India vs Australia 2008 Cricket Series in IndiaComprehensive Cricket News, Latest Information and Live ball-by-ball Commentary.
Australia will play 4 Tests during the Indian tour starting October 02, 2008.
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2008 India Australia Series Schedule
India vs Australia Border Gavaskar Trophy 2008-09
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|Batsman / Innings||I||II||I||II||I||II||I||II|
|Result||IND drew with AUS||IND won by 320 runs||IND drew with AUS||IND won by 172 runs||IND won the Series 2-0|
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 5: India thrash Australia by 172 runs to regain Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Nov 10, 2008India capped a tight bowling display to record a crushing 172-run victory over Australia in the fourth and final Test and wrap up the series 2-0 in Nagpur.
Australia was bowled out for 209 on the final afternoon as they chased an unlikely 382 to suffer their first Test series defeat since the 2005 Ashes in England. It was also India's first Test series win over Australia in seven years as they clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma was named man of the series. Matthew Hayden alone sustained his team's slim hopes with a bold 77.
Off spinner Harbhajan Singh was the highest wicket-taker with 4 for 64, while leg spinner Amit Mishra (3 for 27) and Sharma (2 for 31) provided valuable support.
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 5: India 411 & 295 beat Australia 355 & 209 by 172 runs
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 4: India set a tough target for Australia
Nov 09, 2008Australia face a stiff target to level the series against India after a crucial 108-run stand between Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh in the fourth and final Test on Sunday.
The visitors were 13 without loss at stumps on the penultimate day chasing 382 to win. Simon Katich (eight) and Matthew Hayden (five) were at the crease. India were tottering at 166-6 in their second innings at the tea-break before posting 295, thanks to skipper Dhoni (55) and lower-order batsman Harbhajan (52).
Dhoni and Harbhajan kept the Australian attack at bay with their responsible knocks after their team had lost six wickets for just 50 runs in a dramatic afternoon collapse. India lead 1-0 in the series following their 320-run victory in the second Test in Mohali. The matches in Bangalore and New Delhi were drawn.
Debutant off-spinner Jason Krejza (4-143) grabbed two wickets off successive balls and seamer Shane Watson (4-42) two scalps in three overs to boost Australia's hopes of squaring the series. Krejza, 25, took 12 wickets in the match. Australia's Bob Massey and India's Narendra Hirwani are the only bowlers to have bagged more than 12 wickets in a debut Test.
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 4: Australia 355 & 13 for 0 v India 411 & 295
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 3: India bowl out Australia for 355
Nov 08, 2008Australia failed to capitalize on the knocks by Simon Katich and Michael Hussey getting all out for 355 runs in reply to India's 441 conceding a lead of 86 runs on the third day of the fourth Test in Nagpur.
At stumps on Day 3, India were 0 for 0 in their second innings after safely negotiating one over with Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay. Amit Mishra took the last Australian wicket when he had Mitchell Johnson (5) caught by Zaheer Khan at long on.
Before that, Cameron White missed his fifty by four runs when he was caught at long on by Virender Sehwag off Harbhajan Singh while trying to up the ante. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the second new ball after 124 overs and Ishant Sharma struck in the third over with the new cherry when he trapped Jason Krejza (5) plumb in front of the wicket to reduce Australia to 333/8.
This levelled Ishant with Mitchell Johnson as the highest wicket-taker in the series with 13 wickets.
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 3: India 411 & 0 for 0 v Australia 355
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 2: Katich guides Australia to 189 for 2
Nov 07, 2008Opening batsman Simon Katich led the Australian fight-back as the visitors ended the second day’s play at 189 for two in the first innings, in reply to India’s 441, in the fourth and last Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium.
Katich was batting on 92 and Mike Hussey 45 at stumps. Australia still trail by 252 runs.
Earlier, off-spinner Jason Krejza picked up eight for 215 and became the eighth spinner in the Test history to bag eight wickets on debut.
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 2: Australia 189 for 2 v India 441
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 1: Tendulkar ton powers India to 311-5
Nov 06, 2008A century from Sachin Tendulkar gave India the edge against Australia on the opening day of the fourth Test.
Tendulkar, who was dropped on 85 and 98 and also survived a run-out attempt just after passing his half-century, took an age to bring up his 40th Test century but eventually got there deep into the final session. His 109 allied with half-centuries from Virender Sehwag (66) and VVS Laxman (64) enabled India to reach 311 for five at stumps.
Sourav Ganguly, playing his final Test match for India, was still batting on 27 at the close with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on four. Off-spinner Jason Krejza, who was picked in place of paceman Stuart Clark, proved expensive on his debut but still claimed a three-wicket haul.
Mitchell Johnson, who removed Tendulkar, and Shane Watson were the other wicket-takers.
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur, Day 1: India 311 for 5 v Australia
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur: India targeting 2-0 Test series finish, says Harbhajan
Nov 05, 2008Fit-again off-spinner Harbhajan Singh says India are eager to wrap up the series in style against Australia with a win in the fourth and final Test starting at Nagpur on Thursday.
India lead 1-0 following their 320-run victory in the second Test in Mohali. With the matches in Bangalore and Delhi drawn, another draw here would be enough to clinch the four-match series. But Harbhajan wants a win.
"We have been playing good cricket and we plan to do the same in the last Test to finish the series 2-0," Harbhajan, who missed the last Test in Delhi due to a toe injury and is just one wicket short of 300, told reporters. "I am 100 percent fit to play, but more important than my 300th wicket is to win the Test," said Harbhajan.
Anil Kumble, who quit Test cricket after the last match, is the only Indian spinner to have bagged 300 or more wickets. He ended his career as the third-highest ever wicket-taker in Tests, with 619 scalps in 132 matches. "It'll be very big shoes to fill as we all know his (Kumble's) contribution to Indian cricket and the number of matches he has won," said Harbhajan, Kumble's partner for more than a decade. "But at the same time there are young spinners, like Amit Mishra, who have an opportunity to cement their place in the team."
Leg-spinner Mishra made an impressive seven-wicket debut against Australia in the second Test, following it up with two wickets in the next match. The Test will be the 100th for middle-order batsman Venkatsai Laxman, but the last for former captain Sourav Ganguly, who has already announced he will quit international cricket after this series.
"I don't think there will be any distraction. We will focus on cricket and as a team we are looking forward to clinching the series here," said Harbhajan. Australia have not lost a Test series since the 2005 Ashes in England.
IND v AUS, 4th Test, Nagpur: India opener Gambhir's ban appeal rejected
Nov 04, 2008India's in-form opener Gautam Gambhir will miss the fourth and final Test against Australia here on Thursday after his appeal against a one-match ban was rejected.
The left-hander was suspended by English match referee Chris Broad for "physical contact" with Australian all-rounder Shane Watson while taking a run on the opening day of the third Test in Delhi. "The Appeals Commissioner (South African judge Albie Sachs) has rejected the appeal and upheld the penalty of one-Test ban imposed by the match referee," Indian cricket board secretary N. Srinivasan said in a statement on Tuesday.
