The writing is on the wall. The result of the four-Test match series is inevitable. With another 334 runs to score and with just four wickets in their hand, India is sure to lose the match and the series 4-0. The much-hyped series between a team which boosted of names as illustrious as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag among others and who wanted to show the World that England was just a onetime disaster and a team who wanted to show that New Zealand beating them in their own backyard was a fluke, went in favour of the hosts who outplayed the visitors in all the departments in all the Tests matches.
The series which started at the MCG on the Boxing Day is going to end on disastrous note for India at Adelaide. What happened in between broke many hearts back home and who knows, it might augur end to a couple of most illustrious careers of Indian cricket. The series which people thought will be remembered for the masters hundredth ton, will now be remembered as the series in which all the Indian greats failed together. It was a series which had lows and only lows for Indian cricket and Indian fans back home. Indian Sports News brings some of the ‘Lows and not so lows’ of the India-Australia series.
Indian batting is one thing on which a cricket follower would like to bet on. India has an opener who can devastate any bowling side and was coming to Australia on the verge of the highest ever score in ODIs. Virendra Sehwag is regarded highly all over the world and more often than not, he has delivered. But on this series, Sehwag was at his disappointing best. He played terribly throughout and never looked comfortable against the Australian bowlers. The two fifties that he has against his name were full of foul strokes and disappointing ends. He scored 198 runs at an average of 24.75.
Rahul Dravid was the highest run scorer in Tests in 2011. He was the only batsman who was able to score respectable amount of runs against England. He started the series with a streaky fifty in Melbourne in the first Test. But what followed was unimaginable. The man with one of the most solid defence was bowled six times out of his eight innings. He scored 194 runs at an average of 24.25 and looked hurried against the Australian quickies, almost all the time. It will be very interesting to see what he decides after the series as there has been speculation that he may have played his last Test.
The man with 99 centuries behind his back was all set to get his hundredth hundred in one of his favorite country and one of the toughest Test playing conditions. Sachin Tendulkar looked good in almost all his innings but failed to capitalize to turn the good start to a good score. He will get the opportunity to score the hundred in the one day series. Nobody can dare to comment on his retirement but he himself will know that he has not performed any better from the other senior pros.
VVS Laxman scored his first substantial score against Australia in 1999; 13 years later he may have played his last innings against the same opposition. After his failure in England he needed to score heavy runs. Laxman would have looked forward to Australia as it has been his favorite rival. But with 155 runs at an average of 19.37, he would find it very difficult to save his place for the next test that India will play.
The Delhi fast bowler grabbed the limelight when he literally played with Ricky Ponting in India’s lost tour Down Under. This time it was a different story all together. In the four match test series, he took five wickets. At times he was a tad unfortunate, but this has been his story from the past few series (Excluding the one in West Indies). With an average above 90, Ishant will have to come up with goods sooner rather than later if he wants to save his Test career.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni won India two World Cups (T20 and One Day). The last one, just a few months ago, but somehow off late he according to a general opinion has turned himself into a captain who has failed in Tests and a batsman who is incapable of scoring Test runs in testing condition. He himself said that his technique is not good for seaming condition. After losing seven consecutive Tests outside India (he did not play in Adelaide because of slow over rate in the previous matches), he has raised questions against his style. Former cricketers have said that Dhoni is a negative captain and should only be allowed to do lead only in shorter versions of the game. Scoring 102 runs at an average of 20.4 has not helped his cause either.
Not so lows:
After the first two Tests, Virat Kohli would have had his heart in his mouth about his selection in the Perth Test. He was picked and at the end of the series he is the highest run scorer from India with 300 runs at an average of 37.5. He is also the only Indian batsman who has scored a century and did look the most comfortable against the Australian bowling line up, especially in the last two Tests. He however, has a long hurdle to cross to become what everybody’s expecting him to become. It is the failure of the other batsman which has made him look much better.
Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav:
The veteran and the rookie paired up well to bowl some good spells throughout the series. Zaheer took 15 wickets and Umesh took 14. The figures are not that impressive, but if they would have got some support from the other two bowlers, it could have been a different story all together.
Overall it was a series that India will like to forget (we are still in process to forget the England tour). The selectors will have to come up with some strict decisions keeping in mind the contribution that the senior players have made. Indians are not going to play a Test match outside the sub-continent in a long time and in this period the board has to come up with the plans to ensure that what happened is not going to be repeated.
By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News