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India Win Test Series As Australia Slumps In Rankings

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Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith
Cheteshwar Pujara

India have defeated Australia in the second Cricket Test in Bangalore to take the series 2-0. Test debutant Cheteshwar Pujara starred with the bat hitting 72 runs before Sachin Tendulkar guided India home with 53 not out.

Unlike the first test cliff hanger 1 wicket win in Mohali, this was a comprehensive victory achieved mostly through a bowling attack that played well as a unit and batsmen who carried out the game plan to the letter. When Tendulkar starts hitting sixes we know his side is well on top.

India confirmed their status as the No.1 team in world Test Cricket while long time table toppers Australia have seen their Test ranking slump to an unthinkable No.5. The only bright side for Australia is that Pakistan in sixth place are well behind them in ranking points so this will be as low as Aussie will go.

The Indian side is at its peak at the moment. An exciting blend of world-class experience and exciting youth. There is no shame in losing to a great side in their home conditions.

Not that many years ago India would want to draw a Test first before they thought about winning. Now they want to win every game and play with a style that is not dissimilar to the great Australian team of five years ago.

In winning in Bangalore they could easily have been expected to go out and play safe and try and grind out the 207 runs needed. Dhoni and his batsmen had correctly assessed though, that on a wearing pitch and with the ball likely to reverse swing after 40 overs that attack was the safest method.

After the early loss of Virender Sehwag they could have been forgiven for reassessing, but Cheteshwar Pujara fresh from only scoring 4 runs in the first innings had other ideas. He partnered with Murali Vijay and saw off the new ball.

Any hope of the top getting knocked off India’s batting early was gone. The best Australia could hope for was to stem the scoring for long enough for reverse swing to kick in. Pujara and Tendulkar ensured the match was all over in only 45 overs.

Sachin Tendulkar was named man of the match and man of the series. Great batsmen are judged not only the runs they score but the way they conduct themselves on and off the field. Throughout his long career Tendulkar has been a gentleman who has shunned controversy and set a tremendous example to young cricketers everywhere.

He has shown that being one of the greatest batsmen the world has ever seen can be achieved through playing the ball skillfully along the ground rather than flashy aerial shots and a rockstar lifestyle.

This is the first time that Australia has lost all the tests in a series in 30 years. They have not lost three Test Matches in succession since the West Indies put them to the sword in 1988-89.

I am happy to predict amongst all this Aussie doom and gloom that they will retain the Ashes against England without too much bother.

India 495 and 207 for 3 (Pujara 72, Tendulkar 53*) beat Australia 478 and 223 (Ponting 72, Zaheer 3-41, Ojha 3-57) by 7 wickets

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