I mostly agree Australia lost a chance, but it should be said it was a slim chance, as the wicket really wasn't doing enough for the pacers, and Australia's spin options are bare. Australia's strength is in their pace attack. Lee is probably the most dangerous bowler in the world, Clark is first rate and Johnson is coming along very nicely indeed. Given a supporting track, and Mohali should be that, Australia will look for an improved attack, and the batters feel more comfortable against pace then spin. I think Bangalore was probably India's best chance for a win prior to the toss. They were let down by the toss, their bowling and their batting in the first innings. Mohali should be Australia's best chance, but both teams will need to improve in this match.

  • sridharps on October 16, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    I had got bored with the amount of cricket being played these days. But there is an edge to India-Australia Test Cricket which is very engaging. Let us hope that this series also turns out to be another classic.

  • PeteB on October 16, 2008, 4:54 GMT

    Another story of stale disappointing pitches, a trend we see the world over. I should have put a few dollars on a 0-0 series result.

  • goutham.chakravarthi on October 16, 2008, 4:33 GMT

    Australia lost a big opportunity to put one across the Indians at Bangalore, where India hasn't done well historically. They'll get another chance at Mohali where visitors tend to do well. Australia must hope that luck is on their side and they win the toss and bat and post a huge total and then put pressure with their brittle attack. If they don't, I can't see them having a chance even in Mohali. Delhi is a Kumble backyard and this time the Aussies will not get a green top at Nagpur like they did in 2004.

    All said and done, I wonder why Mr.Roebuck thinks a Pujabi can't be a saint!

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  • goutham.chakravarthi on October 16, 2008, 4:33 GMT

    Australia lost a big opportunity to put one across the Indians at Bangalore, where India hasn't done well historically. They'll get another chance at Mohali where visitors tend to do well. Australia must hope that luck is on their side and they win the toss and bat and post a huge total and then put pressure with their brittle attack. If they don't, I can't see them having a chance even in Mohali. Delhi is a Kumble backyard and this time the Aussies will not get a green top at Nagpur like they did in 2004.

    All said and done, I wonder why Mr.Roebuck thinks a Pujabi can't be a saint!

  • PeteB on October 16, 2008, 4:54 GMT

    Another story of stale disappointing pitches, a trend we see the world over. I should have put a few dollars on a 0-0 series result.

  • sridharps on October 16, 2008, 5:20 GMT

    I had got bored with the amount of cricket being played these days. But there is an edge to India-Australia Test Cricket which is very engaging. Let us hope that this series also turns out to be another classic.

  • don69 on October 16, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    I mostly agree Australia lost a chance, but it should be said it was a slim chance, as the wicket really wasn't doing enough for the pacers, and Australia's spin options are bare. Australia's strength is in their pace attack. Lee is probably the most dangerous bowler in the world, Clark is first rate and Johnson is coming along very nicely indeed. Given a supporting track, and Mohali should be that, Australia will look for an improved attack, and the batters feel more comfortable against pace then spin. I think Bangalore was probably India's best chance for a win prior to the toss. They were let down by the toss, their bowling and their batting in the first innings. Mohali should be Australia's best chance, but both teams will need to improve in this match.

  • Chestnutgrey on October 16, 2008, 6:21 GMT

    I only hope, with too much of cricket between the two nations and so much at stake, that the series doesn't descend to the boring safety-first pattern of India-Pakistan tests.

  • donthaveaclue on October 16, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Though not a nail-biter, the Bangalore game was a gripping contest on an 'interesting' surface. India did well not to come off 1 down but I think Australia got more out of the series by way of its middle order finding form.

  • Aswin_ganesh on October 16, 2008, 7:39 GMT

    Being a regular follower of Indian cricket, I have to say that India go to Mohali with lot of concerns: 1) Kumble's bowling form and his aging body will be India's biggest concern. 2) The unnecessary attention on Sachin' record. Pardon me people, I am also a big fan of Sachin, but I am afraid that those 15 runs are nothing compared to an Indian win. Let us remember that Sachin's own form has been pathetic. He is still a great ODI batsman, but in tests, his performance has been pathetic, he should have been dropped. 3) The fitness of the Indian team is found wanting as always. Experience alone does not win matches, only runs and wickets count. It is high time, India improve upon their fitness and performance. 4)The Indian spinners are hardly troubling the Aussies. 5) The lack of a proper strategy is appalling. You cannot beat an Australian team without planning a proper strategy. Hope the Indian team prove me wrong.

  • paku11 on October 16, 2008, 8:10 GMT

    The only concern I have is the media into this beautiful game of cricket. every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion, which is fine, but what needs to be understood is that, at the end of the day, all players are human beings. Agreed, they are professionals and they have to perform to earn their dollar/rupees, but look at yourself in the mirror and ask the question; do you perform consistantly as you should putting in effort every minute? On the different note, the question is why are the matches scheduled at the venues where India hasn't performed well? and that too in such a high profile series with the world champs? None the less, the test was still a brilliant piece of cricket in its own terms,regardless of the fact it was a draw. Any person who understands cricket will know that a draw match can be thrilling too. If winning is everything, then we sould just go by the toss and dont spend five days to find out the results.

  • xdsl_profile on October 16, 2008, 10:16 GMT

    I do not agree with Peter's remark about Australia's pace attack being streets ahead. On paper, may be yes, they are good but this match proved that Ishant & Zaheer proved much more effective than Lee & Co. I find the only difference between the teams was the fielding & Mr Cricket. Remember Australia played on the 1st day of the pitch at its best & still scored only 250 & the fact that both our spinners are struggling. India can easily blow away Australia if our spinners start performing little better. Lets keep our fingers crossed!!

  • paritoshuttam on October 16, 2008, 10:47 GMT

    The writer meant Australia's pace attack is streets ahead of their spin attack, not streets ahead of India's pace attack. Learn to read carefully, buddy.