Saturday, December 29, 2007

Down, Down Under

A few thoughts about the thrashing mighty Australians handed us in Melbourne.
  • It feels simply wonderful to get up way early in the morning in the December winter and watch Test cricket played on beautiful, big grounds of Australia. What adds to the excitement is the fluent running commentary by greats like Ian Chappel, and other regular crew (with Channel 9, it's even better, as we get Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry too!)
  • Michael Slater admitted that Glenn "Pig" McGrath was a boringly accurate bowler, who would hardly make any mistakes. I was overjoyed as in one of my old articles I had mentioned how boringly perfect cricket Aussies play. Slater hoped Michael Clark would be a better bowler! (He already is, considering a lower number of wickets Glenn had captured before he turned equal number of Tests)
  • On Day 1, Aussie crowd cheered almost every wicket we took. That was heartening. Unfortunately, the Aussies soon lost faith, thanks to our dismal performance thereafter. I guess, the order is more or less restored.
  • Shocking was the failure of the Captain Ponting. He has had a poor year, and it was a wonderful opportunity to improve his stats for the year, which he missed out!
  • Rahul Dravid's mind was not at the MCG, neither were his feet. The Wall disappointed, and disappointed big time. Hopefully, as every dog has, he will have his day. Sooner, the better.
  • Yuvraj Singh wasted two opportunities. It again shows that for this young one, only home is sweet home. Away, he looked like an engineering student who prepared for Engineering Mechanics on the day when the exam schedule was for Compiler Design.
  • All the 'boys' very were tired on day four itself. It simply shows how this game, easy to watch, can be so physically exhausting! The Aussies looked fresh from a conditioning camp. India's very slow scoring rate helped too. This can be a major factor going into the Sydney Test in three days. I hope the team watches their batting performance, and listens to the commentary. And hopefully implement the simple "ones-n-twos to tire the fielding team" tactics.
  • Overall, we simply did not have any new ideas (barring exception of day one, maybe). There were no extra ordinary knocks or periods of play. Hardly, we looked to be playing to our strengths (is that termed batting?). We can forever blame the unpreparedness, hectic schedule, jet-lag, injuries etc. etc. But that's not the point. The point is how to pick up the composure and put up a brave fight.
  • Probably, we need to sit back. Watch the South Africa-West Indies game for a lesson or two on how to play away from home, how to approach somewhat differently (Gayle's quickfire runs as opener, opened new doors for the Windies!).
  • Like in engineering, we got to solve the problem. Mathematically, until and unless it can be proven that it's fundamentally not possible, everything can be achieved. It's probably matter of time (yeah, schedule!), but achievable. I see no reason why our team cannot achieve at least half of it; that is to put up a challenge, and maybe a draw or two?

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