Goodbye Gilly – Australia vs India ~ 4th Test (Day 5 In Play)

28 01 2008

That would describe the innings Australia amassed during Day 4 of the Adelaide test.

Adam Gilchrist - his last day of Test CricketStill, by having India bat part of the last session, and by taking Pathan’s wicket oh-so-cheaply… there is a glimmer of hope. A small shimmer of possibility… a tiny little sparkle of … well, you get the idea. In yesterday’s thread I stated that Australia needed to bat viciously during day 4, and amass a huge lead – sending India into bat in the last session of day 4 with a lead of 150 or so… they did send India into bat, but the batting was a little forgettable.

Day 5 finds India ahead by 8 runs, with a first innings tally of 526 and a second innings of 45/1 (thus far)… to Australia’s 1st innings of 563.
Whilst there have been some very good individual scores, neither side’s been particularly dashing. Centuries to Tendulkar (153), Hayden (103), Ponting (140) and Clarke (118) were all great… but only Sachin’s had anything remotely resembling a swashbuckling performance.
India’s first innings had a run rate of 3.44, Australia set a pedestrian 3.11.

It’s a pity that this test will be the last that Adam Gilchrist plays in – as it’s likely that it will end in a draw, and his first innings total of 14 is in no way indicative of the man’s ability. Hopefully, the ODI series will provide sufficient staging for his fare-thee-well.

So… Day 5. Verinder Sehwag’s on 31, and Rahul Dravid’s 11.

Let’s go.

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Slowly, Slowly – Australia vs India ~ 4th Test (Day 4 In Play)

27 01 2008

Well, post the excitement of Days 1 & 2… that sure was a yawner.
Nice opening stand from Jaques & Hayden – at least on paper – but for Jaques to make 61 off 219 balls, and Hayden’s century off 271, well, suffice to say it set up the situation we’re in now.
Haydos - great to have him back… Australia only made 290 in a day’s play.

The real mettle of the Australian team will be shown now. They need to go out & set a first innings total of around 700, then put the Indians in & try to get them out – in very quick fashion.
Do-able, but looking unlikely, with many Indian batsmen finding form at the moment.

Ponting and Clarke are now at the crease, both continuing the ‘carefully now’ approach the Australian batsmen have taken. Clarke’s 37 off 98 balls, Punter’s 79 coming from 150 balls faced.
The pace must pick up if Australia are to have any show of winning this… the thing is, if they’re going to try, then they have to risk losing it as well.
It will certainly do with being a little more cavalier out on the turf, especially with the ODI series just around the corner. If they can set that total, then they only risk a draw.

But can they? The Indian bowling certainly has held them in check. Pathan (24 overs, 1/70) & Harbhajan (28 overs, 0/70) have been very good, and Sharma has been excellent ( 22 overs, 1/47). That is one kid who’s going to be a phenomenal talent for years to come…

Day 4’s here, and Australia needs a total (today) of 380.
Bring it on.

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Tendulkar Bats On and On – Australia vs India ~ 4th Test (Day 2 In Play)

25 01 2008

If anyone tells you that that was not one of the best days of cricket they’ve seen, you have my permission to slap them call them an idiot.

The surprises began before a ball had been bowled with India winning the toss and naming Irfan Pathan at opener alongside Virender Sehwag. It turns out though that Pathan has opened on two previous occasions. The first was in 2005 where he scored 93 against Sri Lanka and the second in 2006 against England for a yield of just 6.

Although he ended up making just 9 he did a good job of allowing Sehwag to get settled and actually having some runs on the board when Dravid came out to bat.

Dravid plodded along to 18 off 55 balls before exiting and making way for the “Little Master”, Sachin Tendulkar. At lunch India were in some bother at 2/89 but Tendulkar was at the crease ………………. on naught mind you but at least he was out there, with Sehwag on 56.

India put on 98 runs in the middle session for the loss of just one wicket, Sehwag for 63, who looked as if he was going to bat all day until Brett Lee finally got him to edge a wider delivery to Matthew Hayden at first slip. Ganguly was next in and hung around to score 7 off 29 painful deliveries with Tendulkar not out on 40.

And then ……………………… magic, sheer beauty.

Tendulkar and Laxman put together one of the best partnerships ever seen at the Adelaide Oval. Sure, it wasn’t the biggest but by gee it was great to watch. They struggled and fought and grafted for 31 runs from the 14 overs up until tea time with Tendulkar not out on 55 and Laxman 16.

Tendulkar goes after Hogg.  Adelaide 2008Then all hell broke loose. In 17 overs after tea the pair added another 95 runs at almost 5.6 runs an over. Tendulkar scored freely through every area of the field with Laxman punishing the bowlers square either side of the wicket. Tendulkar took a particular liking to Hogg, belting him for 54 runs from the 53 balls he faced from the left arm wrist spinner. This included a massive six back over Hogg’s head to clear the longest boundary on the field.
When the partnership was finally broken on 126, they had taken India from a respectable, but not great, 4/156 to a commanding 5/282.

The visitors finished day one at 5/309 with more runs on offer on day 2.

How many more runs can Sachin make? That’s anyone guess but if he bats again tomorrow as he did today, with the help of India’s capable tail enders he could get 200 or there abouts and help deliver India a first innings of 450 – 500.


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