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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Australia outsmarted at its own game

A team involving Australia and the match was won by a team by 320 runs - surprisingly, it was not the Ozzies. The match was won by the Indians with a game that was very similar to the Australian team of old. All elements were found in the Indian performance:
  • a good run-rate (of almost 4 runs per over) that gave the team a upper hand very quickly into the game,
  • accurate and aggressive bowling to get the opposition team out in double quick time,
  • smart captaincy to seize the chances that were offered on the field by the Australians,
  • stable backup by the fielders, who caught almost all the chances that came their way.

Of course, this does not mean that the Australians are no longer the force that they were. One has to wait and see the outcome to comment further. The Indians themselves are in the process of replacing their Fab Four, what with one of them retiring at the end of this series.

Coming back to the match itself, as Dhoni mentioned after the match, the Aussies were unusually slow in their run-scoring - probably this was their 'new-age' batting as Ponting had predicted. The team is not only missing Shane Warne and Glen Mcgrath but also the services of the likes of Gillespie and Kasprowicz. These support bowlers played a great job in ensuring that the pressure that was created by the Pigeon was kept up. The current Australian batsmen are also not in the same league as the old - the ones like Damien Martyn, Waugh brothers. It was sad to see the way Matthew Hayden played in the second innings - it was worse than the play that one sees in Twenty20 matches.

As far as the Indians were concerned, the only ones who missed out in the match were Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. They couldnt score the way the rest of the batting lineup did - but supported their team members in the field with their close-in fielding. Will Anil Kumble come back in the next match? Definitely. It is his favorite venue - Delhi - where he took his ten-for in an innings. The future augurs well for India, looking at the performances of Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma.

If the Indians can repeat this performance in the next 2 matches and win the series 3-0, then one can believe that this is definitely the beginning of the Aussie decline. All eyes are on the next test match!!!
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