'India's Test efforts could have a cascading effect on the ODI team'

Last Updated 13 October 2010, 16:23 IST

Australia will wonder long why they can’t finish off from a position of strength in India. Look at Eden Gardens and Chennai of the 2001 tour, or the present ones of Mohali and Bangalore. In all these Tests, they roared at the start but whimpered in the end.
Usually, a shark which only needs the smell of blood in the water to devour its prey, Australia is now a gift in the mouth for its opponents. So some may want to believe.  This result will give fresh wind to the Englishmen, lying in wait for the Ashes.

Australia have faltered in situations where teams usually flourish in India. If you win the toss and bat big first up, you have the keys of a game in your little finger. Australia won the toss both in Mohali and Bangalore, and posted scores in excess of 400 runs. They also didn’t have to bat last. Yet they are left flattened.

For two of the game’s biggest century-makers, the fortunes couldn’t have been more contrasting. Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting are the big boys of the centurions’ club. Yet, one has been left devastated. Ponting got three scores in excess of 70 but no hundred. Tendulkar had a double century in Bangalore and an equally telling role in Mohali.

Ponting will now leave the shores with just one century in all these years -- and also not a solitary win as skipper.

India were equally good in bowling. They may have struggled initially but once the sun drew out the moisture and the pitch as well as the outfield turned dry, Zaheer Khan and company managed ample reverse swing. No less heartening for India was the blossoming of Pragyan Ojha.

Indeed, young Indians have brought cheer to Indian cricket. Murali Vijay can lay stake for a number three slot in the future. Just for good measure, Chetashwara Pujara was no less keyed up to push his own candidature in the second innings. He batted like a man who has seen this stage before. His body language and the way he went his job was simply brilliant.

Amidst this all, let’s not forget to take a bow to VVS Laxman and Ishant Sharma, without whom Mohali was long gone. It’s now for the younger set to keep the grin wide in the one-dayers.


(Published 13 October 2010, 16:23 IST)

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