The loss will hurt, but we will be back
Saddled with the reputation of being poor starters overseas, India did precious little to rectify the anomaly in the Melbourne Test. Javagal Srinath writes.india Updated: Dec 29, 2011 23:36 IST
Saddled with the reputation of being poor starters overseas, India did precious little to rectify the anomaly in the Melbourne Test.
MS Dhoni's men will look back and rue the missed opportunities, but they can't escape the fact that this was their fifth consecutive loss overseas. India have done well over the last couple of years all over the world, but the 4-0 loss in England and this comprehensive defeat will come back to haunt them.
Barring England, where nothing went right for them, India have bounced back after first-Test losses. There is no reason, given the experience and quality of the India batting, why they can't do so again in Sydney.
Message is clear
One thing is clear - Australia are not going to offer flat, placid tracks for this series. The brilliance of India's batsmen, coupled with the inexperience of their bowling attack, means the Aussies will continue to produce hard pitches with grass.
Notwithstanding that India have a good pace attack, the Australians have placed the onus on their batsmen to fight it out. It worked for them in the first Test, and I will be surprised if they don't opt for a similar strategy in Sydney.
India had their moments, and what will rankle is that they didn't seize them. There were three critical phases of the match where India allowed things to get away. After bowling out Australia for 333, they were brilliantly placed at 214 for two, but they folded up for 282.
The bowlers hauled the side back into the contest by reducing Australia to 27/4 in the second innings, but again, India couldn't move in for the kill. Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey batted well, but we didn't do enough to break that partnership.
The final decisive passage came on the fourth morning as Australia added 43 runs for the last wicket. That swelled their lead past 290 and the momentum irrevocably shifted the Aussies' way.
(The writer is a former India pacer)