Cricket-Team India Mauled by Australia
Australia defeated India by 122 runs in the Boxing Day First Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on December 29 in India’s tour of Australia, 2011-12. The victory margin for Australia on the fourth day did not quite reflect the dramatic ups and downs of the match though.
This was India’s fifth consecutive test loss abroad after the 4-0 drubbing by England earlier. At MCG too India’s dismal record did not go any better with just two wins in all time cricket history. But prior to the start of the cricket series factors were predominantly in India’s favor.
India came to Australia after their thumping win over West Indies in both test and one-day formats and they had regrouped well with all the batting and bowling stalwarts coming back into the team except Yuvraj Singh who was getting fit to join the team perhaps for the one-day series. In contrast, Australia had been a little nervous with quite a few new faces particularly in the bowling department. Their recent record of losses against South Africa and New Zealand did not help much either. There was also a question mark over the inclusion of the old war horses—Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey. Besides, India won the last two test series against Australia played in India and Australia no longer enjoyed its monopoly status in world cricket. The circumstances and the built-up momentum gave India a great opportunity to register the first ever test series win against Australia in Australia.
India had their chances too. Australia batted first winning the toss and was reduced to 214 for 6 at one stage. Thanks to India’s persistent problems in removing tail-enders the hosts finally achieved a fighting total of 333 with Ponting silencing his critics by scoring a masterful 62. India replied well and was sitting pretty at 214 for 2 when at the closing minutes of the second day Sachin Tendulkar got out at 73 putting paid to hopes for his 100th hundred and also creating the beginnings of a looming disaster.Continued on the next page