The 4th test at Adelaide was the one chance for the Indian team to go back to India with a consolation victory. However this was not destined to happen as Clarke won the toss on a perfect batting tract. A score of 335 for 3 was not what India or its supporters had bargained for on the opening day.
The second day dawned and Shewag must have come out with some strategy. But then Shewag though a good striker of the ball is not a natural captain. His limitations stood exposed as he could not think of anything as Ricky Pointing and the skipper Clarke began hammering the Indian attack. Frankly the body language of the team showed that they were just going through the motions of play. Shewag failed to galvanize his men. He was like a captain who is almost blind while steering his ship.
Clark and Pointing batted magnifcantly.Clarke was the more aggressive and soon both had crossed the coveted 200 mark. It is not often that 2 batsmen get double hundreds in the same innings. None of the sub continent batsmen have achieved this feat on foreign soil i.e. outside the sub continent.
Though the Aussie batsmen each hit a double century, the fact is that the bowling attack was listless. Yadav was expensive and Zaheer as the senior pro just didn’t try hard enough. Only Aswin bowled his heart out. The only bright spot for the Indians was a brilliant run out of Mike Hussey effected by Gautam Gambhir. It was a roller coaster ride for the Aussies who ultimately declared at 604 for 7. The batting was made easy by some unimaginative captaincy by Shewag. Wonder with all the mayhem going around, why he didn’t try some non regular bowlers. Sometimes such bowlers can take a wicket and break a stand.
The highlight of the Aussie innings was the batting of Clarke and Pointing. It was flawless cricket as both batsmen showed the Indian attack as a paper tiger. The pity was that Ishant Sharma with 45 tests behind him also made no impression, though he did generate reasonable pace. India had an awkard time to play out. Shewag and Gambhir opened as usual. But as has happened in the last 7 seven tests on foreign soil a good opening stand was not to happen. Shewag was out caught and bowled and then the ‘wall’, Rahul Dravid was bowled for 1. This is the 7th time Dravid is clean bowled out of his last 10 innings. Some food for thought.
Tendulkar filled the slot and India finished the day at 52 for 2. Gambhir held on till the close. India have a long and uphill task on the third day and one will have to see how India bats. All in all it was Australia’s day today, but one can’t help feeling that the task of the Aussie batsmen was made easier by the Indian team itself, with a listless performance and unimaginative captaincy.