So apparently the ‘Blunder down under’ belongs to India and not to Australia as Star Cricket would have had you believe. In a series which has been embarrassingly one sided through out it has been plain to see for all that the world champions are not really a strong test force outside their motherland. Two tests ended with innings defeats and the last one with 298 runs. Suffice to say Tendulkar not getting his ton of tons was the least of India’s problems. It took just 59 minutes on the 5th day for the Aussies to complete the whitewash. It was the first in the series that India managed to take a test to the 5th day. For them it was the culmination of a miserable year away from home.
Neither bat nor ball clicked for India in this series as such. The focus on Tendulkar’s 100th ton has been a distraction not only for the little master but I feel for the Indian dressing room as well. There seems to be a sense of psychological block around. The tenacity was missing. The big names did not fire. The attack was grossly impotent. The frailties on foreign soil were very visible. The upcoming tri series with Australia and Sri Lanka will no doubt be another stern test.
At the other end, Ricky Ponting revived his fortunes in the series with brilliant knocks including a ton and a double ton. Michael Clarke proved himself a more than capable leader. And Australia once again showed that their entire cricketing system is capable of coming out of dips relatively quickly. There is still much more work to be done to regain top spot but they seem strong enough to get there.
What was hyped and billed as Australia’s new blunder down under proved to be in fact India’s. And I won’t be surprised if Sri Lanka join that banner in the tri series. Nonetheless it should be an interesting watch and for us in Pakistan as my friend often puts it, the race to 100 will be on between the price of diesel, the US Dollar exchange rate and Tendulkar’s ton of tons! Any takers? :p