India's test lies elsewhere

Well done India, but this Australian team barely presented a challenge to them.

The tricky target didn't faze Pujara.

In extracting payback for the series whitewash in Australia, India created a record by winning all four Tests and in each case doing it in convincing fashion. Well, the final victory looked like being convincing until some of the top-order batsmen started applying the finishing touches with the deftness of a man with a maimed hand. However, nothing fazed the ever-reliable Cheteshwar Pujara and he even timed his finish to perfection, leaving the winning runs to be hit by his skipper.

WRONG LINE

Pujara was just one of the reasons why India were far superior but he headed a batting line-up that took advantage of their starts with a lot more surety and skill than their opposite numbers. In part, this could be put down to having to face a less skilful bunch of spinners but the India top order was far better technically and mentally.

With one last chance to grab some glory for Australia in the fourth innings, the two off-spinners operated on the wrong line when bowling round the wicket. Too often, Nathan Lyon and Glenn Maxwell pitched the ball around middle and leg, which allowed the India batsmen to work or stroke the ball into the on-side.

Too late, Lyon rectified his mistake and was rewarded with the wickets of Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar, both trapped lbw with balls pitching around off stump.

OLD WEAKNESS

Tendulkar again showed his vulnerability when he plays tentatively and with young batsmen dominating the series for India the selectors no longer need to justify his existence on experience alone.

This selection panel has shown themselves to be much more daring than their predecessors and Tendulkar will be testing their patience if he continues to struggle for worthwhile scores.

While the off-spinners were too magnanimous to start with, the India openers must've been delighted to be confronted by spin at each end with the new ball.

This was a perfect opportunity to give Peter Siddle the new ball, as he was coming off the high of being the first Australia No 9 to ever score a half-century in each innings of a Test. He's also the most accurate and demanding of the tourists' fast bowlers and showed in this Test he's also a smart lower-order batsman, adaptable and fleet-footed and courageous in a tense situation.

Sometimes, there's merit in going with the hot hand in cricket and Siddle would've been energised for a thrust at the Indians while the game was still open.

It's hard to be critical of Shane Watson's captaincy because he did a creditable job in the first innings. That's the cruel part of captaincy when defending a moderate total; if you get it wrong at the start of the innings the game is usually irretrievable.

Purely in numbers, the two teams are now even after their last two meetings but the India batting is once again on the rise while Australia's is struggling for traction.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »