An opportunity lost: India thrashed in the Melbourne Test

RARELY DOES the opportunity of winning a test match knock at the doors of the Indian cricket team when they are playing away from home, and if it is against the mighty Aussies in their own backyard, then it is indeed one in a hundred. But India, after a gritty display of bowling on the first day of the test match, batted poorly in both the innings to lose this test match.

On the other hand, Australia has taken their winning streak to 15 consecutive test matches and has won all of the last nine matches at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). The Australians have in fact lost just two test matches at home in the last seven years – one to India and the other to England. Perhaps that shows the sheer dominance Australia has had over test cricket.

The famed batting lineup of India failed in both the innings. Seven batsmen in the lineup couldn’t help India in getting past the score of even 200. Every time India goes abroad we see the much too familiar case of a batting collapse. This time it happened in both the innings. And this is the best batting line up in the world – their formidable strength turned out to be their weakness. Indian batting is perhaps not the best in the World when it is displayed overseas. Instead, Indian bowling has delivered consistently away from home.

India was bowled out for a paltry total of 161 in the second innings. The loss by 337 runs to Australia is its third worst loss ever in test cricket. The conditions in Melbourne could have suited the Indians but with such a hapless batting performance, India didn’t stand a chance of running Australia close. Meanwhile Clark, Lee and Johnson, a pretty immature bowling attack, bowled their hearts out to ensure that the Indian batsmen did not build big scores or partnerships.

It will take a lot from the Indians if they are to have any hopes of winning the test series. We move to Sydney for the next test match, which is about to start in three days time. India batting has to deliver. The likes of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid have to stand up and be counted, as this is their last series in Australia. But it won’t be easy, as the Aussies will come out aggressive yet again.

The Australians are the most professional team in the world and they don’t lose test matches often. If the Indian batting order plays to its potential, it could well be a threat to Australia. But for the time being, lets accept that we were thrashed badly at Melbourne after a very promising start. Indians didn’t make the most of a weak batting display from the Aussies on the opening day of the test match. But the reality is that such opportunities don’t come often.

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