The meek surrender of the revered Indian batting line up to the exceptional three man Australian pace battery made you reminisce of one thing.........
England, and how a similar trio of pacemen made the Indian batsmen look very silly. The Indian fans are already disregarding the performance on the basis of their Team being notoriously slow starters in series, but the reality might be the same bitter pill to swallow.
Let us look at both Teams, and try to define what is fact and what is fiction.
Exceptional is all we can say
Achieving this without the services of arguably their most crucial player in Shane Watson, and two very handy bowlers in Ryan Harris and Pat Cummins
Also with the ugly head of DRS adversely affecting their batting at crucial times in their 1st innings. Costing them Mike Hussey and Ed Cowan meaning the total of 333 could have been made into 400+ without the effect of those bad decisions.
The trio of James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and the rejuvenated Ben Hilfenhaus were awesome with their menacing pace coupled with their swing and seam. Throw in a desire to intimidate that is so apparent in the first two, and you have a lovely mix in the pacemen.
They just overwhelmed the Indian batsmen in all regards, and set a trend that might be the theme of the whole series.
Away from the dazzling performance put in by the bowlers, the batting did enough to win, but still concerns you a little.
Most notably the bane of the team in recent times in the top 3. Shaun Marsh's dismissals in both innings were as soft as butter, and then Dave Warner lived by the sword and duly died by the sword with his attacking mindset. At a time when discretion was needed. Ed Cowan was the best of the bunch with his adherence to old style batting. Where he is more excited by a perfect leave, rather than a a flashy cover drive played on one knee while he waves to the crowd as it rattles the pickets
In the view that we see potential in all of the three we will give them the benefit of the doubt for this performance, and expect a far better display in Sydney.
The Two Written Off Veterans
Most, if not all of Australia wanted either Mike Hussey or Ricky Ponting axed from the Team, and sent into retirement.
Even in the lead up to this game, I claimed Ponting was finished and was reminiscent of a 'dead man walking'. Hehehe, he certainly made me look as though I would not know if my bum was on fire in regards to my reading of the game!
Both rose to change the course of the game at crunch time in the second innings with Australia at 27/4 with a lead of just 78 with India swarming all over them. A partnership of 119 cooled the Indian jets and put Australia on the path to victory
The Pace Trio
The Aussie quicks got match figure of 327/19....
That is an average of 17.21 for the Test
Do we really need to write more about how awesome they were?
The Team in this Test was in truth a contradiction
In the respect that the bowling unit that was viewed as a distinct weakness was indeed very good and then the batting line up that was so revered was in truth utter rubbish. Especially at the times when it most mattered
In truth the batting showed all its fragility from England against a similar pace battery that showed a mastery of swing and seam while getting the ball through at 140kms+
The legends, bar Sachin who showed glimpses of his mastery were symbolised by their inadequacies. The starring man in most of Australia's nightmares for the last decade in VVS Laxman looked like a shadow of his former self, and then Rahul Dravid known as the Wall seemed to have included a gaping gate in the wall with having his stumps shattered in both innings.
Pure and simple, Virat Kohli is a Test bunny and needs to be replaced by Rohit Sharma if India has any desire to make a come back in the series. Then Gautam Gambhir, who has struggled for a while now, and looked to have joined the Phil Hughes club of giving slips practice needs to rediscover his form or face the prospect of the axe.
Then there is M.S.Dhoni................
A man that is a master as a leader in ODI/T20 cricket, but a liability to the Team as Captain in Tests. Then his batting, that is so threatening on batting friendly Asian decks is so amateurish on pitches that offer even the slightest assistance to bowlers
Old Man/Young Man
This in reference to the bowling duo of Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav.
The wily veteran known as Zaks displayed all his guile and mastery of swing in showing that he will be a major threat for all the Aussie batsmen. Then in young Umesh Yadav, India have the makings of a 10 year spearhead. One that displays real pace and skill
Undoubtedly, the worse Captain in Test Cricket with little or no clue about tactics.
In watching him have 5 on the fence to the 10 and 11 batsmen in the Aussie 2nd innings allowing them to contribute a crucial partnership of 43 beggared belief.
It was as if we were watching an ODI with his main desire being saving the boundaries, rather than actually realising it is a Test match where games are won by doing everything to get 20 wickets
Honestly, if India has any real desire to stake a claim in rejoining the elite in the Test game then they need to replace Dhoni as Captain.
For he is alright when India are beating up on the weaker Teams, but against more refined Teams, and in the moments that most matter he is incompetent in the extreme.
Look up the term 'flat track bully' in the dictionary, and I am certain you will see a picture of this young Indian batsman.
Needs to go and Rohit Sharma come in or India runs the risk of the same embarrassment seen in England over the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina.
Who are so like Kohli in being masters in the shorter forms of the game, but bunnies in Tests