India are on their way to a third consecutive loss and in four days too after a supine batting display. It did appear that most of the batsmen were out in the pavilion itself having seen the green tinge on the pitch, and mentally imagining that the ball was going to leap at their throats.
The tentativeness in their approach and flailing at deliveries that they should have left alone was a clear indication that the nerves of this team are shot. Virat Kohli showed some gumption, but he is more of a limited overs player who will look to play a shot after a few dot balls and unfortunately that will be off the wrong ball and that's how he fell once again.
India's problems are right at the start of the innings. They are simply not getting a decent start which would take the load of the batsmen and allow them to come to bat, when the ball is not new and the bowlers are not fresh. Without a solid foundation, there is no chance of even a ground floor structure and that is why India has struggled in England and over here.
In England, they had a problem because Sehwag was not fit and Gambhir was out of sorts. Here both are available, but something is missing. It is hard to put a finger on what is wrong but they don't look themselves. Let us also give credit to the Australian bowlers, who have bowled some great deliveries to get some of the world's best batsmen out.
Unfortunately, while the relatively inexperienced Australian bowlers have got the better of the Indian batsmen, the Indian bowlers, more experienced than their Australian counterparts, have hardly been able to make a dent in a new opening batting pair for Australia. That has let the later batsmen like Ponting, Clarke and Hussey to come in to bat when the Indian bowlers are down and out and thus cash in on that.
Before the series started, there may have been some young Aussie middle order batsmen, who would have been hoping that they may get a look in halfway through the series, but with the comeback from Ponting and Hussey, it looks like that they may have to wait a bit longer.
India got only four wickets in Sydney and the way they bowled on a pitch where they had been bowled out for 160, it will be an extraordinary effort that will get them some more wickets in this Test. The pitch still had something when India came in to bowl, but so dispirited and distracted were they that they allowed the Australian to get to within a dozen of their team total without even capturing or looking like getting a wicket.
Yes, there will be talk of how Warner was hit on the helmet, but did that make a difference? No, it didn't because he got his own back and is batting with a quick fire hundred. There is plenty of batting to come still and if they bat even half as well as they have done at Sydney, India will wilt even more and that won't be a pretty sight at all.
Professional Management Group
Dravid's performance has been surprising