Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Preview, 3rd Test, India versus 'Michael Clarke', Mohali

There is always a reaction in Sports when a Team is put through the humiliation of a scandal that leads to upheaval in its ranks. 'Home Work Gate', which has engulfed the Australian Team in the lead up to this Test has fans waiting with baited breath to see whether it will inspire the Team to show some much needed pride in their performance or ultimately is the straw that breaks their back leading to an insipid implosion in this game.

The speculation alone must be music to Indian ears with them allowed to prepare for this match strangely away from the spotlight. With them already two nil up in the 4 match series they would go into this match brimming with confidence on the back of the evidence of the difference in the Teams in the series so far. Then given greater impetus by the blow that this scandal will represent to Australia

The Pitch 

The Mohali pitch is always seen as very Australian in its characteristics meaning that as soon as the last ball was bowled in Hyderabad the command would have gone out to 'India' the pitch up. 

So, you know that it will support spin much in the manner of the other pitches

The Teams

India
 


The dropping of Virender Sehwag that has caused angst amongst his fanatics must be commended with the opener not only being dreadfully out of form, but also a hindrance in the field and with his attitude. Which have been both points that the Teams Powers that be have been trying to eradicate.

His replacement Shikhar Dhawan will add some youthful enthusiasm into the Team and is a very nice batsman. 

As for the rest of the Team, it has astounded all that arguably India's best spinner in Pragyan Ohja has been overlooked all series long. 

But with Australia brought to its knees after this scandal, it would be a perfect time to introduce him

This would be my Team 

Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, B Kumar, Ishant, Ohja


Australia


I have watched the game over 50 years and must admit I have never seen an Aussie Team this weak. Even in the Packer World Series Cricket days that ravaged the National Team, the 11 still had some semblance of quality

This Team has the genius of Michael Clarke and then little more

People will point to the effect that suspensions to James Pattinson, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja has had on the ranks. But of that quartet, only Pattinson is a vindicated Test quality player with the rest having questions near their names

Adding Matthew Wade's injury to the suspensions it means there will be three changes to the line up with only 12 players to choose from

Leaving a possible 11 as follows 

Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes Maxwell, Smith,  Haddin (wk ), Henriques, Siddle, Starc, Lyon,
 

The Keys to Winning 

India 


In truth, this Test can only be seen as India's game to lose with them already facing a Team that they have dominated all series and now without its only trusted wicket taker out.

Further in India's favour is that all series long they have failed to win the toss robbing them of the huge benefit of batting first when conditions are at its best and then bowling last on the pitch when it will favour its spinners.

If they do here, and bat well, it could get very ugly for the Aussies

The key to the Team will be its batting for you know that its spinners will destroy the paper thin Australian batting. Plus, after his very impressive showing in Hyderabad, you can see the skiddy swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar being a threat once more. 

Back to the batting, a lot will depend on how the new opening pairing of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan go. If they can set a platform for the middle order to bat with little pressure on them a huge score is on the cards. 

At three, Cheteswar Pujara must be regarded as one of the brightest batting talents seen in a good long while. And though we are tempting Fate by basing this solely on home form you have great faith that his brilliant temperament and water tight technique will make him a real factor in any conditions.

If India plays good solid disciplined Cricket they will win this game with a leg in the air

Australia 

It is not often that I give a Team no chance in a two Team contest, but the Aussies have no chance at all in this match

I say this just by looking at the 11 they are likely to field with T20 bits and pieces players in Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith and Xavier Doherty in the ranks to go with tried and true Test failures in Phil Hughes.

Of the rest, the word 'mediocre' fits them to a T

Only Michael Clarke is a high class Test performer and even his genius cannot carry this lot

With a batting line up so weak on paper that you could suggest that the 'Tail' starts at 4 with Phil Hughes

Then the bowling unit is just a frail.

With the highly disappointing leader of the attack Peter Siddle, who was immense in the Aussie Summer proving on this Tour that he is a 'fast track bully' supported by Mitchell Starc who simarly has struggled in the confines

The spinners are a non entity against any Test standard batting line up meaning how Australia will get 20 wickets is a mystery Agatha Christie would struggle with.

Prediction 


India will win by an innings

1 comment:

  1. i think you are correct in your assessment on all counts. there is very little one can add in such a situation.

    however, the aussie's when in the process of forming a team for the international arena should have been more careful in reprimanding them by way of a show cause letter ( something like a warning ) and taken them to task back home after the series is over, rather than depleting the already depleted team of its residual bench strength.

    this school boyish attitude will cost them dear.

    ramesh.

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