Is this the fall of champions? Australia v India

What a victory! India won the second test match in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2008/09. It seems like the end of Australian world domination in Cricket. Indians have troubled Australians in recent past. Where Australia ruled the roost against all other cricket playing nation, they failed to prove their mettle against India. Australians found it hard to confront India in all format of the game, be it Tests, One day international, T20. Over a period of time playing against Pakistan has lost its charm but against Australia, it couldn’t get any better. It gives an immense pleasure to beat the world champions. Even Australians love the tussle against formidable Indian blend of young guns with experienced force. Media takes this battle to the next level by frame to frame coverage of sledging between players and well made advertisements.

 

The battle between Australia and India has picked up its pace since Indian T20 world cup victory last year in 2007. Ponting added fuel to fire with his comments “India was lucky to win the T20 world cup”. India proved Australian wrong by beating them once again in T20 match up held last year in Mumbai at Brabourne stadium. Ponting had to eat his words and said India is better than us in T20 format. However, India lost the Test series prior to T20 victory. The message was loud and clear with T20 victory that Australian champion’s throne is at risk.

 

Let’s see the result formation between these two cricketing giants’ encounters in recent time.

 

Tests

Australia v India test series 1996/97 – India won 1-0

Australia v India test series 1997/98 – India won 2-1

Australia v India test series 1999/00 – Australia won 3-0

Australia v India test series 2000/01 – India won 2-1

Australia v India test series 2003/04 – Drawn 1-1

Australia v India test series 2004/05 – Australia won 2-1

Australia v India test series 2007/08 – Australia won 2-1

Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India 2008/09 – India won the second test match (2 more to go)

 

T20

2nd semi final: Australia v India at Durban – India won

Only T20 international Australia v India at Mumbai – India won

Only T20 international Australia v India at Melbourne – Australia won

 

ODI

India’s performance in ODIs against Australia hasn’t been exciting but it is surely building up to threaten the Aussies.

 

Commonwealth Bank Series, Sydney 2007/2008 – India won

Australia v India ODI series, India 2007/08 – Australia won 4-2

ICC Champions Trophy, India – 2006/07 – Australia won

 

All in all Border-Gavaskar Trophy is still on and two more matches yet to be played. It might swing anyway as Australians would fight back strongly and Indians would counter attack. Let’s see how the third and fourth match would shape up, however, a best win ever in history against Australian.

India Vs Australia – Day 5

Day 5

Hello and welcome to the final day of first test match from Chinnaswamy Stadium. It will be interesting to see what target Ponting sets for the Indian assault. Weather doesn’t look good for the final day, heavy dark clouds hovering over Chinnaswamy stadium. Ishant gets a break through in his very first over on day 5. It has been a trend to clinch early wickets to start the day’s proceedings. Watson out bowled as he decides to play across the line to a fractionally shorter delivery. This is the end of Watson’s fighting 41 to bring back the Australian hope. Australia 203 for the loss of 6 wickets. Finally comes the declaration, Ponting decides to put India into bat under bad light and heavily overcast condition. Australia set a target of 299 to win for India; it will not be as easy as it may seem.

Question of the day: This is the test of Indian endurance; can India stay focused and achieve the target?  

Two Indian batsmen open the second inning. Brett Lee starts the proceedings as Indian batsmen look jittery. My heart comes to mouth as Aussies drop Shewag. But Sehwag plays the way he always played, edging the ball straight from Clark to the first slip where Hayden takes a low catch. OUT. India score 16 for the loss of 1. As India lose confidence with a quick wicket Dravid loses his wicket as well. What a nightmare!! Dravid plays Lee’s over-pitched delivery with soft hands and it goes fast to Ponting in short midwicket region. One of the best fielders in the world cricket, Ponting, makes no mistake and grabs a handsome catch parallel to the ground. It reminds me of Swordfish launching itself to grab its pray, lightning quick. Kangaroos nail Dravid for 5 and India score 24 for the loss of 2. My heart sinks with Indian shaky start. Here comes the little master, Sachin Tendulkar. Can he produce runs with his bat today? India sulk in bit of a hole right now.

