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Friday, January 13, 2012

India Vs Australia encounter at Perth, WACA

It was 8’O clock Indian time as we anxiously watched the start of the Perth Test.  Gambhir was hit on the ribs off the first ball – Indians off to another dreaded start – Virender Sehwag out for a duck and Dravid – the Wall’s defence breached again – bowled once again off a Siddle delivery. 

Perth  is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city.  Perth became to be known worldwide as the "City of Light" when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronautJohn Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962.  The Western Australia Cricket Association has a lengthy history.  The WA team is known as Retravision Warriors.  

This is the 4th time we play at  WACA – Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth known for its pace and bounce.  Indians have lost twice and won the last time we played here under Anil Kumble.   In Jan 2008, Indians were in a similar 0-2 and inwalked Virender Sehwag with Wasim Jaffer.  India scored 330 – Dravid making 93 and Sachin Tendulkar making 71.  Bret Lee took 3 and Michael Johnson 4 – before the match, there was so much hype about Indians likely to get wiped out in a session by the pace of Shaun Tait who was preserved and protected to play at the grassy Perth.  The fate thought different.  He was ineffective bowled 13 overs gave 59 runs without looking like taking a wicket.    Andre Symonds and Gilchrist were the ones to fight some fight as Australians folded for 212.  Rudra Pratap Singh taking 4; Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma and Anil Kumble all chipping with two a piece.
In the second essay, Sehwag, Pathan, Laxman (79) made runs  taking the total to 294.  Clarke (4) and Lee (3) sharing the spoils.  Shaun Tait went wicketless again.  Chasing an improbable 413,  Aussie made 340 with some hitting around by tail enders.    

So on 2012 again Indians 0-2 down and quickly 2 wickets down in the first hour – things looking ominous !

Australia have Starc and Ryan Harris for the injured Pattinson and Nathan Lyon dropped.  India has only one change – Ashwin dropped and Vinay kumar in his place – One expected some shake up in the batting line-up with either Virat Kohli or Laxman or both dropped but nothing of that sort – incidentally, Ashwin is the second top scorer in this tour after Sachin.       

Perth is a favourite ground for AustraliaWest Indies in their peak won five Tests and I remember that great series of 1975-76 immediately after the inaugural WC.  Clive Lloyd having won the Cup, quickly found his feet and ground shaking as they lost 1-5 to Chappel led Aussies.  In that Test at Perth in Dec 1975 (which we got to know only reading newspapers), West Indies won by an innings and 87 runs.                                               
Australia opened with left handed Alan Turner and Rick McCosker. Ian Chappel made 156 in a total of 329.  Michael Holding took 4.   Roy Fredricks tore the Aussies apart in his 169 aided by a century by Clive Lloyd himself as WI amassed 585. Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Gary Gilmour, Ashley Malley all went above 100 and Walker finished conceding 99. 
In the second, Aussies were bundled out for 169 as Andy Roberts destroyed in a fine spell of 14-3-54-7.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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