He added that the board had refused to accept the decision and had sent its objection to the International Cricket Council (ICC). "The said order has been passed without affording the player an opportunity of personal hearing, legal representation and without acceding to his request for certain documents/recordings to be given to him, and also denying him an extension of time," the statement said.
Murali Vijay was named Gambhir's replacement for the match. Gambhir is his team's leading scorer in the onoging series, with 463 runs. He smashed a hundred in the second Test and followed it up with a maiden double-century in the next match.
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 4: India drew with Australia
Nov 02, 2008India captain Anil Kumble retired with his side still leading Australia 1-0 in the series after the third test ended in a draw on Sunday.
Legspinner Kumble declared India's second innings at 208-5 shortly after tea and then opened the bowling in his farewell to the game.
When the match was halted 15 overs early, and a draw inevitable, Australia was 31-0 chasing a target of 245.
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 5: India 613 for 7 dec & 208 for 5 dec drew with Australia 577 & 31 for 0
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 4: Australia fight back against India
Nov 01, 2008A gritty century from vice-captain Michael Clarke and two late wickets erased Australia's fears of defeat in the third cricket Test as the visitors ended the fourth day just 79 runs behind India.
Part-time offspinner Virender Sehwag broke through for his maiden five-wicket haul, but Clarke's stout resistance in his knock of 112 meant it would be difficult for either side to manufacture a result on the final day. The hosts took a 36-run lead when it dismissed Australia for 577 - its highest total in India - late in the afternoon, but lost Virender Sehwag and nightwatchman Ishant Sharma in reaching 43-2 at stumps.
Sehwag was bowled by Brett Lee for 16 before Sharma (1) popped a catch to Ricky Ponting in the next over from Stuart Clark. Gautam Gambhir was unbeaten on 21 at stumps while Rahul Dravid was on 5.
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 4: India 613 for 7 dec & 43 for 2 (13.0 overs) v Australia 577 (179.3 overs)
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 3: Sehwag takes three wickets for India
Oct 31, 2008Part-time offspinner Virender Sehwag took three crucial wickets Friday as India maintained its dominance over Australia, which registered 338-4 at stumps on the third day of the third Test.
Sehwag, who was bowling instead of the injured Anil Kumble, broke through late in the day to remove Michael Hussey after ending the strong resistance of Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden. Australia's batsmen fought to stay in touch with India, but were left with plenty to do over the remaining two days to save the game and stay alive in the four-match series.
Hussey collected 53 before being bowled by Sehwag after Ponting, Hayden and Simon Katich made useful half-centuries to prevent a disaster in reply to the host's imposing 613-7.
At stumps, Australia was still 74 runs short of avoiding the possibility of a follow-on - with vice-captain Michael Clarke (21) partnered by Shane Watson (4).
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 3: India 613 for 7 dec (161.0 overs) v Australia 338 for 4 (105.0 overs)
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 2: Gambhir and Laxman put India in control
Oct 30, 2008In reply to India's first innings 613 for 7, Australia were 50 for 0 at stumps on Day 2 of the third Test at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Openers Matthew Hayden (16) Simon Katich (29) weathered the early storm cautiously. At stumps on Day 2, Australia trailed the Indian score by 563 runs with the pitch showing some signs of breaking up which was evident from Indian captain Anil Kumble getting the ball to turn and bounce.
Earlier, VVS Laxman notched up his second double century as India declared their first innings at 613 for 7. Kumble declared as soon as Laxman reached his double century with 16 overs remaining in the second day's play. Laxman's fabulous innings was studded with 21 fours and this is the fifteenth time that two double centuries have been scored in the same innings of a Test match.
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 2: India 613 for 7 dec (161.0 overs) v Australia 50 for 0 (15.0 overs)
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 1: Gambhir shines for India
Oct 29, 2008Opening batsman Gautam Gambhir struck a career-best unbeaten 149 to propel India to 296-3 on an ill-tempered first day of the third Test against Australia at Delhi on Wednesday.
Gambhir put on 130 runs with Sachin Tendulkar (68) and also shared 139 runs with Venkatsai Laxman (54 not out) for the unbroken fourth wicket after the hosts were reeling at 27-2 in the morning session. The opener, who bettered his previous-best knock of 139 against Bangladesh, was involved in verbal sparring with the tourists, who must avoid defeat here if they are to keep alive their chances of retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
They trail 1-0 in the four-Test series after losing the previous match in Mohali by 320 runs. The opener in Bangalore ended in a draw.
Tensions between the two teams came to the boil when Gambhir apparently elbowed Shane Watson while taking a second run after the all-rounder seemed to mutter something to the batsman. The left-hander, who has hit 20 fours and a six in his 285-ball knock, also became involved in a spat with part-time bowler Simon Katich, forcing umpire Billy Bowden to intervene.
Laxman, playing his 99th Test, batted with composure amid all the action around him, reaching his 36th Test fifty. Tendulkar made a fine 68 with 11 boundaries before edging behind to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin off Mitchell Johnson (2-69) in the last over before tea.
Tendulkar, 35, looked in sublime touch during his knock, whipping Cameron White past extra cover and following it up with a slog sweep over midwicket to force the leg-spinner out of the attack. The star batsman reached his 51st half-century with a four off Stuart Clark, who conceded just 29 runs off his 21 overs but failed to take a wicket.
The hosts lost in-form opener Virender Sehwag (one) and the usually dependable Rahul Dravid for 11 after Anil Kumble won the toss and elected to bat on an easy-paced track.
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi, Day 1: India 296 for 3 (89.0 overs) v Australia
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi: India look to seal series in Delhi
Oct 29, 2008With the Australians stripped off their cloak of invincibility and squirming in an unfamiliar rut, a domineering India sniff an opportunity to seal the four-match series at their happy hunting ground when the third Test gets underway at Delhi on Wednesday.
India's thumping 320-run win in Mohali was a rude jolt to the Aussies, for whom, winning so far was just a matter of habit. It was the manner, and not merely the margin, of defeat in Mohali which punctured Australia's aura of invincibility and suddenly the world champions looked as fragile as any other team. In contrast, India's brusque openers and the middle order batsmen have blunted the Australian attack with disdain while their brash leather-flingers ran through the Australian batting order like knife through butter.
Rattled by the Mohali mauling, Australia decided to take a couple of days' off, purportedly for an introspection, and even though they believe the grey areas have been addressed and the mistakes would not recur, Ferozeshah Kotla's tremendous bias towards the hosts is the sort of statistics, which is least likely to amuse the Aussies. India have won the last seven Tests here in a row and the only time Australia managed to win here was way back in 1959 when Richie Benaud used to skipper the side. Mark Taylor embarked on a similar mission in 1996 but was sent packing within four days before a seven-wicket defeat was shoved down the visitors' throat. India Team (from):
Anil Kumble (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma.
Australia Team (from):
Ricky Ponting (Captain), Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Cameron White, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark.
IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Delhi: Spin masterclass for Aussies ahead of India cricket Test
Oct 28, 2008Australia were taking some late lessons in spin bowling as they head into the third Test starting here on Wednesday, desperate to draw level with a resurgent India.
