Border-Gavaskar Trophy (cricket)

I’m off to India in late December - which is good except I’ll only get to go to two days of the Boxing Day Test. This India v Australia series is shaping up as another classic - it could even surpass the last series in India, which was the best series I can recall.

It’s been great so far - after a rain-marred but still intriguiging drawn Test in Brisbane, India won a pulsating Adelaide Test in the second half of the fifth day. If the fault of the last series was that it wasn’t long enough at three Tests, I’m already wishing that this was an old-fashioned six Test series instead of the mere 20 day affair it is.

A number of things seem worth mentioning: [ul][]Kumble thrives on bowling. I was amazed India didn’t play him in Brissie. He doesn’t have the greatest record here, but he’s not alone. He’s a champion. He will adjust and loves to work. The payoff in the Australian first innings should just keep on going.[]Dravid. Wow. We haven’t seen anything good of him on Australian soil, but class will out. On his last tour here he played like (WIndies’) Jimmy Adams - he came in with the tail and nudged. The second innings in Brisbane laid the foundation for the final vindication of Rahul as a great #3 in the Adelaide Test. And I can’t recall a finer slips snaffle off a spinner than the first of those second dig grabs.[]VVS Laxman. Let me get this straight: he was dropped for a while? I still don’t believe it. He is the most pleasing batsman to watch I have ever seen. Not quite as good a timer as Inzamam-Ul-Haq, but a much more clomplete player. Bad though it is for Australia, Dravid/ Laxman partnerships are just heaven to watch.[]Bichel. If a good batsman makes a king pair, you don’t drop him. Why was there all this talk of Bichel being a trundler after one poor Test? He bowled well, continuing the great value he’s been over the last couple of years. A skilled worker of the ball.[]Agit “The Bombay Duck” Agakar. Well, when he’s up, he’s up. Almost as mercurial as Henry Olonga. His figures did not flatter him.[]Bowlers win matches. I’ve heard Colin Croft and Mikey Holding say it, and they’re right. Australia’s batting is great (although weakened with the absence of Lehmann and the twilight of Waugh) but India’s is its equal on paper. Even with Sachin sadly out of form, India won. And when McGrath and Warne were out of the last Boxing Day game, England won. For all the fuss made over Hayden, Ponting and Gilchrist, that extra little bit of bowling is decisive. Gillespie doesn’t look the same without his metronomic partner.Double tons: that’s three in week right? What’s going on? I remember when five years passed without one in Tests. Is it the roped-off boundaries? Aggression? Crap bowling? Fitter batsmen? I dunno, but having a Test average of 50 deosn’t mean what it used to.[/ul]I’m posting here rather than G’Dope because I’m sure there are Indian Dopers (and maybe some others) who are appreciating this wonderful pageant.

It sure was an interesting match hawthorne and nearly the whole of cricket crazy India (including me)was glued to their TV sets at 5:30(because of the crazy Australian time difference ;)) in the morning thru the 5 days.

I must say that the improvement the Indian bowlers have shown might be due to our newly appointed bowling coach Bruce Reid.He came in the begining of this series and two of our bowlers have 5 wicket hauls in 2 tests.Also the sports psychologist Sandy Gordan is doing a great job.Coincidentally both the bowling coach and the shrink are Aussies.

Rahul Dravid was godlike throughout the whole test match.More than 300 runs in 2 innings and brilliant catches were definitly the highlights.

I think the reason Kumble wasnt played in the first test was the better record Harbhajan Singh has against the Aussies.Morever Kumble doesnt enjoy a great away record.

Laxman was dropped only from the one day squad and not from the test squad.Popular opinion has that his game is more suited to the longer version of the game.With players like Sehwag,Yuvraj Singh,Mohammed Kaif fitting into the one day squad Laxman does face the occasional axe.

The boxing day match is a must watch because I am sure the hosts must be itching to get back and avenge thier rare home defeat.With Brett Lee hopefully fit for the match life could be tough for the Indians.Steve Waugh, no doubt would be pumped up because he doesnt want to screw up his last series and will have the whole team playing their hearts out for him.

Till then lets savor India’s victory!

When Gangouly won the toss in Brisbane and didn’t show faith in his batting I thought “shit here we go again” just like Nassar Hussein in the Ashes series.

I’m of the mind that if the weather had held, India would have lost heavily and the series gone as a 3-0 drubbing. Fortunately it’s more reminiscent of when the Kiwis were out here, got away with a draw in Brisbane and then were unlucky not to win the series.

This has turned out for the best as the only way we get to appreciate how good the current Australian line-up is if teams like India & Pakistan back themselves and give it a real shake.

The Australian bowling has been too generous. You can have a team of tight line & length operators and one who buys wickets. You can’t have all four going for 4 plus an over. If the pacemen need Waugh, Katich and McGill to bowl plenty on the first day, all is not well.

I have seen nothing in Williams that enthuses me. His last innings haul should be discounted as getting 9, 10 and jack in the current Indian batting card is a bit cheap.

I’d pick Gillespie without question, if his fragility and fitness wasn’t in question. Lee bowling @ 150k is worthy of a punt, but he’s well off that pace. Unless Sydney is a green top the Indian top order have his measure. I like Bracken but is he really the best left armer going round in Oz? Bickle is worthy of a better run with selection. McGill will do better if there are more frugal fast/medium bowlers operating at the other end.

Should be a great game, whatever the result.