The Adelaide draw brings to end one of the most fascinating test series in the recent times. The Indians would be really pleased with the way the came back in the series after two defeats. This series also was the last on the Australian Soil for the big 5. Sachin, laxman and Kumble had a great series but Dravid and Sourav would be ruing missed opportunities.
In a way the last two test matches brought focus back on cricket after the chaotic Sydney game. Both the teams played hard and competitive cricket over the past one month and 1-1 would have been a fair result. Bad preparation cost India the Melbourne game, bad umpiring and some bad shots cost us the Sydney test match.
Australia in the end proved that they are still the number one team in the world but only by a little margin. The Indian team has again proved to the rest of the world that Australia can be beaten in its own den. Brett lee was the best bowler in the series with 20+ wickets and has improved leaps and bounds since India toured Australia in 2003/04. It seems like Australia have found an ideal replacement for Glenn McGrath. The Australians though are finding tough to replace Shane Warne as the experiment with Brad Hogg failed miserably in this series. The fact that both Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke out-bowled Brad Hogg is an able testimony for his failure in this series. Australia would be hoping that Stuart McGill recovers from his injury really quick to fill the void left by Shane Warne. Adam Gilchrist’s retirement also came as surprise as there were no indications of the same prior to this series.
Matthew Hayden was again their best batsman against the Indians as he was in the prior meetings between the two sides. Andrew “Lucky” Symonds played some important innings for his side in this test series and so did Micheal Hussey and Clarke. Stuart Clarke provided able support to Brett Lee in the fast bowling department and Mitchell Johnson was terribly inconsistent throughout the series. I have never seen a test bowler bowling so many wides as Johnson did in this series.
The Indian team again relied on Sachin Tendulkar for some big runs and to his credit the “Little Master” did not disappoint his captain. Dravid and Sourav had a very inconsistent series but as usual VVS Laxman had a great series against the Australians. Irfan Pathan, who I think should have played since the first test, gave a good account of himself by winning the man of match award contributing handsomely with both bat and ball in India’s win in Perth. Sehwag again one of the players who should have been in India’s playing X1 in both Melbourne and Sydney had a great end to this series by scoring a match saving 150 in the Adelaide test.
The inexperienced bowling attack performed very well against the strong Australian batting line up with Ishant Sharma being the find of the series for India. RP Singh bowled beautifully in the series in patches but lacked consistency. Kumble was once again the star performer for India in the bowling department as he captured 20+ wickets in this series. He captained the team really well during the difficult time after the second test and also made sure that he brought out the best from his team.
Overall India gave a good account of themselves in this test series. India remains the only team to have at least won one test match against Australia in every series they have played with them since the 2001/02 series.