Australian bowlers leave India crippled (Tea Report)October 11th, 2008 - 4:35 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Oct 11 (IANS) Australia asserted their supremacy by removing six top order Indian batsmen for a modest 210 by the end of the second session of play on the third day of the first Test. Going into tea, India still needed 20 runs to avoid the ignominy of being asked to follow-on at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here.India’s hopes of a resurrection hinges on the shoulders of Sourav Ganguly who batted with great resolve through the post-lunch session, during which India lost Rahul Dravid and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The left hander, who has decided to hang up his boots at the end of this four-match series, was unconquered on 38. Giving him company was Harbhajan Singh on 12.
Earlier, Dravid and Ganguly had raised hopes of an Indian fightback. They batted with gumption and discipline for close to two hours before Dravid fell in the immediate aftermath of celebrating his 53rd half century (his eleventh against Australia) in 125 Tests to a debatable leg before verdict by Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf.
No doubt Shane Watson’s delivery struck him on the back pad, but the ball seemed to climb at the point of impact. But Rauf seemed convinced that the ball would have hit the stumps.
Dhoni raised 40 runs for the sixth wicket with Ganguly before being castled by part time left-arm spinner Michael Clarke. For someone who has been around for quite sometime now, Dhoni did not have his off stump covered, the ball going through the yawning gap between bat and pad to hit off stump.
It was obvious that former India coach Greg Chappell had prepared the strategy for each of India’s top order batsmen, made apparent in the quick dismissals of Tendulkar and Laxman.
Analysing that Tendulkar tends to jab at deliveries at the start of his innings, Ponting had Cameron White strategically placed rather close, between point and covers.
The Mumbaikar, who had survived a close call in the previous over when the ball fell
short of a lunging White, was surprised by Johnson’s change in pace and meekly drove to White in the same position.
Also, Laxman’s tendency to stick his bat out at the deliveries that are directed in the corridor at the beginning of his innings saw him perish without troubling the scorer.