Sydney: Memories of nineties came back to haunt India again as they continued their downhill journey on the foreign tours, losing the 2nd Test against Australia at Sydney inside four days by an innings and 68 runs.
India now trail by 0-2 in the 4-Test series.
Australia, who dominated most part of the Test, came out as a far superior team again. India, on the other hand, failed miserably in all departments.
They batted pathetically on a good surface, getting bowled out for a paltry 191 in the first innings. India’s bowling matched their batting, too. The bowlers let the opposition plunder runs at will and gave away over 600 runs. And despite bowling 163 overs for almost two days, they could manage to eke out just 4 wickets from the opposition camp.
If Test match is meant to test any team’s character, India fared miserably in every aspect. One statistic is enough to describe India’s misery in Sydney Test: out of the twelve sessions, Australia dominated eleven of those.
India lacked application while batting, penetration while bowling and mental toughness while fielding during the entire Test. And it is no wonder that they now face the probability of being whitewashed in two back-to-back foreign tours after their humiliating loss in England.
Resuming on 114/2, India for the first time looked like a team whose batting prowess has become folklore in the last few years. They dominated the morning session, adding 129 runs to their overnight score with the loss of just Gambhir’s wicket.
This was probably the only time in this ongoing Test match that India dominated a session completely.
Apart from Gambhir, Sachin Tedulkar and VVS Laxman were the only saving grace for India. Tendulkar continued his good show in the ongoing series by scoring a magnificent 80. He looked very positive from the first ball he faced today. Whenever the Australian bowlers erred in line and length he was quick to pounce on it.
But he disappointed cricketing fraternity when he missed his 100th international ton again by only 20 runs.
When everybody was getting ready to witness Sachin’s milestone, the master batsman faltered, nicking a straight delivery from Michael Clarke which was deflected off wicketkeeper Brad Haddin’s gloves and went to Hussey at first slip who latched on to an easy catch.
After a poor series so far, Laxman also found his old silken touch back. Like always, Laxman played gracefully, bringing his wrist to the play with utmost effect. No wonder both his on-drives and off-drives were treat to the every cricket lover.
But VVS also followed Tendulkar to the pavilion immediately when he was clean bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus with a beauty. Laxman made 66 off 119 balls with 7 fours.
After scoring a resilient 83, opener Gautam Gambhir departed giving an easy catch to David Warner at point while trying to play through to the on side off Peter Siddle.
Once Sachin departed, Indian middle and lower middle order collapsed like a pack of cards. From 271/3 India suddenly slumped to 351/8 in the session with Hilfenhaus suddenly looking like a man who would want to end the match before the end of Day 4.
He took 5 wickets to wrap up the Indian innings sooner than it was expected.
Hilfenhaus removed Indian captain MS Dhoni with a full length delivery at a score of 2 runs.
Off colour James Pattinson came to the wicket-taking party as he removed Virat Kohli with an in-swinging delivery that found him in front of the wickets. Kohli made just 9.
Zaheer Khan entertained the Sydney crowd for a while with a 35-run cameo before being caught at cover off Peter Siddle. Zaheer’s 26-ball innings consisted of 5 fours and a six.
R Ashwin delayed the proceeding a little bit as he made a fighting 62 before being dismissed by Hilfenhaus as the last man.