The tourists trail the home side 1-0 in the four-Test Border-Gavaskar series, an unusual situation for the world's top side, after they were thumped by 320 runs in the second Test in Mohali. Australia's batsmen failed to come to terms with India's combination of spin and swing and the bowlers also struggled, conceding 469 runs in the first innings and 314 in the second. In a bid to turn the corner, the tourists have turned to Indian spin legend Bishen Singh Bedi.
Rookie leg-spinner Cameron White, who has four wickets in the series so far, was spotted chatting with Bedi in the nets on Sunday. Off-spinner Jason Krejza, yet to get a look-in after going wicketless in a warm-up game, also took tips from Bedi, who bagged 266 wickets from 66 Tests with his deadly left-arm spin.
Australia's spin options are limited but the home side have the opposite problem, grappling with an abundance of riches after debutant Amit Mishra's seven-wicket haul in the Mohali game. Mishra, who played only because leg-spin veteran Anil Kumble pulled out on the morning of the game with a shoulder injury, will have to wait to know his fate as Kumble, 36, has declared his fitness and willingness to play here.
Kumble's record at the ground he has 55 wickets at a rate of just 15.41 in six Tests including 10 in a single innings against Pakistan in 1999 -- could turn the scales in his favour. Groundsman Radhey Shyam Sharma has promised a pitch that will suit Kumble's style of bowling.
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh, Day 5: India thrash Australia by 320 runs (1:0)
Oct 21, 2008Paceman Zaheer Khan captured three wickets in four balls Tuesday as India completed a comprehensive 320-run victory in the second cricket test against Australia to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
Australia, which resumed the morning at 141-5 chasing an unlikely 516, lasted 18.4 overs on the fifth day after being rocked by Khan, who finished with 3-71. The defeat was Australia's seventh-heaviest by runs, eclipsing the 307-run loss to South Africa in 1969-70.
Khan ensured it would be a quick finish when he crashed through Brad Haddin's weak defensive push to the sixth ball of the day and the wicketkeeper left with 37. The batsman's stumps were shattered and so were Australia's hopes of saving the game after an 84-run partnership between Haddin and Michael Clarke.
Johnson (26) stayed with Clarke for 50 runs, hitting some impressive drives until he popped a simple catch back to the bowler Amit Mishra. The only bright spot for Australia was Clarke's half-century, but he finished the match when he pulled to Virender Sehwag off Mishra on 69.
Australia was reduced to 58-5 after tea on the fourth day to end its unlikely chances of victory. Harbhajan Singh's three wickets either side of the break put India on track and Ishant Sharma chipped in with two victims before the short recovery of Clarke and Haddin.
The first test in Bangalore was drawn and India will head to Delhi for the third match starting Oct. 29 looking to wrap up the series and regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh (Day 5): India 469 & 314 for 3 dec beat Australia 268 & 195 by 320 runs
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh, Day 4: Harbhajan strikes early for India
Oct 20, 2008India threw down the gauntlet to Australia on the penultimate day of the second Border-Gavaskar Test, setting Ricky Ponting's side a formidable target of 516 for victory.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh then put even more pressure on the tourists by removing openers Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich after the pair had made a determined start to their second innings. Hayden, who has struggled on the tour, was dismissed leg before for 29, while Katich was caught by Sachin Tendulkar off Harbhajan for 20. Tea was taken at the fall of Katich's wicket, with Australia in a spot of bother at 50 for two.
Earlier in the day, a century from Gautam Gambhir (104) and half-centuries from Virender Sehwag (90) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68 not out) had helped India declare their second innings on 314 for three - an overall lead of 515.
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh (Day 4): India 469 & 314 for 3 dec v Australia 268 & 141 for 5
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh, Day 3: India lead by 301 runs against Australia
Oct 19, 2008Leg-spinner Amit Mishra celebrated his Test debut with a five-for as India spared Australia the humiliation of following on only to tighten the noose around their neck on day three of the second cricket match on Sunday.
Mishra emerged as the wrecker-in-chief as India shot out Australia for 268, carving out a 201-run first innings lead. Despite having the Aussies at his mercy, stand-in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni refused to enforce follow-on, deciding instead to set them a target and unleash the two-pronged spin attack on a wearing track.
India added exactly 100 runs without any loss in the final session to stretch their overall lead to 301 and openers Virender Sehwag (53) and Gautam Gambhir (46) will return on Monday to further swell the tally and take the match away from Australia.
Earlier, resuming at overnight score of 102 for four, Australia rode both luck and pluck before eventually folding for 268 -- still 201 runs behind India's first innings total of 469
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh (Day 3): India 469 & 100 for 0 v Australia 268
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh, Day 2: India takes control on day two
Oct 18, 2008India assumed a commanding position at stumps on day two of the second Test against Australia in Mohali on Saturday.
Australia, replying to India's first innings of 469, reached the close of play at 4 for 102, having lost Michael Clarke (23) to the bowling of debutant spinner Amit Mishra on the second last delivery of the day.
Earlier, Sourav Ganguly starred with the bat for the Indians with an innings of 102, while stand-in captain MS Dhoni contributed what was often exciting 92.
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh (Day 2): India 469 all out (129.0 overs) v Australia 102 for 4 (40.5 overs)
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh, Day 1: Tendulkar guides India to safety
Oct 17, 2008Sachin Tendulkar eclipsed Brian Lara’s world record for most Test runs to help India reach 311 for five on the first day of the second Test against Australia.
Tendulkar reached the milestone on 15, surpassing the 11,953 runs Lara scored before he retired from international cricket in 2007. Tendulkar hit 88 after Australian left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson led a splendid fightback on a good batting pitch.
India, who began well after winning the toss, wobbled after Johnson’s double strike before tea saw three wickets tumble for 17 runs. Tendulkar added 142 runs for the fifth wicket with Saurav Ganguly until he fell short of his 40th Test hundred. Ganguly was 54 not out at stumps with Ishant Sharma on two.
Opening batsman Gautam Gambhir scored 67 and added 70 runs with Virender Sehwag (35) for the first wicket and 76 with Rahul Dravid (39) for the next. Johnson ended the day with three for 68. The first match of the four-Test series ended in a draw.
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh (Day 1): India 311 for 5 (85.0 overs) v Australia
IND v AUS, 2nd Test, Chandigarh: Heavy rains hamper ground preparations at Mohali
Oct 16, 2008Gale and heavy rains in the early hours on Wednesday once again affected the ground preparations as the PCA ground at Mohali, which will host the second Test between India and Australia on Friday, was left flooded.
"The sudden change in weather has somewhat affected our preparations. Our covers were blown up and outfield was left flooded," Chairman of BCCI Grounds and Pitches Committee and PCA curator, Daljit Singh said. He said the practice pitches were also left wet though luckily "the match wicket was saved". "We are putting in our best efforts to give a good wicket for the upcoming game," Singh said.
"The north westerly gale which lasted for over 30 minutes had maximum wind speed of 76 kmph. It was accompanied by heavy rains and hailstorm," Director of the Chandigarh based Meteorological Department, Chattar Singh told PTI.
The positive side was that a bright sun shine had come out during the day today raising hopes that the weather was holding good, Daljit said.
