India’s cricketing shame | Sunday Observer

India’s cricketing shame

27 December, 2020

There are times, it’s good for the mighty cricketing giant to be reminded of the glorious uncertainties of the game. Even more profound for India to be brought to their knees! They never had it so bad and humiliating.

To be routed, disgraced and dismantled for 36 in their second innings is simply shocking. They gifted Australia with an eight wicket victory in the first of four Test matches.

Winning the toss and batting first on a perfect Adelaide pitch in a day/night game where a pink ball was used and after making 244, they did well to bowl out Australia for191 and gain a lead by 53 runs.

And then it happened. Expected to take advantage India needed to bat sensibly in their second knock, build a formidable lead, put pressure on the Aussies and dismiss them with their penetrative attack and take a one-nil lead. They had it in them to do it.

But when India batted a second time what was on show was a disgraceful and a spineless effort with all their frontline batsmen coming and going in a procession to be, believe it or not shot out for 36 their lowest in the established game leaving Australia 90 runs to win.

And what was further damaging was that India were dismissed in just 21.1 overs, with Australia losing two wickets in cantering to victory with nearly two and a half days to spare in the game that they looked like losing at one stage.

The Aussie pacemen who caused the mayhem were Josh Hazlewood 5 for 8 and Pat Cummins 4 for 21 with captain and wicket keeper Tim Paine gobbling five catches. It was high class swing bowling by Hazlewood and Cummins not seen for a long time that caused the demise and buried the Indian batsmen.

India will not have skipper Kohli for the remaining Three Tests. He will be in Mumbai to welcome his first born bundle of joy. Kohli was going well in the first inning on 74 and looking set to give his new born a memorable gift by scoring a century when the cruel hand of cricket struck.

Vice captain Rahane played a delivery to mid off and called Kohli for a single. The call was Rahane’s and Kohli dashed down the wicket for a run, and was half way down the wicket when Rahane sent him back. Kohli had no chance and was run out. The fault was Rahane’s.

Rahane would have shown the sport in him had he run to the none striker’s end when he saw Kohli dashing down and sacrificed his wicket considering that Kohli was aiming for a 100 to give his first born a memorable Christmas gift. But that’s the glorious uncertainties associated with this lovely game of cricket.

Former Aussie paceman Brett Lee who has a fondness for India wants Kohli to stay back, bring his wife Anushka Sharma to Australia to have her baby. If that happens the baby will be an Aussie and not an Indian.

Having said that it is noticeable that both Australia and India are weak in batting and strong in bowling. In addition the Indians gave a woeful catching display.

Australia must endeavour to plonk in Aaron Finch and Glen Maxwell into their playing eleven. Warner can partner Finch as opener. How India dropped Shikar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja from the squad is inexplicable.

What has happened has happened and it is hoped that India will put their shame behind them and come back firing all cylinders to be a match to Australia in the next three games, with the Second Test now on in Melbourne.

Lankans in Protea land

The Sri Lankan cricketers who figured in the first ever Lankan Premier League which by every yardstick was a resounding success will shed their coloured clothing that made them look like cowboys in a rodeo and sport whites.

Playing in white clothing is what the game is all about. At the start it was creams, then whites for the established game of Test cricket which is what the game is all about.

After playing the hit about one-day games, it will not be easy to adjust to the longer version of the game. But the Lankans will soon have to adjust, concentrate more, stay at the wicket longer, forget their thirst for ‘blind’ hitting and cotton on to playing five-day cricket which is what cricket is all about.

Sri Lanka led by left handed opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne have taken with them nearly 22 players – they could field two teams – for the two Test series against South Africa with the first Test in Pretoria on Boxing Day.

But what would be of worry to the Lankans will be the absence of former Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews who had to skip the tour suffering an injury in the recently concluded LPL. Mathews’ all-round abilities will be greatly missed. He has most times been the rock on which the Lankan innings has been built. It is hoped that someone in the team will put his hand up and substitute for Mathews although it won’t be easy.

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