Posted by: tootingtrumpet | October 1, 2010

India vs Australia First Test Day One

Player of the Day

The “final over” of the day.

Ball One – Australians set great store by body language and India’s was very poor in the morning session, giving the Australians a lift they seldom need. The Trumpet feels that body language is overrated as a part of the game, but when it coincides with dropped catches, easy singles and no balls, the environment becomes one that is too comfortable for the batting side. Australia, under a bit of pressure to deliver, could hardly have asked for a more gentle introduction to the series – not really good enough from MS Dhoni’s men.

Ball Two – Ricky Ponting is nearing the end of his career, but his appetite for the short single is as sharp as ever it was. Being a superb athlete, even now, helps, as does his ability to push the ball into gaps. But does it open up a chance for England given the captain’s (and his team’s) extreme reluctance to allow maidens. For years, the odd run out or the odd rash stroke to break up the dot balls hardly mattered, as there was Gilly and co to send the score skywards, but there’s a brittleness in this iteration of the Australian batting. If England can bowl maidens – wickets will come.

Ball Three – With a century there for the taking, Ricky Ponting gave away his wicket in an extraordinary lapse of concentration, failing to run hard as Suresh Raina, comfortably the best fielder in the Indian side, swooped and threw down the stumps. 14 run outs in his Test career now for Punter – is the aggressive running beginning to show diminishing returns?

Ball Four – The Trumpet likes Shane Watson’s batting but he can be a bit one-paced. Becalmed after the dismissal of his captain, Michael Clarke, new to the crease, felt the need to make the pace in the partnership. He was out cutting a ball that that really demanded defence. Good on India for building pressure, but if half-volleys are patted back to the bowler, dot balls come easily.

Ball Five – Mike Hussey presented an old-fashioned image of a cricketer as he cast off his helmet and donned the baggy green to bat against the spin of Ohja and Harbhajan. So far so good – but then when he called for his helmet, he was dismissed to the third ball he faced. Did the move back to the helmet unsettle him in any way? It was a good ball from Zaheer, so credit that, but it’ll be interesting to see if Hussey calls for a cap again in this series.

Ball Six – At lunch, Sehwag’s drop of Watson off the second ball of the day didn’t look important as Aus looked set for 600. At the close, with Watson having scored 101 of Australia’s 224-5 with power to add tomorrow, India will look back on an opportunity to missed – a good day could have been a very good day for MS Dhoni’s men.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.

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Responses

  1. Excellent summary, Gary. I thought it was a good days play, the surprise being Harbhajan being very nearly useless, and Ishant Sharma all over the place.. I would have liked a few more wickets in hand, but I’ll settle for this.

  2. Is body language over-rated if one of the teams does think it’s important? Having positive body language may not make India play better, but if the Aussies get a boost from seeing what they perceive to be negative body language then it can become important.

    Even if it doesn’t make a difference to their own performance, it could be worth England acting in a positive way in the very first session of the ashes as a form of mind games.

  3. Funny you pick that photo of Watson to post, sort of the opposite of how he played today. He’s coming a

  4. He’s coming along isn’t he?
    Tough cricket today, good to see. What a shame it isn’t a 3 or 5 match series, but at least they did sacrifice a few ODIs to make two tests possible.

    I guess Ponting is in the world of diminishing returns, but they need to diminish alot further before we need to be concerned. He’ll go out fighting, it’s just his way, he’ll never spurn the quick single.

    I had to rub my eyes when I saw Hussey in a baggy green. What a beautifully old fashioned image!

  5. Blimey, Marcus North makes me laugh now. I was on a forum and one of the Aussie fans was actually praying that he would get a king pair.

  6. The sooner the selectors realise that North isn’t a test cricketer the better.

    I was wondering how much of Watson’s slowness was due to nerves about approaching 100. I hope not – I hope he’s grown out of it. Is there any other sport where a completely pointless, arbitrary and irrelevant statistic has such an influence on the game?

    • I agree entirely about centuries. The difference between 99 and 100 is only one run yet psychologically in the collective mind it seems to be massive.

  7. Just watched the highlights. 224-5 batting first is pretty average. Watto isn’t a big ton merchant. Let’s see if the tail can bat. 330 ao I reckon.

  8. Pepp – Thanks. I felt the day started badly, but then became a fine day’s play. 11 overs in, it’s tight again!

    Perc – Could be right – poor body language begets poor cricket by promoting the opposition’s cricket.

    Fred – Watson is playing for his country – very good to see.

    GM – Steven Smith looks a better bet at 6 than North and better change bowler too.

    Bush – Cricketbetlive had 399 as par score, but after an hour, I felt 320-340 was closer. We might be right.

  9. The Lovely Timmy Paine and Mitch are slashing and whacking and hooting all over the Mohali ground.. a very hot day in Chandighar, everyone is suffering, except Mitch and Tim. The run rate was slow all day yesterday, and for a while this morning, but this afternoon some sort of madness has entered into the AU soul and has a firm grip.

    Agressive batting, agressive running, oh little Timmy is up to 75 now

    • Little Timmy deserved a ton and it took a good ball and catch to get him out. He’ll get that ton soon though – very classy indeed.

      • Toots.. this is where the rubber hits the road. Mitch bowling in India. Bollinger, also. Hauritz… Hilf… * bites nails*


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