However, Chattar Singh said that there were a few weather systems that were active over the region which could again result in a few spell of rains until tomorrow.
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 5: India drew with Australia
Oct 12, 2008The first Test of the Border-Gavaskar series between India and Australia ended in a draw in Bangalore. VVS Laxman (42) and Sourav Ganguly (26) remained unbeaten.
Though the series is held 0-0, Australia definitely have some advantage going into the second Test at Mohali. While their batsmen chipped in with runs at crucial moments, including Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey's hundreds, their bowlers did not let India's famed batting line-up score big. Had it not been fighting knocks from Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan in the first innings, India would have been in deep trouble. Zaheer was the only India player who looked to trouble the opposition, both with the ball and the bat. Hopes dashed once again for Sachin Tendulkar as he failed to take over Brian Lara's record of highest Test runs as Cameron White claimed him as his maiden wicket. And the wait continues for the Little Master!
When Australia declared their innings for 298 runs on Monday morning, match suddenly opened up for both the sides but it reached its anti-climax. Australia batted half an hour and added just 35 runs before inviting India to bat. Losing five wickets on Sunday, Aussies lost one wicket of Shane Watson on the last day.
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 5: Australia 430 & 228-6 (73.0 overs) drew with India 360 & 177-4 (73.0 overs)
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 4: Watson and Haddin steady Australia against India
Oct 12, 2008Shane Watson and Brad Haddin shared a crucial 65-run partnership to help Australia retain the initiative as it struggled to 193 for 5 wickets Sunday, taking a lead of 263 into the final day of the first cricket Test against India.
India's on-song bowling attack made the visitors work hard for every run, taking 3-29 midway through the final session to reduce Australia to 128-5. But Watson scored 32 not out and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was also unbeaten on 28 to ease the pressure as Australia struggled to build a potentially match-winning total.
Australia, who took a 70-run advantage into its second innings after dismissing India for 360 in the morning session, found scoring extremely tough on a deteriorating wicket and against some excellent Indian bowling. Reported Earlier: Australia lost two key second innings wickets as they increased their lead to 144 runs on the fourth day of the first cricket Test against India.
The tourists went to tea at 74-2 on a deteriorating wicket, with opener Simon Katich on 21 and Michael Hussey on 12. Opener Matthew Hayden was given out leg-before to Zaheer Khan by Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf for the second time in the match, but TV replays indicated the ball would have missed the leg-stump.
Skipper Ricky Ponting was snapped up low at short mid-wicket by Venkatsai Laxman off seamer Ishant Sharma for 17.
Australia, who made 430 in their first innings, gained a lead of 70 runs when India notched up 360 in reply at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 4: Australia 430 & 193-5 (68.0 overs) v India 360 all out (119.0 overs)
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 3: India fights back against Australia on third day
Oct 11, 2008India staged a spirited fightback to recover to 313 for 8 wickets at stumps Saturday after Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson rocked its top order on the third day of the first Test.
India rallied when Harbhajan Singh scored an entertaining 54 from 110 balls - his fifth Test half-century - and combined in a frenetic 80-run partnership with Zaheer Khan (35).
The pair joined forces with India struggling at 232-7 and took advantage of some lazy work by Australia with the second new ball. By stumps India had cut the first-innings deficit to 117. Reported Earlier: India were struggling to avoid the follow-on as the hosts were reduced to 210 for six at tea on the third day of the first cricket Test against Australia.
Sourav Ganguly (38) and Harbhajan Singh (12) were at the crease with India requiring another 21 runs to put on the board, if they want the Australians to bat again in the match.
Left-handed Ganguly, playing in his last Test series, holds the key for India and with him is off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who played some glorious drives helping India got past the 200-run mark.
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 3: Australia 430 all out (149.5 overs) v India 313 for 8 (101.0 overs)
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 2: India start well after Hussey's stubborn century
Oct 10, 2008India made a spirited reply to Australia's 430 in the first Test here on Friday, reaching 68 without loss in their first innings by the close of the second day's play.
Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir easily negotiated a tricky 18.1 overs before heavy rain brought an early end to the day's play that was marked by a solid century from the ever-reliable Michael Hussey. The consistent left-hander shored up Australia's first innings with a gritty 146 before he was last man out soon after tea.
Sehwag began in his typical aggressive style, smashing seven boundaries against the four-man Australian pace attack on the way to 43 not out. His Delhi team mate Gambhir was unbeaten on 20.
Australia, who resumed on their overnight score of 254-4, lost all-rounder Shane Watson in the third over of the day, bowled off-stump by a sharp inswinger from Sharma. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin put on 91 for the sixth wicket with Hussey, contributing 33.
Sharma removed Haddin and debutant Cameron White in the space of three overs after lunch but Brett Lee (27) helped Hussey along by adding 59 for the eighth wicket. Sharma had Haddin and White caught in the cover region off deliveries that came off the barren pitch slowly, an indication that batting may become difficult as the Test progresses.
Hussey, who was on 49 when Watson was out, took charge with three boundaries off Zaheer, two of them exquisite cover drives and the third a ferocious pull to square-leg. The West Australian also swung Harbhajan for six over the midwicket fence.
Zaheer claimed the last three Australian wickets in the space of 14 runs after tea, shattering the stumps of Lee, Mitchell Johnson and finally Hussey. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting Thursday notched his 36th career Test century, just three behind record holder Sachin Tendulkar's tally of 39.
The visitors were helped along towards their big total by shabby Indian fielding, highlighted by retiring former captain Sourav Ganguly letting the ball pass through his legs at mid-off. Ganguly, 36, said on Tuesday he will retire from international cricket after the four-Test series ends.
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 2: Australia 430 all out (149.5 overs) v India 68 for 0 (18.1 overs)
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 1: Australia reaches 254-4 on opening day of first cricket Test against India
Oct 09, 2008Australia captain Ricky Ponting scored his 36th Test century Thursday, but his team lost a wicket in the final over of the opening day to finish at 254 for four wickets in the first Test against India.
Ponting controlled proceedings throughout his innings of 123 - his first hundred in India - that took him past former India captain Sunil Gavaskar into sixth place on the Test run-scoring list with 10,222. Simon Katich provided support with 66 at Chinnaswamy Stadium and Mike Hussey chipped in with 46 not out.
Zaheer Khan took a wicket in the first and last overs of the day, having opener Matthew Hayden caught by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 0 and then dismissing Michael Clarke for 11 with the second new ball. Ponting started the match determined to make up for a poor record in India, having previously scored just 172 runs from eight Tests in the country over 12 years.
After winning the toss, he came to the wicket early after Hayden was out on the third ball of the innings. Hayden, returning from a heel injury that kept him out of the West Indies tour, brushed his pad with his bat but appeared to miss the ball. He remained at the crease for a short time after the decision from umpire Asad Rauf.
Ponting, whose previous best score in India was 60 in 1998, showed his class in a partnership of 166 with Katich. The captain struck 13 boundaries, the best being a cover drive to bring up his half-century, in 243 balls.
