Posted by: nestaquin | October 9, 2008

Border Gavaskar Trophy: First Test. Day One. Middle Session Musings

Australia 166/2 (57) (Katich 66, Ponting 94*, Hussey 0*, Sharma 1/42)

After a nervous and shaky beginning to the second session, Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting, began to turn the screws on the Indian attack with mature placement, quick running between the wickets and excellent use of the feet.

Anil Kumble began by finding a probing length that continually asked questions of the batsman in terms of technique and temperament. However, after about a half-dozen overs he curiously lost consistency, looked worried, replaced himself with Ishant and virtually threw in the towel by spreading the field.

This was what the experienced Australian batsman were waiting for and Katich responded by hitting three boundaries in seven balls to bring up his half century, while Ponting opened the shoulders smashing Zaheer threw the offside and lifting Harbhajan over midwicket whenever he strayed too far to leg.

The ball, as expected, did seem to turn a little more but what must be worrying for India was the inconsistent bounce especially prevalent when Ishant bowled. Even without a frontline spinner Australia’s bowling attack, especially Stu Clark, are going to be a handful on the final day.

India look to be a bowler short and the ease that Australia scored in the second hour was telling. Heads were dropping, the chat was silenced and the bowling wayward until Katich when on 66, with only two overs till tea,  lazily edged one from Sharma to Dhoni.

That ended a superb second wicket partnership of 166, a record for Australia in Bangalore. Ponting on 94 was then joined by Hussey who played out Sharma’s final over for Australia to go to the break losing only one wicket for 91 in the session.

The pitch is already getting slower and lower and runs on the board are gold. If Australia can continue to grind India into the Bangalore turf in the final session they’ll be in a dominant position to control the match from Day 2 onwards.

Additionally, if Ponting can get the six required for his century it will be one of his most savoured, considering his team hadn’t scored when he arrived at the crease and remembering his problems with Harbhajan and his abysmal record in India.

I guess the old cliche is true; Form is temporary yet class is forever permanent.

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Responses

  1. Punter works through his problems in India, scoring a superb ton. Michael Vaughan isn’t even going. Not good enough MPV.

  2. Well. I loved it, Nesta.. the adorable Punter, flashing hither and yon. Katich, too. The first game of the cricket year is always exciting and fascinating.. I was surprised at how all at sea India suddenly became, I expected a more concentrated effort, but perhaps tomorrow will bring that. But so far, excellent stuff.


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