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Australia v India, Adelaide, 2014 : A test to remember

The dust has now settled in Adelaide. A lot has been written about the first test and a lot has been said about it. Should Karn have played? Should India have tried harder to block the game out once Kohli departed? Is Rohit Sharma a test calibre batsman? What is up with the umpires? Should they all be replaced by DRS robots?

After several forgettable sessions in the field for India, one has to salute the tenacity shown by Kohli and Vijay on a turning track on day 5. On a day when India needed to play out 98 overs, these two batted for about 68 overs with Vijay actually taking majority of the strike. They respected the good balls and punished the bad balls. While the pitch played tricks and Lyon appealed away, they blocked and nudged and hit the occasional big shot. Bit by bit, they took India into a position of strength. Vijay fell heartbreakingly close to what would have been a terrific away hundred (he got 95 at Lords as well, hopefully nineties are a trend he will buck quickly) and India began the collapse we have all come to expect. Once the over-talented/overrated/over-hyped Rohit Sharma (our replacement for VVS Laxman) fell to Lyon, Kohli turned this into a ODI chase – his cover driving against the spin was insane, he was batting on a different planet!

Alas, at the end, memories of the Chennai test in 1999 came back to haunt us. It was all too familiar – a number 4 batsman for India playing an innings of genius to try and win the match. The team (save for Vijay) unable to support him. Saha, the wicket keeper, playing a ridiculous shot (much like Nayan Mongia) when all he had to do was knock the ball around and give Kohli the strike. Indian fans have long memories!

Looking at this game objectively, Australia had dominated 4 out of 5 days. India’s bowlers didn’t look capable of taking 20 wickets at any point of time. Undoubtedly, India got their team selection wrong – Nathon Lyon turned it a mile out of the rough while Ashwin watched from the sidelines. Yet, once Clarke made a bold declaration on the morning of Day 5 (as predicted), India made a match of it. One could criticise the loss of 8 wickets in the final sessions for a paltry 73 runs (another familiar story) but not many would have expected India to even come close to the target. There will always be disappointment on losing the game but we firmly believe this was the right approach to take. If India had played for the draw, we would almost certainly have lost by a much bigger margin!

We think there were a few key takeaways from the first test match:

– Virat Kohli, India’s No. 4.

– Virat Kohli, India’s next captain.

– Virat Kohli, Genius. Fullstop.

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

It’s on to Brisbane now and we expect India will need to make a few changes to the team.

Stay tuned for our Playing XI just before the start of the next game!


  1. jsarthak

    In the hindsight playing Karn Sharma was a huge mistake. May be should have taken Ashwin. Rather I think we shouldnt have played both good-for-nothing Sharmas in the favor of Ashwin and Jadeja. That would have set this up really well for us. What a Delight Jaddu would have been on this Pitch. Finishing his overs in a Jiffy and always creating doubts in the mind of batsman. On that note, what is Ojha doing in India ?.I think for Brisbane they should get in MSD / Ashwin and Yadav for Saha / Karn and Shami. I would go as far to drop Rohit Sharma but I know MS wont do it because who knows if Raina is a better option. May be they can play Jadeja too but don’t know if they’ll be any good on a green top Gabba.

    I would give Dhawan a long rope, but instead MSD would be saying the same words for Rohit Sharma.

    At the end of the day it was good to see Virat going for the win. But players after Saha should have at least tried and play out the draw. That we are slowly turning into a 90’s team is the saddest part.

    P.S : Somebody please tell me what’s up with BCCI and DRS. Fuck DRS, at least save the howlers. It’s like Sydney all over again.

  2. Hey Sarthak,

    Thanks for your comment. Don’t think anyone was expecting it to turn as much at Adelaide – any regular spinner (Ashwin/Jaddu) would have made a huge difference. We like Dhawan – he’s an attacking batsman and someone who can quickly take the game away from other the side a-la Sehwag/Warner.

    While you’re at it, check out our preview and playing XI for the next game – , We seem to echo your team selection, though I wanted India to play 4 seamers – thoughts?

    – DJ

  3. jsarthak

    I think I would love to see that. India playing 4 Seamers. Times of Kumble were different because Kumble was a medium pacer justapoxed as a spinner. We could not not play Kumble. Ashwin / Jadeja are not Kumble or for that matter even Harbhajan in his prime. But, Dhoni has pretty much categorically said he will play Ashwin. If that’s the case I would have picked Yadav instead of Shami

    So the question remains is Ashwin/Jadeja better option than a Yadav/Shami. Interestingly while Brisbane might be one of the worst venues for spinner in Australia after Perth, Nathan Lyon has his career best average of 21 at Brisbane.

    P.S : I am dying to see Bhuvi back in play. He could be a real game changer for us.

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