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Watching a train wreck

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This tour has been a cruel one for the Indian fans. There were so many reasons to look forward to this tour. The story of Team India’s last two tours had been pretty much a case of ‘so close yet so far’. On both the tours Team India had shown that it had finally had the right mentality to go with its abundant talent to win overseas but fell just short of actually pulling that off. Plus this time it was a chance for the team to prove that England was a mere aberration and that they deserved the number one spot that they had relinquished so easily. Plus above all that, this was the last chance for the golden generation to make their mark in Australia.
 
Yes, they lost PK, their most consistent bowler, but they had Zak back to full fitness and had discovered a real fast bowler in Umesh Yadav. Yes the batting failed miserably in England but some of them were back amongst runs against the West Indies. And Australia had never been in such a crisis before. Ponting out of form, internal strife, and a fairly inexperienced attack. What more could have India asked for?
 
Yet they lost the first two Tests without even a semblance of a fight. Day one at WACA was no different and at one point the chants of “Are you Bangladesh in disguise?” were doing the rounds. Couldn’t have been more appropriate. A Bangladeshi side would have perhaps shown more fight than this. 
 
The question on everyone’s mind was whether Australia would declare on day 2 or day 3. Result was a foregone conclusion as far as everyone was concerned. Only the most blinkered Indian fans were holding on in hope for a draw.  
 
Day 2 saw a different Indian team. Or should I say the real Indian team. At least for the first two sessions. The bowlers ran in hard and bowled to the plan. Yes, the same plan they appeared to be clueless about yesterday. Umesh Yadav showed why he is perhaps the one to take over the mantle of leading this attack post Zak. His fifer and India’s surprising ability to stop tailenders from scoring personal bests meant that India managed to restrict Australia’s lead to 208. With 10 sessions to go the game was open provided India survived the last session without much damage.
 
And they tried, they really did. One almost felt sorry for Sehwag and Gambhir as they batted in a way that is totally alien to them. It was not entertaining but they managed to survive the first spell by Hilfenhaus and Harris. But Starc struck in his very first over to have Gambhir fending a short one. He forgot to drop his wrists when he realized the ball climbed too high for him. Perhaps it was the defensive mindedness that caused it. Similarly Siddle’s first over saw Sehwag failing to cover the movement of a slightly short of length delivery and edge one. Sachin once again was trapped playing across the line on a seaming track, a cardinal sin and VVS went fishing for the umpteenth time. No new mistakes, just the same old ones.  And as Dravid and Kohli saw out the day 2, only question the crowd had was, “Will India avoid an innings defeat?”
 
120 runs to go and 6 wickets left. If the last 2 Tests are anything to go by, I wouldn’t put a nickel on that.
 



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