India's lacklustre bowling on the third day, which did so well on the
second to crush Australia's top order with a whimper, let the Aussie
tail wag with a vengence. Srinath's disappointing performance with zero
wickets added to the agony, while Kumble and Raju, who did so well on
the previous day, were hit around like rookies.
All in all, this can only be a prime example of shoddy captaincy.
Azhar's failure to set an attacking field and his steadfast refusal to
take the new ball and put the pacemen into the attack turned out to be a
fatal error, which Healy capitalized on with a relish. Robertson added a
useful half century to claim a record ninth wicket partnership and to
lift Australia's face out of the dirt, just when the Indians were going
to make them bite the dust.
The only bright spot of the day was one Navjot Sidhu, who was quick to
inflict his wrath upon hapless Warne, prompting Taylor to yank him out
of the attack. Dravid came in after Mongia's dismissal and settled in
comfortably just as stumps were drawn. It should be an interesting day
Things to expect from India:
Tendulkar, Azhar, Ganguly. Need I say more? The stupidity of moving
Ganguly lower down the order should have some heads rolling. Ganguly
does not seem comfortable there, particulary as a southpaw against
Warne's leg breaks, that come in as offies. His real problem will be
Robertson and outswinging deliveries (right-handed inswing). Hopefully
he'll settle down and help give India a good total to defend.
Kumble and Raju have done good with their comeback chances, and
Harvinder Singh proves very useful indeed. Chauhan needs to be more than
simply a restricting bowler, and the Indians need to take wickets in
order to win the series. A lot to learn from, and hopefully India will
not repeat these mistakes.
By the way, Warney, how'z the unclean water, the malaria infested hotel
rooms, the polluted cities, the poor beggars, and imported baked beans
and spaghetti on toast? Seems like those things will kill ya! And all
that in an effort to be a little more cosmopolitan. Tsk, tsk.