The last rites were delivered pretty quickly and as the mourners gathered around, they wondered how such a healthy entity barely eight months back
could succumb so tamely and without even the semblance of a fight.
Yes, in July last year India were the number one team in the world in both formats of the game. They had just won the limited overs ICC World Cup in April after a long gap of 28 years and in the Test rankings they had been number one since late 2009. Nobody thus expected the demise to come so quickly but it did and why the symptoms were not noticed and preventive measures not taken will no doubt be discussed ad nauseum.
The simple fact is that the Australians, who themselves were not in a great state roused themselves up, rose to the challenge and have taken giant strides to regaining the number one status which they had held proudly for over a decade and half. They batted brilliantly, they bowled with intent and as always their fielding gave hardly anything away.
If pace and seam did it for the Aussies in the first innings, it was the spin of Nathan Lyon that got the Indians in the second innings. He has a lovely action and loops the ball well and as was seen in the limited opportunities that he had he gets the ball to spin even on pitches with a fair bit of green on them. What has been such a pleasant sight is the bowling actions of all the Australian bowlers. They all have nice easy run-ups and gather speed as they come to delivery point and then bowling from close to the stumps they release the ball with a lovely whippy action that generates pace and bounce.
Though Lyon is a spinner, he too bowls with a nice high action. While he got the ball to turn quite nicely the wicket with which he ended the Indian innings was an indication of the thought he puts in the bowling. It was a straight through which is such a devastating ball on a pitch where there is turn and if India prepares turning pitches then bowlers like Lyon will not make life easy for the Indian batsmen in India too.
The one silver lining in Adelaide was the century scored by Virat Kohli. The manner in which this young man has come on in the last couple of years bodes well for India and with this first Test century he has indicated that he is capable to take on higher and greater responsibilites up the order. If he can keep his competitive instincts up without being distracted by all the chatter around him and maintain an equilibrium in triumph he will serve India for a long, long time.
From the dying embers there have been seen a couple of sparks. Virat Kohli in batting and Umesh Yadav in bowling and it is around these two that India must look to build a team that will not go down as meekly as this team has.
Professional Management Group