"I've been working really hard," Ponting said. "I've made no secret of it, my record here has been poor. Today is one step in the right direction. It was nice to get some runs out there and put the team in a good position. But one innings doesn't make a tour." Shortly after tea, he reached three figures with a push behind point off Anil Kumble and celebrated by swinging his bat, pumping his arms and acknowledging the Australian dressing room and the few visiting supporters in the stands.
There were moments of trouble for Ponting. He was struck on his pads a couple of times by Ishant Sharma, who also forced a nasty inside edge when the Australian was on 78. Kumble was convinced Ponting should have been out caught-and-bowled on 110, but umpire Rudi Koertzen disagreed after consulting with Rauf. India's captain also appealed furiously for lbw when Ponting was 116, although the ball appeared to be heading over the stumps.
One of Ponting's main concerns before the match was offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who had dismissed him eight times previously. He glanced his first ball from Harbhajan to the fine-leg boundary and showed few signs of discomfort until his exit. Two lofted fours off the bowler to mid-wicket were among his best shots, along with an off-drive from Kumble to move to 99.
Late in the day, Harbhajan dismissed Ponting for a ninth time with a contentious lbw decision that left Australia on 226-3. Hussey and Clarke almost made it to stumps, but Clarke fell lbw to Khan's ultimately final ball of the day. "It has been a pretty good day for us," Ponting said. "One for none after three balls, I was out there early, and we managed to consolidate throughout the day. We lost two wickets late in the day, which was a bit disappointing for us, but overall we're in a pretty good position."
Katich, who replaced Phil Jaques as Hayden's opening partner, was cautious before lunch but started to expand his stroke-play in the second session. His 50 came from 122 deliveries with an off-side boundary from Harbhajan. India rotated all four of its specialist bowlers, but Sharma was the only one to create regular bouts of discomfort for the batsmen. He was finally rewarded when he removed Katich off an edge to Dhoni shortly before tea. Khan had the best figures of 2-39, while Sharma collected 1-49 and Harbhajan 1-71. Sharma was happier with India's position following Khan's removal of Clarke.
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore, Day 1: Australia 254 for 4 v India
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore: Ponting, Katich flay India after early shock in cricket Test
Oct 09, 2008Skipper Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich overcame the first-over dismissal of Matthew Hayden to lead Australia's fightback in the first cricket Test against India on Thursday.
The second-wicket pair, who came together without a run on the board, put on 166 for the second wicket in good batting conditions to lift the tourists to 166-2 by tea on the opening day. Ponting set aside his disappointing average of 12.27 in eight previous Tests on Indian soil, to remain unbeaten on a well-crafted 94 at the break.
Left-handed Katich, who hit back-to-back centuries on the last Test tour of the West Indies earlier this year, provided able support with 66 before he was dismissed just before tea. Katich poked at a ball outside the off-stump from seamer Ishant Sharma and walked away frustrated after the edge was easily taken by wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Michael Hussey had yet to open his account.
Ponting, who won the toss and elected to take first strike, has so far hit 12 boundaries in his highest knock in India, surpassing the 60 he made in Kolkata in 1998. The Australian captain is playing his 200th Test innings, making him only the fourth batsman from his country after Allan Border and the Waugh brothers, Steve and Mark, to achieve the feat.
The four-match series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy began in dramatic fashion when Zaheer Khan had veteran Hayden caught behind with the third delivery of the match. Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf took time to raise his finger as Hayden stood his ground, but television replays suggested a faint edge before the ball carried to Dhoni.
As Ponting and Katich settled down, India introduced spin in the 13th over in the form of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, and skipper Anil Kumble himself came on with his leg-spin in the 18th. But both batsmen were unruffled on the easy-paced wicket, Ponting reaching his 50 by driving Zaheer through the covers for his seventh boundary.
Australia left out off-spinner Jason Krejza from the 12 announced on Wednesday to give Victorian leg-spinner Cameron White his Test debut. India went in with two seamers in Zaheer and Sharma and two spinners in Kumble and Harbhajan on a wicket that is expected to turn later in the match.
IND v AUS, 1st Test, Bangalore: Australia to target India veterans in first cricket Test
Oct 09, 2008Australia captain Ricky Ponting says his team will target India's aging batsmen, including star Sachin Tendulkar, when the opening match of the four-Test cricket series starts Thursday.
Australia will field a relatively inexperienced team, but Ponting said his youthful lineup will try to make some of their opponents look "past their use-by date." "That's what we're trying to achieve, to put their older guys under immense pressure," he said. "We know if we do that, and make little things stand out, their whole media over here will just jump on them, especially if they lose an early game."
India will once again rely heavily on its so called "Fab Four," made up of veterans Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman. Former captain Ganguly, 36, announced Tuesday he will retire after the Australia tour, and Ponting now wants to put pressure on the other three.
Australia has outlined its strategy to bowl at the batsmen instead of the usual ploy of delivering outside the off stump, a method which was successful on the Indian tour of 2003-04. India coach Gary Kirsten, a former South Africa Test opener, said his big-name players were ready for the tactic.
"We are very aware of what their plans are and we have prepared accordingly," Kirsten said. "We really what we are looking for is for a few of them to get into good form early in the series. " Australia also has concerns over its older players - including opener Matthew Hayden, who returns after missing the West Indies series with a heel problem - and a bowling attack that is untried in India.
Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson have never played a Test in India, and Australia will wait until Thursday to decide whether Cameron White or Jason Krejza make their debut and fills the slow-bowling spot. "Our spinners are young and inexperienced at Test level, but if you look at our fast bowlers, those guys are very skilled and talented," Ponting said. "There's no reason why our fast bowlers alone can't win us this Test series."
Vice-captain Michael Clarke is suffering from a stomach illness but will play, while Shane Watson has been recalled to bat at No. 6. Simon Katich has beaten his New South Wales teammate Phil Jaques to the opening position alongside Hayden. Ganguly, who has scored 6,888 runs in 109 Tests, added some extra motivation for the home side when he revealed plans to step down at the end of the series. Ponting said the decision would ensure extra scrutiny on Ganguly's top-order teammates.
"By him making that announcement, it will take a lot of pressure off him," he said. "He's not playing for the next Test or next series. A lot of their senior players will be in this series. If you look at Laxman, Sachin and Dravid, they'll all be so wrapped up to get runs in this series to give them another opportunity." India is expected to choose two spinners for the first Test, with captain Anil Kumble pairing with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, the 20-year-old fast bowler who impressed in Australia, are likely to share the new-ball duties.
Kumble, who turns 38 this month, said the Bangalore Test would be his last on his home ground, but refused to outline his exit plan. "I like to take things as they come," he said.
Harbhajan has had a prickly relationship with the Australians throughout his career, but is a big threat after taking 61 wickets against them in 11 Tests, including 55 in seven games at home. He is a particular threat to Ponting, who he has dismissed nine times. Ponting has only 172 runs from eight matches in India and is looking to correct one of the few weaknesses in his game. "For me it's just a matter of trusting myself," he said. "The series here in '01, the really bad series, was when I didn't trust my technique and was trying to find a way in every innings to combat mainly Harbhajan. "I've learned a lot and come a long way as a player since then."
