Posted by: nestaquin | October 12, 2008

Border Gavaskar Trophy: First Test Day Four Preview

Entering the fourth morning of this enthralling Test match, Australia, for the fourth successive day, must seize the initiative in the first hour if they are to set up an opportunity for a hard earned victory.

Still 117 runs ahead with two wickets to mop up, the visitors will need to bat positively if they are to set India a fourth innings target with time remaining to snare ten wickets. Considering the nature of the pitch it looks a tough, dangerous assignment.

The onus is fair and squarely on Ponting and his men for India will be playing to save the match from the outset. However, Test cricket is such a wonderfully unpredictable game that it is quite conceivable India may yet pull off an amazing win if they play well today.

Kumble has little option but to defend and this will make Australia’s task all the more difficult, however, it will decrease the opportunity for Indian victory. Expect three, four and five men patrolling the boundary for most of Australia’s second innings.

It is really the only sound strategy that the host can employ and it won’t have eluded them that 15 of the 18 wickets to fall so far have been bowled, LBW or caught behind the wicket.

Assuming two wickets fall cheaply in the morning, the Australian batsmen will be compelled to take the odd risk, needing a minimum of three runs an over for two and half sessions to set a tangible target. Obviously the longer Zaheer, Kumble and Ishant resist the more risks the Australian batsmen will need to take.

With that in mind, India will undoubtedly pick up some cheap scalps and if they can rattle the Australian top order they will have gone some way to saving a match where they have been on the back foot throughout.

The slow, recalcitrant pitch should favour Kumble and Harbhajan and they’ll be hard to master. Knowing that, Hayden will be keen to open his shoulders and dominate in the first 15 overs in an attempt to replicate what Sehwag achieved on the second afternoon. If he fails, ditto for Ponting. A quick 70 runs would be just the tonic Australia need to push on to victory.

Another interesting day awaits and by the end of it we should have a distinct picture of each team’s fate on what is expected to be a terse and tense final day’s play. Australia have the match just out of hand’s reach but a dominant first session and some sensible batting in the afternoon should enable them to grasp it firmly and pressure India into error tomorrow.



  1. So will Punter declare 300 ahead? That would be my par mark. Below that, would be risky, above it defensive. Of course, the problem is the Sehwag factor. If he makes 100 off 120 balls, that would leave the others to get 200 off about 300 balls, which should be possible even on this pitch.

    Hmm… Punter has some thinking to do. Best odds, Draw 1/3, Aus 4/1, Ind 18/1. India look a bit long to me, but much depends on Punter.

  2. Just sitting down to write today’s review so I’ll be brief Toots.

    300 is the score probably in 75-80 overs and the tactics tomorrow will be similar to Sydney.

    If Sehwag could do as you describe above it would be the innings of his career considering how difficult batting was today.

    India are no hope of winning, Australia an outside chance and the draw most likely. I think the bookies have it about right.

  3. Different pitch, different circumstances, different opponents, but innings of a career –

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: