It’s been happening every year for the last few and I’m sick of it. The time difference between Kuwait and Melbourne is insane and yet I’ve stayed up for dull, one-sided contests. At least South Africa is down the same time zone. Last year, it was game over once Australia were rolled over for 98 in their first innings; and this year’s showing from India was woeful. The Aussie fans will love it for sure, not so much the Indian ones who witnessed something eerily similar during the English summer, minus the injuries. Which probably makes it even more unfathomable.
Maybe I’m being a little unfair. The first three days were actually a tad entertaining, with the teams neck and neck. No batsman could make it past 75, so an arithmetic geek would have probably proclaimed that the guy who does so would grab hold of the initiative and propel his team to victory. Cowan 68, Ponting 62, Siddle 41, Sehwag 67, Dravid 68, Tendulkar 73, Ponting 60. And, *drum roll* Hussey 89 during the delicate Aussie second innings. There it was, and Australia built up a sizeable enough lead in their second innings to bat India out of the game.
The teams move on to Sydney during the new year now, and you would hope that it doesn’t end up being 2-0 for the sake of this usually competitive series. Australia still have a few problems to fix, especially with their batting, but the pacers look fine enough. Whether they play two spinners at the SCG against a team like India remains to be seen. There are reports of a grassy wicket being prepared, so maybe not. I get the feeling Ponting is due a big score now (something like 150+ is my hunch) but if they don’t get rid of that muppet Haddin, they’re nuts. Pattinson is absolutely terrific as a pacer, if he’d only stop sledging after every ball. You don’t do that after playing just three tests, noob.
India……sigh. Please don’t let it be 2-0. Looking down the team sheet there seem to be too many problems to ignore, though. Gambhir’s form has disappeared, and Laxman hasn’t crafted an overseas innings in ages. I’ve already bracketed retards like Kohli and Raina into those types who swear and cuss at the opposition in Hindi/Hinglish in the safety of their Dilli and Kolkotto home grounds while playing limited overs matches. Take them abroad in the test team to England, Australia and South Africa – they get blitzed. Heck, Kohli was even found out in the West Indies earlier in the year. I don’t count on him scoring anything significant this series. Then there’s Dhoni. He’s not a batsman in my opinion. Maybe it works out for him when he’s playing on dead wickets at home, coming in at 500-5 and scoring a quick 60 odd against tiring bowlers and fielders. But he cannot accelerate from 200-5 to 350 or bat with the tail, none of that. The Indian innings is effectively over once you get them 4 down. So what’s he in the team for? Keeper? I’m sure there are plenty of others who can bat better. Captain? Well, he’s getting whitewashed and is scoring nothing so…
India’s only hope is that the blokes who notched up a score in the first innings (Tendulkar, Sehwag, Dravid) somehow manage to carry on and take them upwards of 350. If that doesn’t happen, it’ll probably be 2-0, then 3-0, 4-0 or 3-1 or something like that. Large scale changes are in order for this team if that ends up being the case. As a tiny positive, can’t believe I’m really saying this, but their bowlers did a good job. The Indian bowlers, yeah, them. w00t.