Result: India won by an innings and 135 runs
India leads the series 2-0
The entire Australian team was bowled out twice in the 2nd India-Australia test match at Hyderabad for a combined score that was less than the first-innings partnership between Vijay and Pujara.
That, in itself, was the story of the one-sided match- and also the story of the Indian team only a year ago when they played in Australia. There seems to be no middle ground for both these teams, and Clarke’s Australia went on to lose their 6th test match in a row in India.
Wanted Dead Or Alive
No shame in that, but the way they went down- left even Clarke red faced. This is also the first time in Clarke’s time as captain (23 tests) that his team has lost 2 test matches in a row. What could rankle him more is the unwanted record of being the only team in history to declare their first innings and go on to lose by an innings eventually.
They have 7 days to do a lot of thinking. Dhoni’s India, while sitting pretty in home conditions after the almighty blip against England, also have a bit of thinking to do. Sehwag and Harbhajan, once test giants, have now faded into their twilight years faster than you can say ‘doosra’ or ‘corrective lenses’. While the selectors may not want to alter a winning combination, the pitches of Mohali and Delhi could pose a few more problems for their bowlers- and could be a different story altogether. Complacency could be an issue, and India have literally won these 2 tests with 9 men- with Sehwag still struggling to find his range and Harbhajan taking lesser wickets than even debutant all-rounder Maxwell and Doherty.
This could be the end for one of them, with the selectors sitting down to pen in the squad for the final 2 test matches- looking set to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after 3 years. More on their mind would be a similar 4-0 annihilation that can prove that winning in India isn’t as easy as England made it out to be a few months ago. Of course, that will depend on India’s ‘second spinner’, so far played with gusto by new star Ravindra Jadeja- who got dangerman Clarke bowled twice at Hyderabad. That left precious little for Harbhajan Singh to do, and he did exactly that- even proving to be a stubborn brat of a batsman and contributing to the mini collapse in his usual harebrained way.
With Vijay set to retain his place for the next 2 tests, it will be either Sehwag or Gambhir that could be exposed on the quick Mohali pitch.
As for Australia, they will do well to throw out their cards and bring in 4 pacers for Mohali- Siddle, Pattinson, Starc and Johnson, with a lone spinning all-rounder role filled by either Maxwell or even Smith. Horses for courses, they say, will be what get Australia through this ill-fated tour, and while Lyon is their best spinner- he may not have a role to play at Mohali. Delhi could be his for the taking, though.
Playing two part-time spinners and 2 pacers (out of their battery of 5) does not make sense, as proved in Hyderabad with brutal efficiency.
2-0 up in the India-Australia series, Dhoni and his team will look forward to more such one-sided battles. Surely, the real Australia will show up sooner than later, with little hope of still being able to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy- for which they will need to win the last two tests.
That seems as likely as this same Indian test team lasting 4 days in South Africa right now.