Where is that Tendulkar whose presence threatened the bowlers and other cricket playing nations?

 

At lunch: India 41 for the loss of 2 wickets.

Fantastic first session for Australia! Game is in Australian control as wickets fallen quickly in the centre. India had a remote chance to seize the first test victory but two wickets have pushed India on back foot. 8 wickets and 66 overs remaining to score 259 runs, the game is drifting quickly towards Australia way. India need to play with a lot of character and endurance. Let’s hope for the best and follow the rest of the cricket inching closer to a thrilling climax.

Welcome back to the post lunch session where Sachin looks pretty relaxed and confident in the middle. In no time Gambhir and Tendulkar have built up a partnership of 50 runs. India need to stay put with this partnership and get closer to the target. As we speak the partnership couldn’t flourish any longer, Gambhir bowled out by Johnson. Gambhir couldn’t pick Johnson’s fuller yet slower delivery that goes through his defence. Gambhir departs contributing 29 to the total and brings Laxman to the crease. India 77 for the loss of 3.

I don’t want to say much about this partnership as previous comment let me down. Both the batsmen are looking fine at the crease, especially Tendulkar. Laxman is little nervous but seems quite determined, good for him and India. Together they have added 20 runs, slow but steady. Indian plan would be to reach closer to the target without losing any more wickets and blast off at the end. If not, draw is the best option. It is very important to keep a winning attitude so, go for the kill India. Things are quite at the moment with spinners bowling from both ends. Chipping the ball here and there adding runs on the board is taking India closer to target. Winning looks out of proportion, saving the game is in the agenda right now. Partnership reaches 53 at tea time, India 126 for the loss of 3 wickets.

 

Game resumes and both the batsmen take the innings forward. Good to see their confident approach in keeping the score board ticking. It is not about the winning anymore but to survive till the end of the day’s proceedings. Tendulkar complaints for the bad light but umpires turn it down and offer no light. It adds to Tendulkar’s frustration as he draws his eyes wider. What happens next is quite unexpected, Tendulkar out caught playing a fuller length delivery on off stump. He tries to drive the ball to square but White’s slow spin does the trick and loses his wicket. Tendulkar misses another opportunity to run pass Brain Lara’s score by a short margin. He goes out for 49 and partnership ends after adding 64 runs. Tendulkar’s dismissal brings Ganguly at the crease to push the score forward. India score 137 for the loss of 4 wickets.

What a sad end to an intriguing 5 days match, umpires offer light to the batsmen and they happily accept it. Apparently game is suspended and India saves the game due to bad light. End of the day 5 India 148 for the loss of 4 wickets. All and all a fantastic 5 days of hard core cricket, from Australian resilience to twisted Indian tail.

 

I am Praky, your host for this test match, signing off now. All the very best to the Indian team for their next test match.

India Vs Australia – Day 4

Sorry for the delay people, here you go

Day 4

 

Hello and welcome to Border-Gavaskar Trophy day 4. What brilliant ending to day 3 yesterday. Let’s see how it goes today when Zaheer and Kumble start to push Indian score little higher. Weather looks pretty nice, no sign of clouds or drizzle like yesterday. Brett lee starts the day’s proceedings and Zaheer to face the ball from where he left yesterday. It has been a treat to watch tail-enders doing the repair work to consolidate the Indian innings. Yesterday’s partnership of 80 runs between Zaheer and Harbhajan was the highlight of the day. Finally, Aussies get a break through trapping Kumble on the crease with a late swing delivery by Watson. Rauf points his finger out and declares Kumble LBW. Another useful partnership of 31 comes to an end. All this added to Australian frustration as India score 343 for the loss of 9 wickets.

