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    December 04, 2006

    Puberty for 'Pup'

    Two years ago, Michael Clarke won the Allan Border medal on the back of a string of splendid performances, including becoming the first Australian to score a test century on debut (in India) and at home. He then went through a form slump, got a fair bit of advice and was dropped for a couple of series.

    Today, he made his third test century, one that has more or less ensured that the Adelaide test is heading towards a draw. England are 97 runs ahead and have 9 wickets in hand. Unless they score something like 200 runs in the first session, I can't see them declaring, given Australia have the batting ability to score at 4 runs an over over two sessions and since England've not shown the bowling ability to take wickets at a rapid rate.

    That said, the first two innings were far too similar to that freak game. Both teams making 500+ totals, two contrasting players (one making 200, other making a huge 100) from the opposition making Australia's leg-spinner look like a club bowler. But the difference has been in the scoring rate. In 2003/04, Australia scored at 4.38 and 3.5 runs an over while India scored at 3.3 and 3.2 runs an over. In the on-going game, the scoring rates are markedly slower - England 3.28 while Australia scored at 3.11!

    The pitches so far have been very strange though - very easy for batting. It's almost as though the curators are ensuring that Australia don't get into trouble if England's bowlers (Harmison avg. 273, Anderson 140, Giles avg. 108, Flintoff avg. 38 and Hoggard avg. 28) get it right. But if that is indeed the tactic, it does nothing to help Australia's bowlers (Lee avg. 100, Warne avg. 67, McGrath avg. 32 and Clark avg. 16)

    NB: The title is purely to avoid the clich├ęd references to 'coming of age' and thus grab your attention.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:55 PM |
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    3 sledge(s):

    Well, England almost matched India's scoring rate - therefore it's Australia's fault this game was so boring.

    I like Michael Clarke. He's a proper all-round cricketer, good batsman, decent bowler, excellent fielder.

    By Blogger Geoff (04-Dec-2006, 9:21:00 PM)  

    England're well on course to matching Australia's efforts in that game. Australia were all out for 196, setting India 230 for a win. England seem like setting Australia something like 165-170 to get in 35 odd overs. It will be very tough for Australia, but they will go for it. England's only hope is to bat for another 10 overs more.

    The other game that I now am reminded of is the third test of _THAT_ 2001 India v Australia series. Australia made 391, India made 501. That's where the similarity doesn't exist. Where it does is that Australia batted poorly [and Harbhajan bowled brilliantly] in the second innings and made only 264, setting India 155 to win. Which they got. Barely.

    By Blogger Jagadish (05-Dec-2006, 10:25:00 AM)  

    Geez. 121/4, 47 to get in 13 overs. Giles has already justified his inclusion. Damien Martyn must be _this_ close to being axed. Shane Watson not being fit yet is the only thing which could save him. Hayden is also perhaps close, especially with Phil Jacques breathing down the openers' necks [risque as it sounds]!

    By Blogger Jagadish (05-Dec-2006, 1:02:00 PM)  

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