The distressed Captain of India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was annoyed with his batsmen after a humiliating defeat of 122 runs suffered from the Australians in the first Test.
The new look Aussie side has their tails up after winning the match and their pace attack proved to be fatal for the visitors. The Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground was won with a day to spare on December 29, 2011.
The Kangaroos posted 333 runs in their first innings and India was chasing well after they had lost two wickets at 97 runs. Sachin Tendulkar was creeping towards his 100th hundred and all odds were going in his favour after he had scored 73 runs. The last over of the day was bowled by Peter Siddle and he got the most important wicket of Tendukar on the third delivery. The ball penetrated through the gate and uprooted his stumps and the batsman kept wondering.
The experienced duo of Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid accumulated 117 runs for the third wicket and it looked like they can gain a substantial lead in their first innings.
India started the third day at 214 runs for the loss of just three wickets when the Australian bowlers took over as soon as they got rid of Dravid who contributed 68 runs. They got rid of their last seven batsmen for 68 runs and their innings was folded back at 282 runs.
Dhoni believed that a little more application from their batsmen could have put them in the driving seat. He said,
“In the first innings, we had a good stand going and their bowlers were also a bit tired. So if we could have seen off another 20 overs with the new ball, it would have become easy to score runs. Once a bowler gets tired, he can’t bowl with the same pace and consistency.”
India bowlers have done well in the match as they got the home side out twice in the match and they were able to claim 20 wickets. They were up to their target even in the second innings when the home side had lost six wickets at 148 runs. Michael Hussey played a leading role by scoring 89 runs but their last wicket partnership added valuable 43 runs and set a target of 292 runs for the visitors.
Dhoni supposed that India should have restricted the home side with an overall lead of around 250 runs but even 292 was a chase able target if the batsmen should have stuck to their task. He commented,
“We had a decent start in the first innings. We needed to capitalise on it. When the day began, if we could have got them down to 240-250 runs, it was gettable. Even 292, we should have achieved as the wicket was good. There wasn’t much wear and tear on the surface.”
The Indian batting is rated among one of the best in the world which includes the two leading run getters in Test cricket. Tendulkar is currently at the top with 15288 runs with 51 centuries and 64 fifties followed by Dravid with 13172 comprising 36 hundreds and 63 fifties.
Dhoni was convinced that his batsmen were capable of bouncing back while going through their weaknesses as the series was still open with three matches to come in the series.