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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

India beat Australia easily in Bengaluru

The Indian team finally won a match in Bengaluru!!! Easily than what was expected at the end of the fourth day of the test match. Thanks to a debutant and another young opener, the platform was laid for the veterans (Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid) to take the team across the target.

Before that, Sreesanth and Zaheer picked up the remaining wickets in the morning fairly quickly to wrap up the Oz innings. Overall, it was a team effort with the ball which ensured that even after scoring 400 runs in the first innings, the Indian team gained advantage over the Aussies.

The number of sessions won by both the teams was equal (6-6) after the fourth day. India, through the ball and then with the help of the first 3 batsmen, grabbed the first session in a dominating fashion. The next session was consolidation of the innings by the seasoned batsmen followed by a quick-fire 3rd session - commanding performance on the last day to seal the match and the series.  3 fifty partnerships coming one after the other eased the team past the target set by the Australians.

Cheteshwara Pujara did very well and received praise from everyone. His aggressive shots against the spinners and assured technique against the faster bowlers gave a lot of comfort to Indian fans who would have been worried about the future after SRT, Dravid, Laxman retire. Of course it is early days and there will be more harder tests in foreign soils but the promise is good to see. Murali Vijay gave him good support - another talent that requires harder tests to confirm his potential - while scoring runs at a brisk pace.

Sachin Tendulkar had another fifty (this time a second innings one) to add to his double-century. He is maturing even better than old wine - the records speak for itself but the ease with which he is scoring the huge runs is a pleasing sight to watch. The selectors are doing a good job by resting him for the ODIs - one would like him to be back in ODIs by the year-end.

Rahul Dravid had the right occasion to say goodbye to test cricket by guiding the team to victory at his home ground en route to a series win against the dominant Aussies. He has not announced any decision but looking at his struggle, one only wishes (like Sourav Ganguly) he goes earlier than the selectors decision.

MS Dhoni and Gary Kirsten should be credited with the strategy of sending Pujara ahead of Dravid or Tendulkar. All would have thought that Dravid was demoted but the strategy was more to have Pujara face the harder ball and give the much-needed cushion to the inexperienced middle-order. How it clicked was for all to see - these are the tricks that makes MSD the good captain he is. His test record is evidence for all to see - it now does not matter if he wins tosses or not. 

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