Michael Clarke's magnificent century helped Australia take the honours on day one of the Test series. India did manage to get back in the game with two quick wickets towards the end of the day's play but having had the Aussies on the ropes at 153 for five wickets, the Indians ran out of steam and could not deliver the knockout punch.
The Indians may claim that Clarke should have been given out when on 39 but that is part of the game and teams learn to live with it. The supporters of the current system of DRS would also argue for the system after that decision but then it could also have been that the Indians had already got two referrals wrong by then and so would have had no referrals left and the error would have still stayed.
That’s why a referral where the umpires consult with the TV umpires as they do in the case of a no-ball dismissal is the better one to implement than just giving two correct referrals to the players.
Be that as it may, nothing can take away from the splendour of Clarke's batsmanship. When he came to India as a raw youngster on 2004 and got a century on debut, it was his footwork to the spinners that left an impression and it was the same twinkling footwork that got him to stave off the danger posed by Ashwin and also take the attack to the Indian spinners.
Indian spinners don’t get to play too much of first class cricket because the international schedule is so tight. They are thus more used to bowling in limited overs cricket which compels them to curb the flight option and use the flatter delivery to try and prevent the batsman from hitting the sixes. Thus when they play a Test match they bowl with the same mindset and are unable to deceive the batsman in the air.
The shining exception is Ashwin because he has understood that even in limited overs cricket flight slows the ball coming onto the bat and gives a good chance of taking a wicket and that as we all know is the best dot ball in the business. He had tapered off somewhat against England and had resorted to trying too much variety but here playing his first Test match on his home ground he concentrated mainly on off-spin and tried the variety occasionally but smartly.
While Clarke was superb, Australia’s debutant Moses Henriques also was very impressive. He did not come in to bat with any preconceived ideas and played each ball on its merits and settled down quite nicely. Having got a very good half-century with straight bat shots he went horizontal and paid with his wicket.
Jadeja then got Starc out and so helped pull back the game which was running away from India. India know they need to get the last three wickets quickly for if the Australians get more than 350 then it could well be a match winning score.
Professional Management Group