 

Harbhajan added 54 and, now, Zaheer is taking the lead with a brilliant 57. It is a moment to watch when these tail-enders raise their bats high in the air where so called top order batsmen led India down. Top scorers in the Indian line-up are Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, just unbelievable. It will be good to see as to how Australia accept this challenge. With a lead of 70 runs, when would Australia feel safe to declare their second innings? We will know people, we will know.

 

Question now: Will Zaheer be tired enough to fire all cylinders? After an exhausting knock he is all set to start the bowling too. Australia start their 2nd inning cautiously and trying not to lose any wicket before lunch.

 

At Lunch: Australia 9 for no loss. 

 

Just after 12 overs post lunch Zaheer produces a blinder and freezes Hayden’s fate for 13 with swinging full length delivery. Hayden tries to forget the nightmare of his fall in the 1st test. Hayden departs LBW and brings the first centurion at the crease, Ricky Ponting. Can start from where he left yesterday? Good question. Australia 21 for the loss of 1. Shaky start pushes India ahead and builds pressure on Australia. Indian bowling attack looks pretty confident after a successful batting expedition. Zaheer takes his 6th wicket in the first test match…Bravo Zaheer. India fight back and fights back pretty neatly, Ponting falls flat on Ishant’s semi slow full length delivery. Out he goes. Laxman grabs a sharp catch in the midwicket area and sends the first inning centurion back to dressing room. Ponting scored 17 runs and took Aussie’s score to 50 for the loss of 2 wickets.

 

India apply mixed bowling attack from both ends, Ishant from one and Harbhajan from another. There comes 2nd centurion from Australian first inning, Michael Hussey. Ponting’s failure raises expectation from Hussey. Can he deliver it again? Australian batsmen can feel the sting in Indian bowling; quick wickets put India on top. As we speak, here goes another wicket down to dust. Simon Katich plays a flighted delivery from Harbhajan which lands safe in Laxman’s magnetic hands at silly point. Harbhajan is proving more than useful, first with batting and now with bowling. After scoring 34 Katich rests in peace in the dressing room Clarke joins Hussey at the crease. Australia score 99 for the loss of 3 crucial wickets. Breaking the building partnerships Indians have finally found their feet on the ground.

 

Can India continue ripping off Australian innings? Another quick wicket would definitely push Australia on the back foot. I could have asked for something better, make a castle of my own. Clarke is out caught playing a full length delivery from Ishant. Sehwag grabs the ball neatly at the short cover region. Clarke contributed 6 runs to the Australian total of 115 after losing 4 wickets in the process. What a ripper!!

 

It is going bad to worse for Australians, Harbhajan strikes back. Bhajji completely bamboozled Hussey from his rightly pitched length delivery just outside off stump. As Hussey tries to let it go bowl rips back and disturb the furniture. What a beauty (Singh is surely a King). Hussey goes out after scoring 31 and brings Haddin to the crease. Crowed goes wild and follows a Mexican wave. It proves to be a disaster for the Australians. It looks like India would run through Aussie line up quickly and give India a fair chance to win the first test out of fours Dream on sugar. Commentators criticise Kumble’s bowling stats and I feel greedy for more wickets. Australia 128 for the loss of 5 wickets.

 

I love this game as it swings both ends in no time. A good partnership of 50 between Haddin and Watson drift the game slowly towards Australian side. It takes Australian total to 193 for the loss of 5 and mounts the total lead to 263 with 5 wickets in hand. Another exhilarating day comes to an end. India took control on the first session but second session drifting away to put Australia back in control. All credit goes to Haddin and Watson for their rescue partnership of 50 runs. Let’s see tomorrow what score would be good enough for Australia to defend.

 

Let’s come back tomorrow keeping the fingers crossed. India…India, clap…clap…clap.

India Vs Australia – Day 2

Day 2

 

Good morning everyone.

 

Let’s begin the proceedings from where we left it yesterday. Australia closed the day yesterday with a score of 254 for the loss of 4. India managed to clinch two wickets in hurry just before the closure. Pitch looks little uneven today, let’s see what purchase does India get out of it. Hussey reaches to his half century as he does most of the time. Bowled!! Ishant claims another victim, Shane Watson Out Bowled just after a LBW appeal turned down in his favour. Ishant bowls a fantastic delivery to pierce through Watson’s solid defence. What a start again. Yesterday Zaheer and today Ishant Sharma has done the trick for India. Can India snatch another wicket here?

Australia 259 for the loss of 5 at the start of the second day.  

 

Australia would be happy as they as inching toward 300 runs mark. India need to pick up a quick wicket if they want to restrict Australia under 400. Hussey and Haddin are growing in confidence and stroking the balls clearly. Sound of willow growing loud, it was hard to put a bat to ball this morning. Both the batsmen are nudging the balls for one and two; they are picking up on Ganguly to steal runs. As these two batsmen consolidating their innings, Australia score 307 for the loss of 5. India need to stop leaking runs and put pressure on these batsmen, otherwise match will runaway from their reach.

 

Damn!! Cable network shuts down due to power cut. Hold on guys.

 

It is back on and what I see doesn’t look alright to me.

 

Is it a repeat telecast from yesterday’s play? Damn!! Like yesterday, early break followed by Hussey and Haddin building partnership. I don’t want to see another partnership of or around 166 runs. Kumble’s defensive approach is not helping India by any means. Fielders are placed deep to protect boundaries and giving away non-stop ones and twos. Yet another partnership for Australia and it looks formidable.

 

At lunch Australia scores 357 for 5.

 

 What a comeback after lunch. Ishant Sharma clinches two wickets in a quick succession. Haddin plays a slower delivery and Ganguly grabs it on the cover point area. He makes his way to the dressing room after adding 33 to the total. But Ishant is not over yet, he strikes Cameron White out caught on the extra cover region. He goes out after making 6 runs. Australia 362 for the loss of 7 wickets. Can India wrap up the rest of the players under 400?  Mind you, Hussey is still batting and he is looking as solid as Rock. India losing its way providing easy singles, it has been a problem from day 1. Partnerships after partnerships, Hussey and Lee have added another 50 runs to the total.

 

When the partnership between Hussey and Lee look dangerous, Zaheer strikes back and creates sweet sound of Timber, Bowled. Zheer pitches bowl just shot of good length and squeezes Lee in his backlift to knock the stump out.  Australia 421 for 8 wickets down. Zaheer Khan puts venom to his bowling and knocks out Johnson and Hussey quickly. It was brilliant to see Ishant and Zaheer taking up the challenge and bowled furious spells after spell. Zaheer picks it up just after tea to wrap the things up below 450 for India. Australia must be happy to put hefty score on the board especially on the pitch that is deteriorating fast. 

 

Australians have put up 430 on the board. It will be good to see how India answers back to the Australian handsome total.

 

Sehwag and Gambhir look good as they hit the ball in all different parts of the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Brett lee and Stuart Clark try really hard to get a break through but these two batsmen look determined to put up a decent total on the board by the end of the day proceedings. India score 58 while rain getting heavier in the background, I hope wicket falls down in the weather. Rain has reached the stadium in full force and it is pouring heavily. Umpires have decided to walk off the ground and that brings covers on the field. As the rain looks unstoppable, India have put up 68 runs on the board. All thanks to Sehwag and Gambhir solid partnership at the end of the day. What a day of cricket, highlighted by a great hundred from Hussey and top level pace bowling form Ishant and Zaheer. Ishant clinched 3 wickets and Zheer has managed to achieve 5 wicket haul which is as good as scoring a hundred.

 

That should be it for the day, will catch you back tomorrow on day 3 with India fight back.

