Tag: R. Ashwin

Turning tracks

India won Test series against New Zealand 2-0. After winning the first Test at Hyderabad by an Innings and 115 runs Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the wicket was not turning enough. Spinners had got 18 wickets out of 20. R. Ashwin got 6/31 and 6/54, total 12/85. About Bangalore wicket he said it was like that of Napier. The curator said the wicket will be sporting one with equal chances to all. India won the Bangalore Test by five wickets.

What does Dhoni want? Spinners getting 20 wickets out of 20 in every Test. Perhaps he wants spinners to bowl the new ball. First bowler will get six wickets in his over. Next bowler gets four wickets off four balls. The Innings of rival team is over on zero. Indians bat as long as they want. The spinners repeat their feat in the second Innings. Indians are victorious.

What next? Spinners may do well on Indian tracks. Some may be better than Indian spinners. Dhoni may want umpires who rule favourably when Indian bowlers appeal and unfavourably when visiting bowlers and fielders appeal.

Some call Indian team “Lions at home, lambs abroad.” Some others call “Tigers at home, pussycats abroad.” That description is not accurate. Indians had victories abroad and defeats at home. A great team wins anywhere. Australians twice won 16 Tests in succession. Indians should strive for greatness and not mediocrity.

New Zealand did not have a practice or warm-up match before Hyderabad Test. That was home advantage for India.

Downfall Down Under

India lost Melbourne Test by 122 runs and Sydney Test by an Innings and 68 runs after Australia had declared 659/4. Both Tests ended in four days. In Melbourne Indian batsmen had to score 292 runs to win and they were all out for 169. Indian bowlers took 20 wickets.
Someone said this is the greatest bowling attack India ever had. That attack could take only four wickets in Sydney. Umesh Yadav and R. Ashwin conceded 123 and 157 runs respectively and went wicketless. India were 191 and 400.

Some say Indians are lions at home, lambs abroad. India did well against England and West Indies at home. India did well against West Indies in West Indies. India did badly against England in England and have now lost two Tests in succession in Australia.

No Indian scored a century in Australia. In Sydney, Michael Clarke remained 329 not out, Michael Hussey remained 150 not out and Ricky Ponting scored 134. India’s batting failed in both Tests. India’s bowling failed in second Test.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy is under question. Some say his tactics are negative, he allowed tailenders to score runs. His supporters say he has done well, he won T20 World Cup, ODI World Cup and attained No. 1 Test ranking. A captain is as good as his team and should not be blamed for failure.

Dhoni won T20 World Cup in 2007, did not win in 2009 and 2010. No. 1 Test ranking was partly due to him and mainly due to his predecessors. If he is as good as his team and should not be blamed for failure he should not get credit for success.

Some spectators uttered expletives against Virat Kohli. When it became unbearable he showed them middle finger for which he was fined. There should have been action against spectators. They do not have the right to utter expletives. They should have been thrown out of the stadium. In football, action is taken against troublemakers.

Australian bowlers did well. One view is that to win matches abroad India should have three fast bowlers who can consistently bowl at 90 miles per hour. India has seen many fast bowlers come and go. Some feel Anil Kumble would have made a difference. He has retired. Someone said Harbhajan Singh should have been there. Selectors did not pick him.

Two more Tests to go. The best India can hope is to win them and level the series. In 1977-78 India lost first two Tests and won next two Tests. That was a five Tests series. India lost the fifth Test and series. Bishen Singh Bedi was India’s Captain. Bobby Simpson was Australia’s captain. India have not won a Test series in Australia and South Africa. When the tour began there was talk of India winning in Australia for the first time. That was not to be.