4 Quicks… Cricket – Australia vs India 3rd Test Preview

15 01 2008

I was planning on writing a highly controversial article in the lead up to the test but given India have dropped all charges against Brad Hogg, Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble have kissed and made up, and the BCCI have withdrawn their threat to pull out of the rest of the tour, I am severely lacking in ammunition. Sadly, I have had to resort to fact instead of name calling and innuendo.

Tait - wild man…Breaking news though is that Matthew Hayden has been withdrawn from the match with Chris Rogers his replacement. It will be his test debut. Also, Shaun Tait has earned a recall to the side at the expense of Hogg. This will be the first time in 16 years Australia will play four quicks.

Of the players in the Indian side, only Tendulkar has played at the WACA previously.

A quick search shows that, of the players selected for the test, six of them are in the top 20 current test players in batting aggregate at this ground.

Name

Number of Innings /Not Out

Number of Runs

Average

Ricky Ponting

15/0

811

54.07

Adam Gilchrist

12/4

533

66.63

Mike Hussey

4/1

258

86.00

Michael Clarke

4/1

200

66.67

Brett Lee

6/2

160

40.00

Sachin Tendulkar

2/0

119

59.50

Given the lack of experience in the bowling ranks of both sides, it is no surprise that only two of the players on display for this test make it into the top 20 for aggregate wickets taken.

Name

Wickets

Strike Rate

Average

Brett Lee

33

47.33

27.52

Stuart Clark

5

48.20

21.00

The WACA ground has played host to 34 tests with the home side winning 58.82%, the visiting side 20.59%, and 20.59 matches ending in draws. Average runs per wicket is 32.64, runs per over averages 3.22.

Interestingly, the highest ever successful run chase to win was 8/342, set by Australia against India in the Summer of 1977/78. The sides have only met here on two previous occasions though with Australia winning both.

In total, India have played 34 tests in Australia for just 4 wins.

Regardless of the history, I am looking forward to what should be a fantastic match. I am salivating at the prospect of the four quicks in the Australian side but they really will need to be right on the money. This Indian side, although under-performing all tour, really does have the batsmen with the ability to take the game away from Australia in a very short space of time.

Now that Ponting and Kumble have insisted this game will be played in the true cricketing spirit, it just remains for the first ball to be sent down to get things under way to see how well they can live up to their promise.

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