Australia holds the Border-Gavaskar trophy after its 2-1 series victory at home in 2007-08, but the side has arrived in India with an outfit that includes only four players - Ponting, Hayden, Clarke and Katich - with Test experience here. In 2004 those players were part of the drought-breaking series victory, Australia's first in the country since 1969.
Skipper Ricky Ponting says Australia can handle Indian spinners
Oct 06, 2008Australian skipper Ricky Ponting believes his team is equipped to handle Indian spinners, who are expected to pose a big threat to the tourists in the four-Test series that begins Thursday.
Australia drew its only warm-up match Sunday against the Board President's XI where the touring team's vulnerability to spin was exposed by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha. Nine wickets in Australia's first innings of the warmup game fell to the spinners but Ponting is unfazed going into the opening Test.
"When they are bowling 75 per cent of their overs with spin, the chances are that you are going to lose wickets to them at some stage," said Ponting, ahead of Monday's departure to Bangalore, venue for the series opener. "That's the way the Indians play their cricket, the spinners do bowl a lot of overs. I don't think it was disappointing for us," he said. "When we get to Bangalore we will fine-tune our preparations."
Michael Hussey was the only Australian batsman who made good use of the warmup game, scoring 126 and featuring in a 96-run partnership for the last wicket with Stuart Clark that saved the visitors from an embarrassing follow-on. "I think the two spinners who played here are definitely good enough to play test cricket and would be successful at that level," said Hussey. "They bowled well in tandem and they put a lot of pressure on the batsmen."
Chawla and Ojha do not feature in India's Test squad, where the spin attack will be led by skipper Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. "It was very important, very good to get some time out in the middle," Hussey said. Hussey said the Australian batsmen just need "a bit more time and they'll be fine."
"Coming into a Test match, our intensity levels will rise another cog and we will be definitely up for the battle," Hussey said. Hussey felt skipper Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin batted quite well against the prodigious spinners. "I thought Ricky looked really good, he was beaten by a pretty good ball from Chawla" in the first innings, said Hussey.
"Matthew Hayden is a class player and has been successful in Indian conditions, while Michael Clarke is our best player of spin bowling," he said. Returning from injury, Ponting was pleased with his form after hitting an unbeaten 58 in the second innings.
"The time I spent in the middle in this game will hold me in good stead," said Ponting. "I'm back from an injury, which always makes it a little hard to get going."
BP XI v AUS, warm up match, Hyderabad: Yuvraj, Jaffer flay Aussies in drawn India tour cricket match
Oct 05, 2008Indian Test rejects Yuvraj Singh and Wasim Jaffer enhanced their claims for a comeback by pounding Australia's bowlers in a practice match on Sunday.
Left-handed Yuvraj struck a belligerent 113 with seven sixes and as many boundaries while Jaffer hit 93 for the Indian Board President's XI on the final day of the four-day match here. The hosts piled up 292-4 in their second innings before skipper Yuvraj declared 50 minutes after lunch to set the tourists an improbable victory target of 434 in a minimum of 53 overs.
Australia used the time for valuable batting practice ahead of the first Test in Bangalore on Thursday, making 127-2 before the match was called off as a draw after 38 overs. Skipper Ricky Ponting, looking to make amends for a disappointing average of 12 in eight Tests on Indian soil, followed his 41 in the first innings with an unbeaten 58.
Vice-captain Michael Clarke made 36 not not, sharing a third wicket stand of 75 with Ponting after openers Simon Katich and Matthew Hayden had fallen cheaply. The tourists were embarrassed by India's second string over the four days, first allowing the hosts to pile up 455 in the first innings before being bowled out for 314 in reply.
The reliable Mike Hussey's gritty 126 on Saturday was the lone bright spot for the world's number one side, who struggled to cope with a slow, barren pitch. Yuvraj and Jaffer, excluded by the selectors for the first two Tests of the four-match series, vented their frustration on the hapless bowlers.
The pair put on 200 for the third wicket as the home team, resuming at 110-2 with an overall lead of 251 runs, hammered 130 runs in the two-hour morning session. They were particularly severe on rookie off-spinner Jason Krejza, effectively ending the Tasmanian's hopes of playing the first Test by plundering 63 runs from his six overs before lunch. Krejza, who returned figures of 0-123 in the first innings, was hammered for 76 runs in 11 overs in the second.
"Australia will definitely miss a quality spinner in the series," said Yuvraj. "Shane Warne is not there now, so the fast bowlers have a real tough job on their hands. "But it would be foolish to underestimate the Aussies. They always have a plan and will prove to be formidable opponents."
Ponting defended Krejza, 25, who has taken over as the team's number one spinner after leggie Bryce McGain was sent home due to a shoulder injury. "For him it's all a learning curve," said the Australian captain. "There is no doubt he has got the skills and he has got the talent. "But he has just got to work out for himself, and we have got to work out in a pretty short time how we are going to best use him."
Australia lose injured McGain for India cricket tour
Oct 02, 2008Australia's spin woes deepened in India on Friday when ageing leg-spinner Bryce McGain was ordered to return home because of a shoulder injury.
The 36-year-old Victorian, who sustained the injury during last month's Indian tour by the Australian 'A' team, missed the ongoing four-day match against the Board President's XI here. Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said the decision to send McGain home was made after it was confirmed he would not be able to bowl for the majority of the tour.
"Bryce suffered a setback at training on Tuesday in an attempt to be available for the four-day match," Kountouris said in a Cricket Australia statement. "As a result, it has been decided that Bryce will not be available for selection for the majority of the tour."
A decision on who will replace McGain for the four-Test series, which starts next week, will be taken after Australian chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch arrives here early Saturday. It is expected that left-armer Beau Casson, a surprise exclusion from the original squad after making his Test debut in the Caribbean earlier this year, will be the likely replacement.
McGain was widely tipped to make his Test debut as the first choice spinner ahead of fellow newcomer Jason Krejza, who went for 0-123 in the practice match earlier on Friday. The world champions are struggling to throw up a quality spinner following the retirements of legendary Shane Warne and fellow wrist spinner Stuart McGill in quick succession over the last two years.
The series for the Border Gavaskar Trophy opens in Bangalore next Thursday, followed by back-to-back Tests in Mohali, New Delhi and Nagpur.
BP XI v AUS, warm up match, Hyderabad: Australia recovers from top-order slump in cricket warmup against India
Oct 03, 2008Mike Hussey's unbeaten 54 helped Australia recover from a top-order slump to reach 191-4 at stumps on day two Friday of the warmup game against an Indian Cricket Board President's XI.
Hussey and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (34 not out) steered the tourists out of trouble in an unbroken 63-run fifth-wicket stand that moved them to within 264 runs of the home team's total of 455. The Board President's XI added 84 runs to the overnight total of 371-6, with Parthiv Patel (62) and Irfan Pathan (56) posting half-centuries to frustrate Australia's bowlers, for whom pace bowler Stuart Clarke (3-68) took two wickets Friday.
The other Friday wickets were shared by fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson (4-74) and Peter Siddle (2-64). Australia got off to a bad start as seam bowler Pathan (1-50) had Matthew Hayden (20) caught behind and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha (1-44) dismissed the other opener Simon Katich (15).
Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (2-46) then snared skipper Ricky Ponting (41) and his deputy Michael Clarke (18), reducing Australia to 128-4 before Hussey and Haddin got together to repair some damage. Hussey struck one six and seven fours in countering the threat posed by spinners Chawla and Ojha, while Haddin's knock contained one six and five fours.
BP XI v AUS, warm up match, Hyderabad: India board batsmen dominate Australia
Oct 02, 2008India Test aspirants Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli slammed centuries Thursday as Australia toiled in the field on day one of its warmup game against the Cricket Board President's XI.
Sharma and Kohli posted identical scores of 105 and shared a 146-run partnership for the fifth wicket that boosted Board President's XI to 371-6 at stumps on the first day of the four-day contest. Sharma struck four sixes and 11 fours from 144 deliveries, while Kohli hit one six and 14 fours off 146 balls.
Batting first after winning the toss, Board President's XI openers Aakash Chopra (25) and Wasim Jaffer (19) added 47 runs before Jaffer pulled pace bowler Stuart Clark straight to Mitchell Johnson at fine-leg. Chopra departed soon after, falling lbw to become the first scalp for Johnson (3-62).
Subramaniam Badrinath then fell lbw to Peter Siddle (1-41) after scoring just two runs. Board President's XI captain Yuvraj Singh appeared in good form as he struck five boundaries in his 47-ball 29, but fell when caught in two minds against a rising delivery from Johnson, edging the ball to Michael Hussey in the slips.
Yuvraj's exit brought Kohli in to join Sharma and the pair dominated the Australian attack, which missed the services of allrounder Shane Watson who had not recovered from a viral infection. Sharma moved from 86 to 98 with two successive sixes against off-spinner Jason Krejza (0-123), whose struggles on day one highlighted Australia's dearth of spin options. Sharma completed his century by driving left-arm spinner Michael Clarke (0-45) to the mid-off fence, before falling as he pulled Johnson straight to Krejza at square-leg.
Kohli also reached his century in style with a cover driven four off pace ace Brett Lee (1-30), who had his revenge soon by trapping the batsman lbw. Parthiv Patel (49 not out) and Irfan Pathan (17 not out) denied Australian bowlers further success and saw the home team through to the close.
The first test starts Oct. 9 in the southern city of Bangalore.
Ganguly included for first two Tests against Australia
Oct 01, 2008Sourav Ganguly's Test career today received fresh lease of life with the newly-appointed national selection panel naming him in India's 15-member squad for the first two Tests against Australia starting October 9.
Virtually ignoring the previous selection committee's stand on the elegant left-hander, the new team of selectors -- headed by former captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth -- included the 36-year-old Ganguly in the squad which also has Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath and Delhi leg-spinner Amit Mishra as the two new faces. After being dropped from the Rest of India squad for the Irani Cup match, Ganguly's selection was a subject of intense speculation with rumours being rife that he might quit the game if omitted from the national side.
While Badrinath and Mishra got the selectors' nod, middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh was ignored yet again for the longer version of the game. Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Kaarthick and Pragyan Ojha, who figured in the Indian squad during the last Test series against Sri Lanka, were omitted from the team announced by new secretary S Srinvisan through a press release.
Immediately after the team was announced, there was speculation that Ganguly had been given the opportunity for an "honourable exit" but it could not be immediately confirmed whether the BCCI indeed had such plans. Indian Team: Anil Kumble (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, R P Singh, S Badrinath, Amit Mishra.
ICC moves to douse fire before India-Australia Tests
Oct 01, 2008Cricket's governing body on Wednesday took pre-emptive steps to ensure the upcoming Test series between India and Australia is free from acrimony and bitterness.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) kept umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson off the roster for the eagerly awaited four-match series starting in Bangalore on October 9. The duo officiated in the ill-tempered Sydney Test between the two nations earlier this year that almost saw India pulling out of the series after a string of controversial decisions.
An angry India agreed to continue the tour only after the ICC pacified them by standing down West Indian Bucknor from the subsequent Perth Test, which he was due to officiate. England's Benson had not been named for the rest of the series.
Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Asad Rauf of Pakistan will umpire the first two Tests in Bangalore and Mohali, while New Zealand's Billy Bowden will join Pakistani Aleem Dar for the other two in New Delhi and Nagpur. Former England batsman Chris Broad will be the match referee for the entire series, which ends on November 10.
The Sydney Test ended a pre-series agreement that the fielder's word will be taken for disputed catches and Australian captain Ricky Ponting was unsure it will be in place for the current tour. "I will have a think about it over the next couple of days and see if I think it is the right idea to bring it up again," Ponting, in Hyderabad for the four-day tour opener from Thursday, said.
He stressed that Indian captain Anil Kumble had ended the agreement after Sydney and could oppose it again. "Anil was the one who did not want that after the Sydney Test for one reason or the other," the Australian skipper said. "To me it's like flogging a dead horse, to tell the truth. I go to every referee meeting before a series wanting to play the game like that, but almost every other captain in the world is not interested."
Ponting hoped a chat with Kumble at the referee's traditional pre-series meeting in Bangalore would ensure the Tests were played in the right spirit. "We will have a chat and it's important to us Australians to play the game in the right spirit and embrace the culture," he said. "Anyway, we did meet during the middle of the last series before the Perth Test and spoke a lot about the way we should play in the remaining Test matches there. "We know lots will be made in the media about the apparent tension between the two sides. But even last summer, the tension was not as high as it was made out to be."
Australia, the world's number one side, are hoping to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy they won by identical 2-1 margins in the last two series in 2004 and earlier this year.
Aussies plan to delay Tendulkar cricket record bid
Sept 30, 2008Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said Tuesday his team will try their best to make Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar struggle for his world record in the upcoming Test series.
Tendulkar needs just 77 runs to beat retired West Indies captain Brian Lara's landmark of 11,953 and is expected to reach the milestone in the four-Test series beginning in Bangalore on October 9.
"I don't have too many great memories of him because he tends to score heavily against us," Ponting said. "I have the highest regard for him. He is a true champion, one of the all-time greats, and reaching this milestone would be a great reward for him. "But we are here to win and know pretty well that we have to dismiss him early if we are to win here. We have come here with a few plans for him and hope our plans click."
Tendulkar, who has averaged 56 against Australia in 25 Tests, already holds three world records -- the highest number of runs in one-day internationals (16,361) and most centuries in Tests (39) and one-dayers (42).
Key Australian paceman Brett Lee said he had been looking forward to bowling to one of the great batsmen. "He is a world-class player who has proved himself over more than a decade," said Lee. "You talk about Don Bradman, Lara, Sachin and probably Ricky. It is an honour to bowl to Sachin and getting his wicket is the ultimate prize."
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson said it was always a challenge to bowl to Tendulkar. "I don't want to make any prediction but I can say it is going to be a great challenge (to bowl to him)," said Johnson.
