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    October 14, 2008

    Verbal warfare begins!

    Zaheer Khan - "They know they can't take 20 wickets and they are on the back foot. They couldn't get me or Bhajji out. I have never seen an Australian team play such defensive cricket, which is a good thing for us. On a fifth-day pitch the spinners could not do us any harm. That shows what their spin attack is all about."

    Ricky Ponting - "We were the only ones in the game trying to take the game forward. We played aggressive cricket. I am not surprised by the way they played, the Indian team do play a lot of drawn games."

    Did anyone say this was going to be a quiet series?

    For the record Ricky, in 2008 so far, 3 out of Australia's 7 tests have ended in draws while 3 out of India's 10 tests have ended in draws. I know my arithmetic, and its easy to see who has the higher ratio of draws!

    Playing for a draw isn't necessarily a negative mindset, especially if you're trying to squeeze out the best possible result from the match situation. I guess India could point fingers at the way Australia played at Adelaide and say that Australia were focussed on getting a draw and a 2-1 result. Maybe we should focus on your team scoring at 2.8 runs an over in the first innings at Bangalore and not taking 10 wickets while having 83 overs to bowl on a deteriorating pitch in less than ideal light conditions for batting. Australia had an opportunity to bat when the pitch was at its best for batting and bowl last when it was at its worst for batting. The first innings run rate was despite having 6 wickets in hand at the end of the first day and the failure to get India all out will be exaggerated by the fact that India were 24/2, having lost the two batsmen who really mattered in that situation, and nearly 5 more hours to play out!

    This isn't about who the better side is. The obvious answer, at this point in time, is Australia. Australia have been the gold standard for over a decade now. India aren't quite there yet. The side needs another quick bowler, a good backup spin option, and capable replacements for the middle order. It is work in progress. Part of the learning curve is to fight it out for a draw. They failed to do it at Sydney earlier this year, and on several other occasions in the past. A draw is a far more acceptable start to the series. Once Australia got 430 on the board, it was always unlikely that Australia would be in the backseat.

    While Zaheer was tempting fate when he spoke about Australia being unable to take 20 wickets and the defensive cricket, he is obviously right about your spin options. It has been Australia's fault that no young spinner has broken through for such a long time. There have been many opportunities for Australia's selectors to provide more chances for Cullen, Hauritz and White to bowl alongside Warne. Yet they kept recalling MacGill, picking Hogg, and then McGain, leaving Casson to wonder what he did wrong.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 1:32 pm |
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    2 sledge(s):

    Ricky may be about to eat these words as Australia now go into safe mode and attempt to play out a draw.

    By Blogger Stu (19-Oct-2008, 3:37:00 am)  

    Australia could still get away with a draw. I don't think the pitch is going to pose too many problems.

    Barring Hussey's dismissal, it has been fairly good for batting, with some occasional rippers from the cracks, but you expect that on days four and five anyway.

    By Blogger Jagadish (20-Oct-2008, 7:17:00 pm)  

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