India Vs Australia – Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Day 1

Australia wins the toss and elect to bat on first match of 4 matches test series. Apparently, this is the last test series for our Dada (Sourav Ganguly). I hope, he will say goodbye to his cricketing career with a golden knock like the way he started it in 1996 Vs England. Back to back centuries in his debut.

Let’s look at the Australian against Indian line up.

 

       Australian Line up                  Indian Line up       

Matthew Hayden

Simon Katich

Ricky Ponting

Michael Hussey

Michael Clarke

Shane Watson

Brad Haddin

Cameron White

Brett Lee

Mitchell Johnson

Stuart Clark

Gautam Gambhir

Virendra Sehwag

Rahul Dravid

Sachin Tendulkar

Sourav Ganguly

VVS Laxman

MS Dhoni

Anil Kumble

Harbhajan Singh

Zahir Khan

Ishant Sharma


At the Chinnaswamy Stadium, on-field-official Asad Rauf and Rudi Koerzten declare Play Ball!!

Under immense pressure on test playing seniors, India strikes in very first over. Zaheer Khan striking early gives India a boost in this over hyped up series. What a start, test cricket at its best. It looks to me an intriguing start for the Australian team, Zaheer and Ishant probing both the batsmen with perfect line and length. Both the opening bowlers look determined and bowling with a lot of fire and venom. As the day progresses, both the batsmen look pretty comfortable with spinners bowling. Steady recovery from one wicket down at early stage.

Lunch: As team break for lunch, Australia is 75 for the loss 1 wicket from 27 overs.

The first session goes Australian’s way because Ponting and Katich have built up a good partnership after the loss of Mathew Hayden. Ponting scored 41 with Simon Katich on the other side, supported with 28 runs. Zaheer Khan provided a break in the first over but spinners couldn’t capitalise on the early break through. However, a good match in the proceeding.

Second session

What a wonderful game of cricket, it swings both ways from Indian break-though to Australian resilience. If you are a fan of cricket then this is the match to watch. I woke up early this morning to catch every bit of it after a brief sleep last night. It is like getting up early morning and visiting a temple to get a glimpse of God.

Begins

This partnership looks formidable, Ponting looks determined to break his jinx for not scoring in India. This is his 2 best score in India after scoring 60 a decade ago. After scoring a stunning 50, Ponting hits a lofted shot for a Four on Harbhajan’s spin delivery. Australians are milking the balls around to put a mammoth total on the board. It will not be easy for Indian team to dominate the world champions even on the home turf. Break for tea

Third and final session

Ponting scores his maiden century on Indian turf. It has been a nightmare for Ponting scoring in India, whereas he scored tons against all other cricket playing nations. As he celebrates, he shows the bat to his critics who tormented him for his poor performance on the Indian soil. Well deserved century under immense pressure after losing Hayden in very first over.  **Applause**

With Zaheer Khan finishing a splendid spell Australia is building up another partnership between Ponting and Hussey. Oh dear!! Rudy turned down a caught and bowled of Ricky Ponting playing over pitched delivery from Kumble. This is looking interesting, something’s got to give here. Finally, after a caught n bowled and LBW appeals, Ricky Ponting goes out LBW on 123. Harbhajan strikes him out LBW. That’s the ninth time Ponting has fallen to Harbhajan in tests. This partnership was looking ominous as Ponting and Hussey added 60 to the total. One or two more wickets would be great before calling it a day. Dismissal of Ponting brings Michael Clark to the pitch. Australia now 223 runs from 3 wickets down. 

 
What a way to end the proceedings of the first day, Zaheer Khan strikes again. He took first wicket in the very first over of the match and takes another one in the last over of the match. Test match at its best…brilliant. Michael Clarke moves the bat slowly and finds himself trapped in the front, Zaheer appeals again and Rudy Koerzten gives him a slow death…OUT. Australia at stumps: 254 for the loss of 4 wickets.

It will continue tomorrow…enjoy