Advertisement / Advertise with Us
With Aus struggling to handle turning tracks, India must make the most of home advantage
Posted On Saturday, March 02, 2013 at 09:11:55 AM
It was quite a sight. Only after the Indian management chose a 22-yard strip, from the two made available for them, did the ground staff start nominate the boundary ropes. The measuring tapes came out only after the drier track was chosen by India on Thursday afternoon and only then the distance of the boundary from the strip was measured.
The England series has taught us that lesson. The great clichés float about Indian batsmen’s “twinkling feet” and all that jazz but seriously when have we seen the current lot do that?
Cheteshwar Pujara is probably the only guy, apart from Dhoni when in mood, who even tries to use his feet against the tweakers.
Even Sachin Tendulkar hardly steps outside his lakshman rekha these days. So you can have rank turners but only against opposition without good spinners as they found out against England where the men with “twinkling feet” came a cropper against Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar.
India are riding their luck
India are immensely lucky that Aussies don’t have good spinners. Nathan Lyon is decent and the other main contender Xavier Doherty has already been rubbished by their National Spin mentor Stuart MacGill as “a great guy but not a Test player”. The likes of M Vijay and Ravindra Jadeja should be careful to start performing soon lest someone uses that line about them.
No jokes please on whether we can assume they are great guys or not! India were thumped on their tour of Australia so much so that one wondered whether the players were turning masochistic by the end of that brutal tour.
Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli didn’t waste much time in reminding some Australian players that wonderful gully-cricket talk: ‘Hamare mohalle mey aa jao, hum dikhayenge!” (Come to our area, we shall show you).
And India have duly thrashed Australia in the first Test. A couple of problems that existed before that Chennai Test were solved by the end of it. Sachin Tendulkar and R Ashwin came back to form but a lot of other questions are still unanswered. The openers’ problem, Ishant Sharma’s bowling, Jadeja’s efficacy , Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s place in Tests in Indian conditions, the Indian closein catching, Harbhajan Singh’s waning skills.
Can this Indian team do much overseas? But that’s a problem for another day. Can this Indian team do well in Indian conditions if the opposition is strong? The Australians didn’t reveal their cards yesterday but it’s been speculated that they are likely to retain the same team. Michael Clarke did speculate about the Indian combination: “They’ll have a pretty similar team, they could bring Ojha in for Harbhajan or for one of their fast bowlers. But
I’d be really surprised if they don’t pick at least two spinners and Jadeja.” They would be stupid not to at least play three spinners, and who knows they might even play four. Clarke knows that with his weak spinning arsenal, and with only James Pattinson firing among the seamers, there would be great pressure on the batsmen to come good so that he can use scoreboard-pressure against the Indian batsmen.
Australia will be yearning for revenge after being outplayed in the opening Test in Chennai but they have a real task at hand considering that yet another rank turner awaits them at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium
Advertisement / Advertise with Us