HT Image
HT Image

India hope for a sun-day

The visitors have their task cut out, but overcast conditions threaten to play spoilsport before the India-Australia tie, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.
By Atreyo Mukhopadhyay | Hindustan Times, Melbourne
UPDATED ON FEB 10, 2008 02:22 AM IST

The Commonwealth Bank tri-series enters its second week with rain chasing the teams along the eastern and southern coast of Australia. Sun didn't shine on cricket in Sydney on Friday although the match took place and come Sunday, there will be similar prayers here for the India-Australia tie because it's not all clear yet.

It was bright and sunny on Saturday morning and Melbourne saw a blue sky for some time but just before the Indians reached the MCG for practice in the evening, there was a sharp drizzle which forced them indoors. So after two days of training in natural conditions, the players, fever-less Sreesanth included, were back on artificial turf ahead of a crucial game.

It will a tough outing because the Australians showed good application while batting in difficult conditions against Sri Lanka before constricting their run chase on way to bagging a bonus point. They will come hard at the Indians again on what is expected to be a better pitch for batting, which is good news for M.S. Dhoni's team.

India got a decent total in the last game but that was due to two players and had little to do with a concerted team effort. The batting will be tested again by Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken, who have already bagged five-wicket hauls. What should still encourage India is that they have had two good days of practice apart from the confidence that might have stemmed from the Dhoni-Gambhir partnership against Sri Lanka.

"It's been very useful," said Virender Sehwag of the outdoor nets. "Those who joined us after the Tests have got the time to settle down and we are in good shape after some good net practice. We are getting better with time and Australia know that we are only team which can beat them."

The Indians keep saying that and two wins in the last 11 ODIs against the the Aussies in the last two years is what they have to show for this claim. Both wins came at home in the seven-match series last year and in the last five years, they have beaten Australia in Australia just once in seven ties. However, people out to chart a new course needn't be so attentive to history.

What they should however pay attention to is that Australia hardly gave their batsmen room to breathe in the opening game on last Sunday. They executed perfectly their plan for the openers and slowly but surely, sucked life out of the rest of the batting. Dhoni's team has to put up a better show to prove that they are worthy challengers.

Lee was quick to pounce on this chance to cast aspersions on the ability of the Indian batsmen, saying that it was difficult for the youngsters to replace Sourav Ganguly or Rahul Dravid straightaway. But not much should be read into that anymore because the exclusion of the stalwarts is also history and this Indian team is looking ahead.

Australia is the highest hurdle on the path of the team's urge to march ahead and much will depend on how the experienced ones fare. Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh with Gambhir and Dhoni apart from a couple of rookies actually form a promising line-up and Sunday is another chance to see how they translate that promise into reality.

The bowling department looks better organised although in one-day cricket on a good batting track, reputation and talent can get hammered any day. For this Indian team to live up to the expectations created by itself, thus, batting holds the key. It wasn't fully convincing in the last two games, so the wait continues.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Axar Patel celebrates the dismissal during day one of the 3rd Test Match against England in Ahmedabad(BCCI/Twitter)
Axar Patel celebrates the dismissal during day one of the 3rd Test Match against England in Ahmedabad(BCCI/Twitter)

Axar sizzles with six on home turf as India take early command

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:28 PM IST
India vs England: Patel and Ashwin set up the batsmen over after over with turn and variations. India ended the day on 99/3, trailing by 13 runs.
Close
File image of Mohammad Hafeez.(Getty Images)
File image of Mohammad Hafeez.(Getty Images)

Mohammad Hafeez declines PCB central contract offer

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:10 PM IST
The allrounder “politely turned down” a contract offer in category C for 2020-21, the cricket board said Wednesday.
Close
Ben Stokes' attempted catch of Shubman Gill on Day 1 of third Test against India in Ahmedabad(Twitter/Screengrab)
Ben Stokes' attempted catch of Shubman Gill on Day 1 of third Test against India in Ahmedabad(Twitter/Screengrab)

Ben Stokes dropped catch brings soft signal rule in focus

By Rasesh Mandani
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:58 PM IST
  • The TV umpire overruled the “Out” soft signal (on-field umpires’ own call before technology adjudicates) and the incident renewed the debate whether soft signal can be an informed decision with very limited reaction time for the umpires on ground.
Close
India's Axar Patel celebrates the dismissal during day one of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad.(ANI)
India's Axar Patel celebrates the dismissal during day one of the 3rd Test Match in the series between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad.(ANI)

