Saturday, January 3, 2015

Australia could've nipped Indian challenge at MCG in the 3rd Test keeping an eye on WC2015

There could be many possible reasons Why Australia went for a draw in the third Test. Skipper Smith said the side didn't want to give India a sniff at the Target, and mentioned India's strong batting line up as the reason behind. 

Though Smith was clear on the subject, it was not sounding like Australian. Australia are known to be ruthless in field and run down oppositions with sheer competitive brilliance. 

It could have been easily accepted, had Australia been touring and found in the conditions that it found itself on Day 4 of the 2nd innings. Australia lost quick wickets in the middle order in Smith, Haddin, Rogers and Johnson for 70 odd runs, putting Australia on the back foot. But not by much as Shaun Marsh recovered to post a match saving fifty on that evening, and Australia commanded the lead and could have stepped up the pedal.

But instead it slowed and slowed down it's innings until the match was over the next morning on the final day of the Test. Australia not only eat up the morning session, it did not declare till the lunch. That India played so and so is altogether a different story.

Why Australia did so, made a contest look so 'boring'? 

One reason could be that Australia did not want to give India any what so ever remote chance in the series keeping an eye on the up coming World Cup as India are the reigning champions. The Test loss though a little remote possibility, Australia wanted to play it very safe. As it could have opened up chinks in Australian team.

Post Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke era the side is yet to reach pinnacle of the ladder where it enjoyed that position of Top Test playing nation in the world for many years. South Africa has challenged that top position by constantly posing questions and successfully held the top position for a longer duration.

Though Australia might not be that worried for the Top nation rankings as much as the up coming World Cup 2015 which is hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Given all the permutations and combinations, India did not fare that badly. As I remember when India played at MCG in 2012, it had lost the match. And this time not only it posted a hand some reply in the first innings, there was rejuvenated response from the batsmen to Australia's 508 in the first innings.

Though bowling is concern for India, it still carried the punch and took down the Australian top order and middle order occassionally. The batters responded well through out the series and lost out only a session or two.

Though on the face of it, it looks like Australia won the series, but it was not in the same fashion as it beat England in the Ashes in 2014.

Given the state of play Australian think tank might have considered for a lame draw than an all-out winning approach to sub-due the Indian challenge and nip it in the bud keeping an eye on World Cup 2015.

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