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    November 12, 2008

    India vs Australia - Fourth Test - Day 1,2,3,4 & 5

    It is through sheer disorganisation and not sour grapes that I have neglected to post since the end of the third Test - a time frame in which the Border-Gavaskar trophy returned to India and Australia suffered their worst series loss in goodness knows how long (I'm sure I could find out pretty quickly on CricInfo but as I said... unorganised and busy!)

    Why should there be sour grapes? Australia sent probably the least potent bowling attack to leave our shores in 20 years, maybe more, to a country that was bound to produce some pretty good batting wickets, and boasts some of the classiest batsmen of this era. Australia also sent part time and untried spinners, to a country that produces turning wickets like Switzerland produces cheese (and watches) and a country which boasts some pretty decent spinners of their own.

    This wasn't through poor selection, or inept ability in any way. The options just weren't there. Some will argue that Casson, Nofke, Hilffenhaus or whoever should've gone. All that wouldn't matter. Australia were out-batted, out-bowled, out-captained, out-endured and in the last test particularly, even out-fielded!

    Australian cricket is not as strong as it used to be. Sure, we all know that, we knew that last summer. So why be surprised, and "demand answers" and all that garbage that the press goes on with, when we were up against the challengers to our crown of the greatest Test side in the world, in their own backyard. This was a front we conquered only once, even when we were well on top.

    To the Aussies' credit, even with conditions making winning difficult, and their bowling attack, sickness and a little bit of poor luck with the toss all working against them, we were still in a position to dream of the unlikely, on day 5 of that last Test. It wasn't to be, and neither should it have been. India deserved their win. It was a culmination of a career's work for the likes of Kumble, Ganguly Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. It has positioned Dhoni and Harbhajan as the countries next cricketing leaders and there is some exciting new talent for India fans to look forward to watching.

    Australia will come home now and lick their wounds a bit. A few excuses may be made ... I hope not. Sure, the standard set for some many years has dropped a bit. That only adds to the awe with which we remember Warney, Pigeon, Gillie, Langer etc. Australia have lost some of the ability of recent decades, but none of the heart.

    We will now take on the Kiwis and the Saffas, who will be smelling blood and looking for a tour to re-invigorate their own cricketing fortunes. These series will tell just how far the Aussies have slipped really.

    Then it's on to Ashes in '09. Sure to be another ripper!

    Thanks for inviting me on board for this tour, Cricket 24x7. All the best.

    (Keep up with my take on the Aussies and there upcoming Test endeavours, over on STUmpcam ... bound to be a little more interesting now, as the rest of the world starts to hit us back a bit...)

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    Thus spake Stuart Helwig @ 12:17 PM |
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    By Anonymous Tom (13-Nov-2008, 5:09:00 PM)  

    I think Australia thinks too much about the 35-year drought in India and should be more positive. From 1970 to 1996 Australia toured only twice; these were Hughes' WSC-depleted team and Border's 1986, both really poor and not representative of 26 years of Australian cricket. If Australia toured regularly, they would have won more before the 35 years.

    I've expanded here

    http://yellowmonkeysbananabucket.blogspot.com/2008/11/final-frontier-not-as-elusive-as-it.html

    By Blogger YellowMonkey (30-Nov-2008, 12:42:00 PM)  

    yellowmonkey: That's one way of looking at it. But also remember that India of the 1980s and early 1990s wasn't exactly a place that a lot of sides liked touring.

    Other sides were no different - see Statsguru results. England, West Indies & New Zealand only toured twice in that period. At most for England, there could maybe have been one more tour, but I think one series (1988/89?) was cancelled because Gooch, Emburey and Gatting (who'd gone on rebel tours of South Africa) were both going to be picked.

    So it doesn't seem to have been a case of Australia being the odd ones out.

    By Blogger Jagadish (30-Nov-2008, 2:34:00 PM)  


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