India looks to have gotten in the habit of being laid like a carpet and trampled with disdain. The whole process went so agonizingly that even the commentators were biding for the day’s play to stop. And this when Indians started on a healthy note!
The initial trio of southpaws Cowan, Warner and Marsh couldn’t make merry on what has behaved as a genteel pitch till now. Ashwin, with pedestrian fare in the tournament till now, suddenly came to the party and picked two. He was supported by wily Zaheer and India almost made the initial session theirs with Australia at 98 for 3.
Then came the partnership that rode the death knell in Sydney: Ponting-Clarke. They treated Indian bowling like municipality does the garbage. Oddly, it was instigated by some of the most atrocious decisions taken by a captain, albeit, stand-in one. Sehwag didn’t make many friends by being rather lackadaisical throughout, not keeping slips in the initial stage of second session, and bowling 13 overs himself even on the 1st day, and we can’t ignore a couple bowled by Kohli. Come on, this is not gully cricket going!
Ponting and Clarke must have got the hint that Indians have no intention to bowl them out at least before they get their century. While Clarke was delectable with a healthy strike rate en route to his 138, Ponting was rather circumspect and even a bit edgy at times in his 136..
They have already accumulated more than 250 runs in an unbeaten partnership and 2nd day harbors hell for Indians. Sehwag consorted himself to the backseat, not encouraging Umesh after he turned expensive, or not going for the kill when new ball was taken in the 84th over. Incidentally, there were two definite edges after that from Clarke’s bat, and Laxman almost held on to one. Aussies were 335-3 at stumps.