Tuesday, October 21, 2008

India complete final rites in Mohali

In Indian conditions, they say, if you win the toss half the battle is won.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ensured that at the outset in the Mohali Test. The other half was a team effort.
To give the home team their due, Indian outplayed Australia in every department of the game. India dismissed Australia for 195 runs on the fifth morning to register thumping 320-run victory. It was one of the heaviest defeats for the world champions and the biggest win for the hosts (not including innings wins).
The visitors never remotely looked like the world's best team, a pedestal they have been perched at for eternity.
The thrashing they received at Mohali was suggestive of the fact that they are no longer the dominant side they used to be.
The point we are making is that Australian cricket is now entering a new phase (a rebuilding phase) and it will take at least a few more years for them to reassert their supremacy. Other teams can seize this opportunity for sure.
Morning Session: 54 runs, 5 wickets, 18.4 overs
The script had been written on day four and it was bound one (no scope for last minute changes).
The first two hours of the movie (read last session on Day 4) was over and only the climax remained.
Resuming at 141 for six, the Australians suffered a jolt on the last ball of the day's opening over when Zaheer Khan had a length ball that move in to rip the stumps of Brad Haddin (37). The batsman was yet to add to his overnight score.
Khan was even more destructive in his next over-- Tuesday's third.
The second ball found Cameron White's outside edge and the third cleaned up Brett Lee . Australia 144 for eight, having lost three quick wickets early on the fifth day with the addition of the just three runs.
Michael Clarke (69) went on to complete his half century-- his fifth against India and his ninth in Tests.
The 27-year-old relishes playing against India and this innings was yet another proof of that. However, on this occasion even he was aware that only the last rites remain and time could not be an impediment.
On their part, Clarke and Mitchell Johnson (26) prolonged the end, delivering competent performances-- a 50-run partnership for the ninth wicket. But it only ensured ennui, the viewer's were not keen on any more histrionics but only wanted to see the end credits roll.
Johnson's character understood the audience plight and offered a soft return catch to Amit Mishra. Peter Siddle proved to just a sidekick and Clarke, the last man standing, perished at last, caught by Sehwag of Mishra.
India, on the other hand, was celebrating the one of the biggest blockbuster in their box office history.
India lead the four-match series 1-0. The first Test in Bangalore ended in a draw.


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