Adelaide Test: Final Chance for India to Salvage Pride

By Denzil Fernandes
Daijiworld Media Network

Jan 22: The final rites of the fourth Test in Adelaide will begin with India getting set with Sehwag as the new captain in place of Dhoni and possibly a few changes in the playing eleven too. Already down by 3 Tests which were won by hosts Australia in great style, India will have nothing more to lose and have to go all out if they intend returning home with at least a semblance of a fight if not a win at Adelaide.

Mind you, there are some stern supporters still saying that the Indians are capable of hitting back. But right now it is a case of ‘so near and yet so far’. With Aussie skipper Michael Clarke already declaring his intentions of routing India with a 4-0 finish India will be really hard pressed to perform and win. India will have to bat, bowl and field like anything if they hope to stop the marauding Aussies.

With Dhoni being banned pundits say that it will be a ‘blessing in disguise’ for the team on the whole. A non performing captain in the 3 Tests played so far, Dhoni simply did not fit into the squad and the incoming captain Virender Sehwag can now stake his claims for promotion as captain if the team does well in Adelaide.

This is a heaven sent chance for Sehwag to take over from Dhoni if he wins the Test in Adelaide.

Whether the old horses will still be persisted with for the final run is not known. Except for Tendulkar, others like Dravid, Laxman and Zaheer Khan can be sidelined and their places given to those who have been flying around as passengers. At least Rohit Sharma should be given a place even if it means dropping Laxman. Spinner Pragyan Ojha also looks like a potential candidate to do duty in Adelaide in place of Ashwin.

Although there is nothing for Australia to prove any more, the hosts are hell bent to send the Indians back home with a thorough whitewash. Their bowlers have bowled their hearts out and players like Warner and skipper Clarke have risen to the occasion with huge scores with their fine batting. Even their old and tested veterans like Ponting and Hussey have made their presence felt and sealed their places in the team with runs coming along.

Adelaide is generally said to be batsman friendly and has always been India’s favourite ground in some ways. Australia have not beaten India at this particular venue after the 1999-00 series. Said skipper Clarke on the eve of the Adelaide Test, “When India were last here four years ago the Test was drawn. And four years before that, we scored 556 in our first innings and, quite incredibly, lost the match against their powerful batting line-up. So no matter what may have happened earlier in the series, this is not going to be a walk in the park as we chase a 4-0 result."

Clarke continued, "I expect Adelaide to be the toughest of the lot, regardless of the series scoreline. Adelaide Oval usually presents a beautiful batting wicket and it traditionally lacks the bounce and sideways movement of other pitches around the country. In short, this is likely to be the closest to home conditions India will experience on this tour, which means it is going to be tough work for our bowlers."

In their last two tours of Australia, India did not lose their matches in Adelaide. While in 2003-04 India won the match, in 2007-08 the Test ended in a draw. India has to take heart from their last two performances in Adelaide and aim to put up a decent show.

Whatever the result of the Test, all eyes will be on India’s favourite star Sachin Tendulkar who has still not managed to knock that elusive century of centuries yet. He has batted confidently in Australia but has fallen just when one assumed that the Mumbaikar would go past the three digit mark for yet another time. This is his last Test in Australia and one feels that the greatest batsman has specially earmarked the Adelaide ground to record his hundredth century in cricket. Very fittingly, when that happens it will be a great achievement at Sir Don Bradman’s home ground in Adelaide.

If Sehwag has plans to take over the captaincy from Dhoni there is no better chance than showing his skills both with the bat and as a captain in Adelaide. Firstly, he has to score runs with the bat and lead from the front. When that happens the runs will come easily from the other batsmen. It has to be remembered that the Aussies will not be in a mood to please the Indians although the series has been won by them. With such an array of match winning bowlers in their ranks Australia look good to win for a long time to come. There is no denying the fact that our batsmen have found the rival bowlers too hot to handle and have fallen like nine pins time and time again. The red cherry hurled by the Aussies has been hotter than the Indian red chilly.

If the Indian team intends to prove that they still have some spark left in their unit, the Adelaide Test provides an excellent opportunity. A win at Adelaide will slowly erase the dark memories of their pathetic performance in the earlier Tests at Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. That will also help the one day squad to gain some confidence when they prepare for the tri series ahead.

Sadly but truly, the Australian trip also marks the end of a great journey by India’s stalwarts in Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar who may not return to Australia for another tour. Likewise, Zaheer Khan also may be on his last trip to Down Under. There is no doubt that these cricketers have served India well during their hey days. However, a stimulating show at Adelaide with their contribution resulting in an Indian win will do a world of good for everyone concerned with Indian cricket. Wishful thinking one may say, but given the past background of the Indians in Adelaide one only hopes that the Aussies will be humbled at least once in their own yard which will be bring great joy and relief to the ocean of Indian cricket lovers.


Top Stories

Comment on this article

Leave a Comment

Title: Adelaide Test: Final Chance for India to Salvage Pride

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.