3rd Test, Day 1: Axar, Ashwin put India on top as England bowled out for 112

PTI
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:36 PM IST
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel snared six wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin took three as England collapsed to 112.
Close
Ben Stokes caught applying saliva during India vs England 3rd Test
Ben Stokes caught applying saliva during India vs England 3rd Test

Ben Stokes caught applying saliva on the ball, umpires have a word

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:50 PM IST
In what appeared to be an honest mistake, Stokes took the ball from Stuart Broad at the end of the 12th over in India's first innings and applied saliva to shine the ball, that too in front of on-field umpire Nitin Menon.
Close
Ben Stokes was trolled on Twitter for claiming Shubman Gil's catch
Ben Stokes was trolled on Twitter for claiming Shubman Gil's catch

Twitter comes down heavily on Ben Stokes for claiming Shubman Gill's catch

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 08:39 PM IST
Shubman Gill was adjudged not out which left bemused Ben Stokes, who started shaking his head with a smirk on his face. Stokes’ reaction despite the correct decision did not go down well the fans as they took to Twitter to vent out their anger.
Close
Stuart Broad and Joe Root have an argument with the umpire(Twitter)
Stuart Broad and Joe Root have an argument with the umpire(Twitter)

Root, Anderson, Broad indulge in heated chat with umpire after Gill survives

UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 08:17 PM IST
England captain Joe Root, Stuart Broad the bowler and James Anderson were however not amused with the third umpire’s decision. The three senior cricketers were seen having an animated chat with umpire Chaudhary.
Close
Kedar Devdhar: File Photo(BCCI)
Kedar Devdhar: File Photo(BCCI)

Baroda continue winning streak, beat Hyderabad by 110 runs

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 07:04 PM IST
This is Baroda's third win on the trot after they had defeated Goa and Tripura.
Close
Devdutt Padikkal(Twitter)
Devdutt Padikkal(Twitter)

Padikkal's career-best 152 hands Karnataka big win; Kerala consolidate lead

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 06:51 PM IST
The 20-year-old opener smashed five sixes and 14 fours en route to his third List A century in his 16th game to propel Karnataka to 329 for five after being invited to bat at the KSCA Ground 3 in Alur.
Close
Axar Patel celebrates with R Ashwin other Indian cricketers(BCCI)
Axar Patel celebrates with R Ashwin other Indian cricketers(BCCI)

Axar, Ashwin make pink-ball tall, India bundle out England for 112

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 06:31 PM IST
Axar Patel registered his career-best figures of 6 for 38 as India spinners called the shots in the first-ever day-night pink-ball Test between India and England in the world’s largest cricket stadium that has a capacity of 1 lakh 32 thousand.
Close
Shahid Afridi(Twitter)
Shahid Afridi(Twitter)

Afridi tweets to ICC expressing displeasure at umpires not holding bowlers' cap

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 05:54 PM IST
Shahid Afridi who is playing for Multan Sultans in the ongoing Pakistan Super League, was not happy on Tuesday night when, during their match against Peshawar Zalmi, the umpires refused to take his cap when he came on to bowl.
Close
Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket of Joe Root
Virat Kohli celebrates the wicket of Joe Root

Kohli's animated celebration after Root's wicket gets Twitter talking

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 05:15 PM IST
While it was a well thought out delivery from R Ashwin that got the in-form Joe Root out, it was Virat Kohli’s celebration afterwards that caught the eyes of the Twitter users. Here's how Twitter reacted to Kohli's celebration of Root's wicket.
Close
Virat Kohli expressed his concerns for the fielding team at the toss of the third Test against England.
Virat Kohli expressed his concerns for the fielding team at the toss of the third Test against England.

'Worried about lights': Kohli expresses concern for the fielding team at Motera

UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 03:55 PM IST
India captain Virat Kohli said that lights at the refurbished stadium in Ahmedabad could potentially impact visibility and added the players will need to adapt quickly.
Close
Photo of Bengal cricketer Manoj Tiwary(Twitter)
Photo of Bengal cricketer Manoj Tiwary(Twitter)

Former Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary joins TMC ahead of Assembly elections

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 03:00 PM IST
After joining the party, Tiwary said Mamata Banerjee is trying to unite people together.
Close
India's Ishant Sharma in action.(Action Images via Reuters)
India's Ishant Sharma in action.(Action Images via Reuters)

Ishant Sharma becomes 2nd Indian pacer to play 100 Tests after Kapil Dev

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 02:23 PM IST
India vs England: Ishant Sharma was expectedly named in the playing XI for the third Test in Ahmedabad.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP