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A dead rubber this one? Not just yet

india Updated: Jan 24, 2012 01:59 IST
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A series, which began with great expectations, failed to live up to the hype. Down 0-3, the series has already been lost, but in the fourth and final Test, at Adelaide, India will get a chance to salvage some pride and take some confidence into the second leg of the tour.

India’s woes are compounded by the absence of skipper MS Dhoni, who was banned for slow over-rate after the humiliating innings defeat in Perth. In his absence, out-of-sorts opener Virender Sehwag will assume the mantle of captaincy. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/24_01_pg21c.jpg

The pitch has a bit of grass on it, but, like Adelaide wickets of yore, will be a batters’ paradise. Something that will come as good news for India’s beleaguered batting unit. No Indian batsman has scored a century in the series. Gautam Gambhir’s battling 83 at the SCG was the highest individual score of the series for the visitors.

The dead rubber has some added spice in that this could the swansong for VVS Laxman. The man, who has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, will get possibly one last chance to show his wares, after a harrowing time in the series so far. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/24_01_pg21d.jpg

Laxman’s poor form is just part of the bigger picture which has seen a collective failure of unforeseen proportions. The openers, including the man entrusted with leading India, have failed to provide a productive stand.

Rahul Dravid has been ‘bowled’ over by Aussie bowling. Even Sachin Tendulkar has failed to recreate the magic of his previous tours. If there’s a silver lining, it could well be the form of Virat Kohli.