Tuesday, December 27, 2011

test post to check formatting, please ignore!

India are beginning a grinding four-Test cricket series against Australia in Melbourne. Sports writer Suresh Menon here covers the prospects for the Indian team, which has never won a Test series in Australia.

Not since 1977-78, when a full Indian team was expected to thrash an Australian outfit weakened by the Kerry Packer defections, has there been so much hope in the Indian camp as there is now.

Merry Christmas From Us!
Back then India lost the first two Tests narrowly and won the next two with thumping margins before losing the decider.

"We should have won 5-0," said ace spinner Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, who claimed 28 wickets, 12 in the Melbourne Test with figures of six for 52 in each innings.

It was a rag-tag Australian outfit, led by Bobby Simpson, who had been recalled a decade after retiring from the game.

History clearly is not in India's favour.

Inspired or deflated?

India might have the superior batting, but this series hinges on which team is more capable of taking 20 wickets to win a Test.

Zaheer Khan apart - and no-one knows what his level of fitness is or whether he will even last the series - this is the most inexperienced bowling attack India has fielded in at least six decades.

If that spurs the likes of Ravichander Ashwin or Umesh Yadav, talented bowlers but in alien conditions, it will be a series to savour.

No comments: