Oh, and Jonathan, a small point to disagree on – the privilege of the highest wicket average as far as Warne is concerned goes by far to India and very emphatically not the West Indies. Warne averages 43.11 in India per wicket, and 62.55 in Australia. Yes sir. In fact, against Sri Lanka in Australia, Warne averages 32.40, but in Sri Lanka, Warne averages a terrific 21.45. So, clearly India is the ONLY country that Warne could not conquer. Let us have no ambiguity about this. :-)
McGrath’s loss seemed to be the more devastating one really, but Stuart Clark’s tremendous performances have completely softened that blow. What is it about these Aussies – McDermott goes, McGrath rises from nowhere. McGrath goes, Clark is putting his hand up regularly. It’s like Bevan goes, Hussey comes – in fact, the latter is an improvement, given his test match participation. So all thoughts of Australia giving up their ascendancy are still premature.
And for the two test matches – Australia vs England, 4th Test. Ho hum, really. A bunch of “Pussilies” (from ‘pusillanimous”) against one of the greatest bunch of international cricketers ever. Hope Ravi is seeing the hopelessness of this lost cause. The sad thing is that this team is not even the half-determined lot that came to India, Trescothick’s pressing absence notwithstanding. Half of them probably cry “Mummy!” when they see one of the many Aussie bugs in their bathroom.
Meanwhile, Indian celebrations after the heroics of the first test have been spectacularly premature too. Sadly, they seemed to have lost the most important quality they showed in the recent triumph – their positivity. VVS Laxman’s grating fifty was a surprise, coming as it did from those quarters. On the other hand, Tendulkar’s picture-perfect innings had the flash and magic of a genius but the substance of a pretender (a sixty, blessed with a sitter as a life). His poor shot selection that led to his dismissal did not seem to have the team’s welfare as a priority.
And finally, Sanjay might like to comment on Rahul Dravid’s dismissals in this match – in both innings he was given out wrongly. One wrong Dravid dismissal can cost the team heavily; two will almost certainly spell disaster. As indeed it has. And both could have been avoided, if the TV umpire was allowed to adjudicate in the event of a doubt. So, imagine this – Indian cricket history could have been hinging on this – Dravid’s unfortunate dismissals cost India the match, which costs India the series, and the revival gets nipped in the bud. The high that could have served Indian confidence well for World Cup 2007 denied, resulting in a pre-semis exit. Chappell goes back to Australia, shrugging off what could have been. Dravid is fired as captain (shit, who’ll replace him – Sehwag is gone too, Dhoni???) and another time-consuming “rebuilding” phase begins. All for the sake of allowing for human error in the great traditions of the game?