Day 1, Adelaide: It is Sydney all over again

Posted: January 24, 2012 by thecognitivenomad in Cricket, India in Australia 2011-12
Tags: , , , , ,

Chandrasekhar Jayaramakrishnan

Grafter or not, Ricky Ponting’s 41st ton did not resemble a large set of the other forty but it was an innings certainly built through with perseverance and grit. It is tempting to wonder if Ponting’s approach is a reflection of knowing the squalor that would arise if he’d gone about batting the way he normally does. But his innings today certainly didn’t lack class.

Clarke’s stories, recent and not-so-recent, are strikingly different ones. His presence at the crease of late barely resembles the Clarke who, until not too long ago, struggled with his feet movement and approach for a period of time that could well be termed lengthy. He’s had his own share of issues in dealing with knife-wielding Brutuses behind his back, but he’s skipper now and is leading from the front in a series that is fast approaching a 4-0 whitewash.

He now appears a lot more frugal than his predecessor Ponting, and his views are minimalist. He spent the best part of the day trying to catch up with Ricky, and overtaking him by the time stumps were called. He had his share of luck while coasting through to 140, something Ishant would’ve sneered at given how his day turned out.

Sydney all over again. Image: Sportlive

A day’s play that would have left a hopeful Indian fan frothing at the mouth has drawn nothing more than a remorsefully apathetic response, almost as though this was expected. As the cliché goes, the mature heads will know that things are not always what they seem. At least, from the perspective of a source from the visitor’s dressing room who seemed to reckon that with the score line already 3-0 against them, things can’t get worse.

One can’t attempt to try and defend the indefensible. Just as the introduction of Ashwin as early as during the fourth over of the game seemed to light things up, more due to Umesh Yadav’s inconsistent start with the new ball, Sehwag’s ideas lacked the durability required to bundle out a supremely confident unit on a placid track. He’d have been fairly satisfied going in to lunch with three wickets fallen, but would have found it hard to sport a smile after that.

Ashwin did well to restrict Warner from cannoning off to a start that he’s so accustomed to, thereby building the pressure needed to get the southpaw in to committing an error. Marsh’s misery continued to haunt him as he looked like a rat lost in a maze, unable to get anything right in what could probably end up being his last Test in some time to come. Never before has an Australian Number Three looked so unconvincing. He’s certainly exhausted the large quantities of trust and patience which he might have found during the build up to Adelaide.

And that is Australia’s fear right now. It was the underlying theme of Sydney – that the veterans performed, and the youngsters didn’t. Although it is too early to conclude so at Adelaide, a few of them, to their credit, did justice elsewhere. A spot in the eleven now appears perennial for a few with great appeal. But with Brad Hogg returning to International Cricket (T20) at forty, Ponting could well set his sights on another nine hundreds by the time he decides to hang his boots.

Dat Two, as history suggests, will offer plenty more runs to trouble the scorebooks. But for this Australian side, this series, with a fragile bowling opposition, no total appears unimaginable.

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