It may sound odd but at the end of another unsuccessful tour Down Under, India actually led 6-5 in the ‘Border-Gavaskar Series,’ since its inception in 1996.
The Series has been drawn only once when India secured 1-1 in the 2003-2004 season.
Australia bounced back the following year with a series-win on Indian soil, the only occasion when the visiting team has won.
India’s loss this time was not as bitter as it was in 2011-2012, when three members of the famous Indian batting quartet (Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman) were present. Surprisingly, they struggled throughout the series.
Virat Kohli fought in the final match to notch up the only century of the series by an Indian.
It was heartening to see a gutsy display of batting by the top order during this Tour.
Positive attitude, sound technique and most importantly the correct Test cricket temperament shown by the likes of Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli have given renewed hope for India’s Test future.
Kohli’s form was mesmerising. He let his bat do the talking to hit back at critics who were unkind to him during the England Tour, where he suffered a rare loss of form.
For me, the best batting moment was watching 22 year-old Lokesh Rahul emerge in the Test arena. After a forgettable debut in Melbourne, he showed why he can easily be the next ‘wall.’ His ton in Sydney justified the high rating he got from Rahul.
India crossed 400 in each of the first innings but lost the series. This has led to the accusing finger pointed in one direction, yet again.
The bowling in 2011-2012 was rather ordinary. This time it was worse.
When a team cannot take 20 wickets, it cannot win Test matches.
The logic cannot get any simpler.
Australia surpassed 500 runs with ease in all four first innings.
They consistently decimated the Indian bowling attack, scoring more than eight runs an over in the opening few overs of each innings.
It was a familiar bowling performance that was simply not up to international standard.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kohli must also take some flak for very ordinary and peculiar field placements that took even the Indian bowling coach by surprise.
India had the Aussies on the ropes on more than one occasion in this series but failed to capitalise. I would say India lost this series as opposed to Australia winning it.
India will forget all about Tests for a few months.
Hopefully by the next series, they can get their bowling department sorted.
In the end, whether being led by the aggressive Kohli or the super cool Dhoni, no different results will yield for India if they have an under-performing bowling unit.
The change in guard will definitely throw additional excitement into the mix.
Dhoni was a completely different breed to Kohli.
I see Kohli as ‘Ganguly Version 2.0’.
Aggression and a thirst for success ooze out of this batting genius.
India would have learnt from the Australians by now this is the X Factor that wins tough matches.
Ravi is a Project Management professional evincing keen interest in Cricket and has been an umpire for Auckland Cricket. He lives in Auckland.
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