Thursday, January 5, 2012

The grind at Sydney – Aussie declare at 659/4


Indian Cricket is really at the Crossroads – just back from the 4-0 whitewash in England, they are fighting at Sydney having already lost the Melbourne Test.  This Test could go only one way.. but before that it is sad that a team is waiting for the declaration to halt the grind !

Remember that this is not the best of the Australian teams – they were all out for 47 in Nov 11 at Newlands and recently lost a Test to NZ at their own home. 

Michael Clarke continued his remarkable performance on the third day in Sydney,  hitting a triple and was good for one more.   Michael Hussey joined the list of centurions  and by lunch they were having a lead close to 400 – something good enough to bowl Indians without necessity to bat again.  Records tumbled and Clarke’s has now outscored Tip Foster’s record of 287 on his debut 108 years ago ! – it was century no. 16 for Michael Hussey. 

Clarke joined the elite list of Mathew Hayden (380), Mark Taylor (334*); Donald Bradman (334& 304), Bob Simpson (311), RM Cowper (307)  in the list of triple centurions.  By another statistical scale, Clarke joined Graham Gooch and Sanath Jayasuriya – the triple centurions against India.

The sad thing is that Indian have thrown the towel quite sometime early – never looked like breaking this partnership and were only staring the timing of the declaration, which one wondered would be based only on some individual marks like a 400 for Clarke !   It is difficult time to field, bowl and even to watch such a grind.

So where will India go from here – it appeared that Indians are faster than others into accepting realities without trying to question it.  In the post-day conference when asked about the negative field, Ashwin retorted stating that you don’t do anything else with 190 in the pocket.  The famed line up keeps crackling under pressure and bowlers have more than a day on the field expecting the opposition to fold or close on their own.  Will the batsmen bail them out – remember in tougher circumstances against  hostile opposition, draw was earned in Pakistan – people like Mohinder Amarnath, Manjrekar, Shastri had shown the gumption and tenacity to fight. 

The declaration eventually arrived at 659 the lead being 468 – Clarke was on 329 did not wait for his personal 400 or even 350 ; the agony ended when Hussey made 150. 

So what will India do – how will the batsmen perform – Gambhir and Virat Kohli at least appear to be on the chopping block !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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