Posted by: nestaquin | October 10, 2008

Border Gavaskar Trophy: First Test, Day Two Preview

Whichever team takes the honours on the morning of the second day in the First Test of the 2008 Border Gavaskar Trophy will conceivably control the rest of the match and perhaps, the series. It is a very important session and I expect both teams to respond to the challenge.

Australia, on the back of Ponting’s wonderful century, have a chance to put the match out of India’s reach but much depends on Michael Hussey’s and to a lesser extent, Shane Watson’s ability to survive the second new ball.

Hussey, a former prolific opener, is the key to Australia dominating. Returning to the crease after a well composed 46 yesterday evening, if Mr. Cricket can survive the session, India’s hopes of going one up in the series will be all but buried.

Watson is no slouch against the shiny ball either for he bats high in the order for Queensland and often opens in the one-day format. His technique is perhaps the truest in the squad and if he can overcome his nerves and form a partnership of around 50 with Hussey Australia will be well on their way to scoring in excess of 400 considering the depth of batting contained in the XI.

India, kept in the match by Zaheer Khan’s wickets, could lose enthusiasm as they did yesterday if a wicket doesn’t fall in the first hour. Kumble went defensive early on the first day and if Australia can hit a few boundaries I expect the Indian captain will again lose confidence in his bowlers and take the pressure off the Australian batsmen. This is what the men in BaggyGreen will be banking on.

Of course, Sharma and Zaheer Khan will be dangerous and it will be a willing examination for the inexperienced international trio of Watson, Haddin and White but Australia do have the resources even without Hussey to score another hundred or so. With the pitch slow and uneven a score of 350 should be competitive.

It will be an interesting, pulsating day with Australia surely to bowl at some stage. India have to lift and strike early if they are to have any chance of victory. As we all know, Australia rarely concede the mantle once they have control and Michael Hussey is just the man you’d choose to compete in a scenario like the one that stands before the Australians in Bangalore today.

Note: It is unlikely folks that I’ll have the time to write a review of each session this evening but rest assured I’ll pen a summary of my thoughts on the day’s play an hour or so after stumps.

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Responses

  1. India have to solve the Hussey problem. I’m really surprised that Ganguly’s skidders, Tendulkar’s all sorts or Sehwag’s aggression hasn’t been given a go. Perhaps they are not fully fit, but if so, four bowlers without even as much as a couple of part-timers is too skinny a line-up for a captain.

  2. Well the way they’re going about solving the ‘Hussey Problem’ is strange indeed.

    Five men on the fence gifting him a single under no pressure is only going to boost Michael’s already stratospheric average even further.

    Truly, Kumble’s captaincy and India’s overall tactics are baffling in the extreme. They are not even trying to get his wicket and Australia still have half the side to bat!

    333/5 at lunch. Australia have control and I’m confident they’ll find a way win.

  3. Complete control..
    Hussey has earned his stripes , for too long he got god like status because of his average in Aus and playing against weakish opponents but now he has finally set the record straight.

    Just an old fashioned innings, as easy as you like. I’m sure he’s gonna get a 150 or 200.

  4. Well 6, 7, 8 contributed just 41 between them. They’re inexperienced in Test cricket, but that’s a vulnerability for Aus in this series.

    Mr Cricket is covering the cracks with his usual excellence, but I think Aus need 450 to be comfortably in the driving seat and not waste Punter and Hussey’s efforts.

    India have got to get some better fielders into the starting XI. Pathan?

  5. Not everyone is going to succeed but if you look at the average partnerships for those wickets it is somewhere around 40 which is a pretty good.

    Brett Lee has batted with steely determination and with 35 overs till stumps I expect a declaration with about 15 to go. That’s if Australia can bat 20 more.

    Ishant has been the most dangerous bowler and with that knowledge you’d think at least one of Australia’s bowlers is going to break through before the close.

    With so many runs on the board the pressure will be immense, the fields will be up and the Australians will be charged and motivated.

    This Test is almost a carbon copy of the last Test between the nations in Bangalore and Australia won that easily.

    Tea 416/7 (Hussey 135*, Lee 26*)

  6. This is excellent play from Lee. 20 overs might just get Aus up to 500, which I think they will need to pressure the Indians, if they bat well, which they will have to from here.

    A quick collapse and all out 430 might give India the chance to Sehwag their way to 80-1 at the close. That would make Day Three pivotal with India needing to get to within fifty with wickets in hand for Day Four.

    Good game Test cricket!

  7. I could easily be proved wrong but I have rarely seen India against Australia dig in and fightback after two days in the field.

    They will have to bat at the peak of their abilities to save the match and there are plenty of tired looking batsman in the field at the moment.

    The Australian bowling will be as disciplined as their batting and there won’t be any easy singles hit straight to the fieldsman.

    It’s a great game Test cricket and the truth is we won’t really know how well Australia have batted or how poorly India have bowled until after the Indian first innings is completed.

  8. Huss, Kat and Punter showed good patience which, with the exception of Gillie in 2001, seems to be how Australians score runs in India.

    And then Sehwg comes out and starts to smash it. Funny game.

  9. This tactic of giving singles to recognized batsmen so as to get to the other end is an old, useless, never-works tactic. Perhaps thats why India keep using it. As an Indian fan, I’ve given up hoping that some captain will realize this isn’t going to work.

  10. I din’t expect to be quite as close with one of my forecasts at 7.01pm!

    Nesta – you’re right about us not knowing the pitch yet, but tomorrow morning’s session looks crucial to me. If Sehwag gets away and gets a ton, it’ll be so much easier to bat behind him. Out early and with Dravid scratching for runs, the game will look very different.

    I have Aus ahead, but not by much.

  11. Toots, if you keep making predictions the law of averages dictates that eventually one will be correct!

    The pleasing thing for me about the entire Australian innings was that no player, other than Hussey at the end, threw their wicket away. India had to earn their wickets and that shows that Australia are focussed and determined to succeed.

    If at the toss 430 was offered it would have been taken. Regardless of the Indian response it was a fine effort for the first innings of the first Test and should stand them in good stead for the next 18 days of cricket.

    One thing is for certain; India will be hardened and improved by the end of this tour and England are going to face a better team than Australia is at present.

  12. “Toots, if you keep making predictions the law of averages dictates that eventually one will be correct!”

    I am found out!!


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