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Australia Send India on the Back Foot in 2nd Session of Day 5; Draw Chances Diminish for Dhoni’s Men

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Australia Send India on the Back Foot in 2nd Session of Day 5; Draw Chances Diminish for Dhoni’s Men

December 30
13:29 2014

dhoniNew Delhi, Tuesday, December 30 –  India appeared to be in the game in the Melbourne Test when Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane played striking innings and pocketed centuries in the first innings. Holding the fort in Australia and against the Aussies is not easy for the reason that the host tries to build pressure with expressions and continuous sledging. A tiff between 26-year-old Virat and Mitchell Johnson is catching the eyes and drawing attention of the viewers. Without a doubt, flawless performances by the two young players from the overseas made Australians feel the real pressure.

But situation overturned for them as soon as Rahane succumbed to Nathan Lyon in an attempt to play a sweep shot. Umesh Yadav, debutant KL Rahul, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma lost their wickets in a hurry. But the 169-run knock Delhi boy Kohli and his record partnership with Rahane witnessed by the TV audience and those present at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) would be remembered for many years to come.

It is disappointing to see that middle and lower order batsmen couldn’t contribute enough to make India hold a strong position. Post seeing Rahane and Kohli playing confidently against Australia, it was predicted that Dhoni’s squad would score somewhere around 550 to 600 runs. Nonetheless, Australian cricketers diminished all such hopes and took lead of 68 runs. India definitely bowled well when Steve Smith’s team came to bat for a second time on the crease.

India made efforts to gain grip, however, Chris Roger, David Warner, Shane Watson, skipper Smith, Joe Burns, wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin and Johnson scored 69, 40, 17, 14, 9, 13 and 15 runs, respectively. Stress was surely built by Shaun Marsh, who though fell short of 1 run to hit a ton but was successful in accumulating precious runs for his ‘playing XI’. Ryan Harris contributed a few runs as well. Australia winded up their innings on a solid note and set a target of 384 for India that is next to impossible to attain, especially when three of the batsmen are back to the pavilion.

The experienced bowler Ryan Harris was remarkable right from the beginning as he made Shikhar Dhawan to depart for a duck. Dhawan has failed to exploit the given opportunity a number of times. The accurate line and length confused the opener and he failed to judge whether ball will come in or outside. Throwing his wicket on a zero being LBW brought India under pressure. The youngster Rahul was dismissed in the same way he had to leave the 22 yards pitch in the 1st innings. It is hard to comprehend why he was too eager to hit a six or boundary without knowing mood of the pitch and foreign conditions. On Day 5, Rahul only attained 1 run as Watson ran towards the boundary to take a brilliant catch. He will have to play his natural game to leave unforgettable impression in the minds of cricket fans. The 22-year-old would require to learn a lot to utilize the given opportunity in the Test squad.

Murali Vijay was unfortunate to a little bit when umpire Kumar Dharmsena took his finger up even when the ball was far away from the stumps. Vijay was disappointed with the decision that really brought the guest in a troublesome situation. His dismissal made Rahane to come on strike and take charge. At the present, Kohli and Rahane are batting at the scores of 39 of 67 balls and 22 of 39 balls. Super fours by both the batsmen made Australians do a lot of running in the ground.  The 57-run partnership has been done between the two as of now and India need 308 runs in 46 overs to win the match, possibilty of which remains low.

Dedicated efforts are to be poured by the upcoming batsmen to save the match. Winning signs are not as prominent as it could have been had wickets weren’t lost at an early stage. Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Harris are bowling wisely. Cricket fans are curious to see whether India get the success to play in the 3rd Test so that it could be drawn or not. Expectations are surely soaring from Rahane and Kohli. At the same time, it is to be understood by the cricketers that job of winning can’t be accomplished from selective cricketers, epsecially at a stage where position of players isn’t fixed in the squad.

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