The first test promised much but delivered very little. The first 4 days dragged on without too much happening until Pricky made a generous declaration. In the end rain made sure that the affair ended in a dull draw.
So we look ahead to Mohali now.
Which isnt really known for its result oriented pitches. Teams batting first generally tend to do OK. But the 2nd and 3rd innings have proved to be the most profitable for the batsmen.
Australia-Polishing off the edges
Ponting and Hussey stole the show and Bagaloroo, what the hell is up with that anyway, We predicted a lean series for Pricky but he proves us wrong. Top effort. Still might be troubled if the spinners get their act together. Hussey just looks like hes on another plane altogether at the moment.
Clarke owes some runs to the team. I expect him to make a significant contribution in this game.
Watson and White did enough to keep their place. Hayden might need to make some runs to secure his place in the team. But the question is will Australia consider dropping him if he fails again? Jaques is breathing down his neck and is a very good replacement.
India-Relying on the openers.
All it takes is one innings from Sehwag and everyones predictions go out the window. He is due.
Gotham City Gambir played a solid hand but must convert his starts into considerable scores to make Ponting sweat.
The fab4 came to the rescue in the last innings but still look dodgy. Another false start in the first innings might leave India reeling.
Australia– Team effort.
They bowled well as a unit , without exceeding at an individual level. Stuey needs to put up a better show in the wickets coloumn and Lee needs to make better use of the new ball for early break throughs. Watson, White and Clarke all will chip in with handy wickets. But you wonder when the lack of a quality spinner will finally tell on the Aussies.
India– Relying on the quicks.
Zaheer bowled superbly to put the Aussies under pressure. A repeat performance is expected. Sharma will be expected to deliver some early wickets as well. The biggest issue for India right now is the fitness of Kumble.
If he is unfit who do they go for? 3 quicks and Bajji?
Or bringing in Chawla?
Tough decisions. Personally Id back Chawla. He bowled well in the warm up game. Had the Aussies in trouble more often than not.
India is facing a huge dilemma at the moment. Whether to go with Dhoni or Kumble. An hour and half under Dhoni revealed a lot more about than Kumbles leadership than it did Dhonis. The players seem to respond to Dhoni more. He seems at ease with the job. He has his players respect and is Ian Chappels man for the job.
If Kumble is unfit, then Dhoni must be given the reins. If so then another issue arrises when Kumble is fit for the 3rd. If Dhoni does well the the problem is compounded.
I predicted the end of the road for Kumble after this series. It might not even go that far for him.
Verdict:Im going to go out on a limb and say an Aussie victory. They seem the more assured team. Their key players are firing. The captaincy is in safe hands and seem the team that can push on for a victory when the opportunity presents.