February 25, 2013 by dixwah
From an Australian point of view, there were a few positives to take from MS Dhoni’s match-defining 206 not out (and growing) on Sunday in Chennai.
At least it wasn’t Virat Kholi or Sachin Tendulkar. Or Harbajan!
For all his talk of being an IPL mercenary, analysis of his defensive captaincy, I find Dhoni, from afar, to be the most likeable of the Indian guns.
Is it because he hasn’t really hurt us before? Perhaps it’s because his traits (with the stick at least) are the most Australian – hard at the ball, counter-attack, lead from the front.
Maybe it’s just my dislike for the other three.
If nothing else, I’m consistent in my calls for sackings. I was there saying Simon Katich couldn’t cry foul after getting the bullet. Centuries win matches, and, I guess individually, keep you in the team. Like Shane Watson after him, Katich wasn’t doing it. Ta ta.
Sachin’s now gone 32 innings. He’s gone close a few times without sealing the deal. I know the old line: the more half volleys you feed the Little Master outside off side, he’ll eventually have a drink (or something like that), so he’ll likely do the business in Mohali, but he should have been sent to the box with VVS a long time ago.
Nathan Lyon? Well done. It’s tough going over there, as Warne et al previously found out, and 40 overs of hard toil went unrewarded. Cowan’s dropped catch has, combined with Clarke’s tough caught and bowled opp, possibly allowed India another 100 plus runs, which on days four and five on the old dirt track, will likely be too many.
The structure? I think the XI picked was reasonably balanced, seemingly with Pattinson, Starc and Lyon there to strike, and Henriques and Morwell’s sole vegetarian there to do the donkey work. Starc didn’t penetrate, but the others all did the trick. In the end, if Australia took their chances, they’d be batting now and we wouldn’t be worrying.
What to expect on day four? I sniff a few big hits from MS, a few dodgys from Dharmasena, and something with Harbajan. Wait and see.