India complete whitewash against Aussies

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men played like the number one team they are, galloping to a nerveless seven-wicket win in the second Test on Wednesday and cementing their standing at the top of the tree.

Their first win in 15 years at the Chinnaswamy stadium, in front of a packed house that lapped up the entertainment, gave India a comprehensive 2-0 series scoreline over Ricky Ponting’s men and extended their grip on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

A fascinating Test match that had swung one way and then the other for the first four days tilted decisively in India’s favour when Murali Vijay and debutant Cheteshwar Pujara set about taking Australia’s bowlers apart.

A target of 207 after Australia were bowled out for 223 in their second innings had appeared daunting on a crumbling surface, but only till Vijay and Pujara, pushed up to number three ahead of Rahul Dravid in a tactical move, went on the rampage. The young second-wicket pair set the foundation with a sparkling association, then sat back with the rest of their team-mates and enjoyed the show as the past masters took over.
Sachin Tendulkar, every bit as fresh and eager as he was 21 summers back, and Dravid joined hands to cut out any lingering hopes the Australians might have had of making a late charge.

In his elements
The occasional trick thrown up by the pitch was negotiated with precise footwork and tremendous concentration. Tendulkar was again in his elements, backing up his first-innings 214 with an unbeaten half-century, and Dravid played able second
fiddle.

The two veterans weren’t unaware of the brittle lower-order ––India had lost their last five wickets for just nine runs in the first innings––and therefore took it upon themselves to finish off the contest.

Strokes were played with deliberate care, the pace leisurely because time was not a factor, but at no stage did circumspection bog them down.

Fittingly, the winning runs were brought up by Tendulkar, man of the match and man of the series. The successes of young turks like Vijay and Pujara has left India with a problem of plenty. For Ponting’s Australia, it’s plenty of problems with the Ashes not far away.

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