Australia draw first blood

The two Australian senior batsmen, who were deemed to be on notice before this Test, produced the best batting performances in the match. Melbourne Test - through Impact Index

The two Australian senior batsmen, who were deemed to be on notice before this Test, produced the best batting performances in the match. Michael Hussey's 89 in the 2nd innings came after the innings had been reduced to 27 for 4 (which translated to a lead of 78 but was still a very vulnerable situation) and he absorbed considerable pressure (of 0.93 IMPACT points) while controlling the innings and was ninth out at 197 - this performance had the highest Batting IMPACT for an innings in the match - 3.50. Ricky Ponting, though, had the highest impact in the match amongst all batsmen - for his twin sixties, in a relatively low-scoring affair. He absorbed pressure in both innings, and in the second innings, even thwarted the new ball, as he had to come in very early (at 16 for 2). There's no doubt that his immense experience came in as handy as the petrol still present in his tank, in navigating his team through this match.

In the first innings, Sehwag and Tendulkar played swashbuckling innings of 67 and 73 respectively but Dravid's laboured innings of 68 actually had a slightly higher impact than both, in the context of the Test match. Sehwag's Batting IMPACT then was 1.49, Tendulkar's was 1.39, Dravid's 1.65. This was because both Dravid and Sehwag absorbed pressure (Gambhir's early wicket at 22); moreover, Dravid also got slightly more IMPACT points for building partnerships (he was in the middle while 192 runs got scored).

Dhoni has gone on record to admit that his technique is not the most effective in Test cricket. His mediocre Test batting continued here, though he had a good match as wicketkeeper - which largely explains his Match IMPACT of 2. His captaincy was poor though - sadly, Impact Index cannot quite calculate that in a match context yet, but his tendency to wait for things to happen is perhaps a throwback to what has brought him success in limited-overs cricket - it doesn't work in Test cricket as well, where attack and intensity is often the order of those moments. It might well have cost India this match.

 

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