Dravid & Laxman should go for good now
Going into the fifth day, the result was quite eminent; it was just a matter of time and Australia didn't waste any and completed a 4-0 whitewash. There was absolutely no fight put up by the Indians, but hasn't that been the story in the series so far? Mark Waugh writes.india Updated: Jan 30, 2012 00:00 IST
Going into the fifth day, the result was quite eminent; it was just a matter of time and Australia didn't waste any and completed a 4-0 whitewash. There was absolutely no fight put up by the Indians, but hasn't that been the story in the series so far?
A lot was said before the series that this Indian team would come and win a series for the first time in Australia, but I never believed so as they had been dismal outside home and, with a few ageing players who hadn't toured Australia for four years, I didn't see them coming here and retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The 4-0 result though, wasn't really expected and, honestly, the Indian side aren't such a poor side to have gone down this way against the current Australian team who haven't really been much consistent of late. What went wrong is difficult to say as it was a collective failure but things can't really go much worse than this for Indian cricket, and to come out of that they need to plan. There was talk in the media on the retirement of a few senior players but the team management reacted in surprise and disbelief.
It rather surprises me that those retirements didn't take place and it would be quite unbelievable if they get to play another Test for India. Honestly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the stalwarts they have been, should go for the good now.
Looking at the positives for India, Virat Kohli is a fine player and he showed one needs to apply oneself to score runs. He has a great future and I would like him to bat at number three or four. Umesh Yadav is another impressive lad who has tried hard. He has erred often but he will learn and has really bowled well in patches, whereas Ishant Sharma has struggled with his length. However, I feel he has been a bit unlucky too.
But, then, it's never easy on the bowlers and they mustn't be blamed much when the famed batting line-up has consistently failed. Wriddhiman Saha too looked a good wicketkeeper and his approach with the bat was solid and positive.
The biggest find for Australia has been their pacemen. All the bowlers — Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Ryan Harris --- bowled exceedingly well. And, when it mattered, off-spinner Nathan Lyon, with his nice high action, joined the party. Much of the credit goes to the skipper, Michael Clarke. He was under pressure but he led the team by example. He backed the out-of-form seniors --- Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey — who benefited from the confidence and delivered the goods when it mattered most.
Also, in Ed Cowan, we have found an orthodox classical Test opener, though Shaun Marsh had a torrid series.
The writer is a former Australia Opener.