Cricket: India plunge further Down Under

Cricket: India plunge further Down Under

Australia routed IndiaPERTH: Australia routed India by an innings and 37 runs inside three days to seal a crushing 3-0 series victory against the hapless tourists with the final match in Adelaide still to go.

Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni were out before lunch and Australia cleaned up the tail for 171 soon after the break to complete the victory. It was the second Test in a row the tourists had been beaten without Australia needing to bat twice.Despite a gritty batting performance by most of their inexperienced batsman, Virat Kohli, the last man to fall for 75, it was another shoddy batting display by the tourists. The One-Day International world champions have now lost seven straight away Tests after their 4-0 loss to England last year.

“In England and here we’ve not put enough runs on the board,” admitted captain Dhoni, whose troubles continued as he was banned for the final Test for slow over-rate of his bowlers during the Australia innings. This was India’s second over-rate offence in the last 12 months as Dhoni had been on notice after his team was found short in Barbados last year as well.“There’s only one instance where we’ve scored over 350, and you want to give bowlers those amount of runs so they can look to get the opposition out. One or two bad innings can happen, but seven matches is a bit long.”‘We still have a lot of work to do’

Australia captain Michael Clarke, on the other hand, was already looking for a repeat performance in the fourth Test and said the hosts would now go for a series whitewash.“No such thing as a dead rubber for me,” he said. “We haven’t achieved much at this stage. We should be proud to beat the number two ranked Test team, but we’ve got a lot of work to do before we’ll be satisfied.”Kohli fights a lone battle

Earlier, India resumed at 88 for four, needing another 120 to make Australia bat again, with Kohli and Dravid briefly reviving their hopes with a dogged 84-run stand for the fifth wicket.However, the loss of Dravid (47) and Dhoni in quick succession before lunch had Australia closing in on victory. The end came quickly, with Ben Hilfenhaus’ (four for 54) incredible resurgence continuing when he claimed three wickets in four balls after lunch, before Peter Siddle had Kohli caught behind to seal the win.

Kohli, who also top-scored in India’s first-innings with 44 as the tourists were dismissed for 161, had been fighting his way towards his maiden Test century in his seventh Test, but received no support aside from Dravid.

Sourav Ganguly
“You can never be the best if you don’t win abroad. India haven’t just lost in England and Australia, they’ve been drubbed. We’ll definitely have to make big changes after this tour.”

MS Dhoni
“Phasing seniors out should be a careful decision given what they’ve done for the country and given the experience they have. But it’s a good option to see youngsters coming in.”

 David Warner
“We’re an odd couple, but I know Cowan’s game. I know where his release shots are to get off strike during difficult periods. When he thinks I’m playing loose he comes down to me for a rain check.”

 Michael Clarke

“Two-and-a-half-day Tests help for sure. The distance the Tests have gone gives us a few days off, so with a week to go before Adelaide, I’d imagine the fast-bowlers will be very fresh.”Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2012. – Thetribune