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The shame old story

india Updated: Feb 27, 2012 02:12 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

When the Indian team replaced old faces with fresh legs and shed the whites for the blues for the CB Series, they would have hoped to get rid of the sorry tale of repeated batting failures in the Test series.

However, as the team stood on the brink of elimination from the tri-series finals after another humiliating 87-run loss to hosts Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, more than the umpires - who played their part twice in controversial decisions that went against India - the batsmen had to take the blame. After the bowlers did a more than decent job to restrict Australia - who were coasting at 195 for four after 38 overs - to 252 for nine, if India were to keep themselves in the tournament, all they required to do was for the batsmen to apply themselves and bat through 50 overs. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/27feb_pg-18a.jpg

Toppled

However, it was shameful for the same top six that won India the World Cup last year to not put their heads down.

Forget about scoring a fifty, not one batsman could cross the 20s against a fired-up Australia pace attack, which ensured the hosts became the first team to qualify for the best-of-three finals.

As a result, India folded up for just 165 - their second total below 200 in the series - in less than 40 overs.

With so much being said about the top three being rested in the first half of the tournament, it was imperative for at least one of them to stay till the end. Virender Sehwag was gone in the second over, thanks to an outstanding catch by Ben Hilfenhaus on his follow through.

Controversy

Fiver overs later came the most disappointing moment for a near-full house when Sachin Tendulkar was run out in bizarre fashion.

Gautam Gambhir pushed Brett Lee towards point and responded to Tendulkar's call for a single. Lee started running towards the ball but seeing David Warner charging in, stopped mid-way and blocked Tendulkar.

As Warner's throw crashed into the stumps, Tendulkar was stranded behind Lee.

Though the master batsman, making his last appearance at SCG, made his displeasure known to the umpires, neither did the Australian team withdraw their appeal nor did the umpires asked them if they wanted to.

Soon after, just as Gambhir and Virat Kohli were looking set for a much-needed partnership, both perished in quick succession, ending most of India's hopes of making it to the finals.

After such a disastrous run with the bat throughout the series, it will be too much to ask for India to earn a bonus point against Sri Lanka in Hobart on Tuesday. Perhaps, it's time for the boys to pack their bags off and board a flight back home on Wednesday after a disastrous tour.



http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/27feb_pg-18b.jpg