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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Perth test - Warner proves to be the difference

The Indian team have won themselves two more days of break after the Perth test match, thanks to their dismal performance with the bat. It was a surprise that the Indian team managed to extend the match beyond the second day. In hindsight, David Warner was the major difference between the two teams in terms of scoring runs. The Indian bowlers did well to the other batsmen in the Oz line-up. Dhoni managed to put a brave face with the media after the 7th consecutive loss overseas but this was expected of him in the batting department. Warner proved that there was not much in the pitch that affected stroke-play. Sehwag should give up his mantle now to his shishya in world cricket (for this alone, Cricket Australia should thank IPL).

What happened wrong for the Indians? Everything mostly. Except for couple of sessions when they competed with the Aussies, nothing much worked for the Indians. Virat Kohli showed that he was well-equipped to take the Indian batting into future by his stints in both innings in this match. VVS Laxman hung around in the first innings but couldnt do much in the next. The old failings of Sehwag, Sachin and Rahul reappeared to keep their impact on the match to a minimum. Gambhir looked confident in the middle but got a nasty ball in the second stint. Dhoni disappointed as a batsman, once again giving an impression that he has a long way to go in order to counter the moving ball.

With the ball, it was an improved performance by the bowlers compared to the 2nd test match. Other than the period when Warner played a Sehwag-like innings, the Indian bowlers bowled well on lengths that would have done the Aussies proud. Vinay Kumar has played his first and last test match in his career - though he captured Hussey in the test, he does not seem to have many skills that can test batsmen around the world. Ashwin might have contributed better with bat and ball in this test - maybe bringing a spinner like him would have been a good ploy to counter Warner at his best. Virat Kohli and Umesh Yadav have given hope to the Indians as symbols of the future Indian test generations.

What next for India? VVS and Rahul Dravid are too proud players to hang around further. They have seen many victories with the Indian team (drawn series in Australia & SAF & SL, wins in England, NZ, WI, Pakistan) but the disappointments in England and now Australia must hurt them more than anything. They will now have to give way to the younger batsmen. Having made up their mind, they should take up the last match as though they have nothing to lose. Will Sachin Tendulkar take up a similar route? He looks good still and can go on for longer unlike the other two but only he can answer the question.

Virender Sehwag has turned out to be a damp squib after his double-ton in the WI ODIs - his performances after turning 30 seem to be dismal. His hand-eye coordination which had given him success all over the world seems to be fading (a la Krish Srikkanth). Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwara Pujara are waiting in the wings, ready to take the Indian team to the future. They should be allowed to play for India in the next few series (which will happen on Indian soil) so that they can gain confidence and refine their technique and temperament before they start touring again.

The Indian cricket seems to be going down and under every match - SEVEN successive matches lost outside their soil now. One feels that this is the worst possible scenario that they could have encountered but one can only wait for time to say whether they can slide down further. EIGHT will be reality next week? On current evidence, it seems to be straight-forward. Will BCCI do an enquiry or will it be done by amateurs like me on my blog as I had done earlier?
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