Tendulkar said Monday he was not focusing on the world record but on the team's performance. "I just have to go and play my best. Records will come if you keep playing well. My mind is not on the 77 runs and it is not as if I can relax after getting these runs," he said. "For the four Tests against Australia the team has some targets and I am more focused on those."
Tendulkar was recently declared fit for the Australia Tests after missing the one-day series in Sri Lanka last month due to an elbow injury. Australia play their only practice game before the series here from October 2. The Bangalore Test will be followed by back-to-back matches in Mohali, New Delhi and Nagpur.
Australia happy to play in Delhi
Sept 29, 2008Cricket Australia have no plans to demand a change of location for the third Test against India next month despite another bomb in Delhi.
The team, which pulled out of a scheduled tour to Pakistan earlier this year because of safety fears, will have increased security for the four-Test series but will await feedback from experts before making a decision on the Delhi Test.
CA spokesman Peter Young told the Sydney Morning Herald: "We are not due to go to New Delhi for the best part of a month and I would guess that unless our security advice changes I wouldn't expect our plans to change."
He added: "Certainly the briefings we have been getting have suggested no immediate need to change our processes. Our advice is that there is no specific concern about cricket."
Indian cricket squad to be named on Oct 1
Sept 29, 2008The Indian cricket squad for the first two tests against Australia will be selected in Mumbai on October 1.
"The 14-member team for the first two Tests is to be picked on October 1 in Mumbai. There is a likelihood of the selectors linking up with Anil Kumble, who is expected to be chosen to lead the team, and coach Gary Kirsten in Bangalore," Cricket board sources said. There is also a possibility that the selection will be done by linking up the selectors through a tele-conference, they said.
The reason for the selectors having a tele-conference with the captain and coach is because the camp for the India probables has already commenced at Bangalore and they may not like to leave the camp, sources said. The captain and the coach of the team will give their inputs to the selectors but do not have a vote while choosing the team.
The first Test will commence in Bangalore from October 9 while the second is scheduled at Mohali from 17. It is the first meeting of the newly appointed paid selection panel with former India captain Krish Srikkanth at the helm.
The other members of the panel, appointed at the boards's AGM in Mumbai on September 27, are Yashpal Sharma, Narendra Hirwani, Raja Venkat and Surendra Bhave.
Australian players told to be extra cautious
Sept 28, 2008The Australian cricket squad's security officer has told the touring players to be extra careful following a bomb blast in New Delhi that killed two people and injured 22 others.
"We are a bit more cautious and the players have been advised accordingly," Frank Dimasi told The Associated Press on Sunday as the Australian team finished its weeklong training stint in Jaipur. "The security here in Jaipur has not been a problem." Australian squad spokesman Matthew Slade said Cricket Australia had been briefed about Saturday's bombing.
"There's a process that we have to undergo during such incidents to take a view of the situation," Slade said. "It seems there is no immediate urgency to take any drastic step. "We don't think there is going to be a problem, but something definite can be said only after collecting data and information related to team security."
Australia is scheduled to play the third test against India from Oct. 29 in New Delhi, which was also hit by a series of bombs two weeks ago that killed 21 people and wounded about 100 others. After those bombings, Cricket Australia sought a review of the security situation before asking its players to proceed on the tour.
Meanwhile, the Press Trust of India said India's federal interior ministry issued a directive to states and cities hosting the Australian team's matches, asking for a strengthening of security measures. Australia plays a four-day warmup match against the Indian Cricket Board President's XI in the southern city of Hyderabad next week before the first test starts from Oct. 9 in Bangalore. Mohali and Nagpur are the other test venues on the tour.
Australia rookies Doug Bollinger (3-9) and Jason Krejza (3-35) enjoyed success as the tourists quickly ran through the Rajasthan Cricket Academy XI on Sunday to wrap up the two-day match. Fast bowler Brett Lee claimed 2-17 as the academy team was bowled out for 122, in reply to Australia's total of 218.
Yuvraj to lead in Australia's warm-up match
Sept 23, 2008Test discard Yuvraj Singh gets a chance to return to the Indian team after being picked on Tuesday to lead the hosts in a warm-up match for the touring Australians.
The elegant left-hander will captain the Indian board president's XI in the four-day match beginning in Hyderabad on October 2, said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Singh, a regular in India's one-day and Twenty20 side, has played only 23 Tests since his debut in 2003, scoring 1,050 runs at an average of 32.81 with three centuries.
He was dropped for the recent Test series in Sri Lanka and was not considered for the five-day Irani Cup domestic tie, regarded as a trial match for the Australian series, which begins in Vadodara on Wednesday.
The board president's squad of 15 includes 12 current or former India internationals like Wasim Jaffer, Aakash Chopra, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth. The match will be Australia's lone first-class match before the four-Test series opens in Bangalore on October 9. The remaining back-to-back Tests will be played in Mohali, New Delhi and Nagpur. Indian board president's squad: Yuvraj Singh (Captain), Subramaniam Badrinath, Wasim Jaffer, Aakash Chopra, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), Irfan Pathan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ojha, Pankaj Singh, Manpreet Gony, Yogesh Takawale, Rakesh Dhurv.
Australian cricket team arrives for test tour of India
Sept 22, 2008The Australian cricket team led by Ricky Ponting arrived here today for a four-Test tour of India commencing at Bangalore on October 9.
The squad did not come out of the international terminal and were scheduled to take a connecting flight from the domestic terminal to Jaipur, according to Cricket Board sources.
The team is scheduled to play a few practice games in Jaipur before reaching Hyderababd on September 29 to commence official part of the tour, they added.
The stay at Jaipur and practice matches against Rajasthan Cricket Academy has been arranged by the Rajasthan Cricket Association and not the Cricket Board.
Ponting seeks to play India cricket series in right spirit
Sept 21, 2008Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Sunday he was hopeful next month's four-Test cricket series with India will be played in the right spirit.
The 15-man Australian squad left here late Sunday with only four players armed with Test match experience in India. The nations were embroiled in an acrimonious series in Australia this year with Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh banned for three matches for allegedly racially abusing Australian allrounder Andrew Symonds during the second Test in Sydney in January. The suspension was later overturned following an appeal hearing, but the relations between the two sides deteriorated as senior Australian batsman Matthew Hayden called Harbhajan an "obnoxious weed" on radio during the subsequent one-day series.
Ponting said a number of major issues would be discussed by the teams during the traditional pre-series referees meeting and he was hopeful next month's matches would be played in the right spirit. "There's been a very healthy rivalry between India and Australia in one-day and Test cricket and our last few Test encounters have been very good and some very close results," Ponting told reporters before the team's departure. "Hopefully, this is another great series played in the right spirit."
Ponting said although he had security concerns on his mind in the wake of a suicide attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed 53 people and wounded 266 in neighbouring Pakistan, he expressed no reservations about security issues in India. But Ponting admitted security was on his mind as he said farewell to his wife and baby daughter. "I've done it all day today, I've had a lot of discussions with my wife today about those exact issues," Ponting said. "Our advice was not to go to Pakistan and the advice that we received the last few weeks to tour India has been positive."
Ponting said he was determined to address his own poor record in India, having scored only one 50 in 14 Test innings there and averaging just 12 as opposed to his career mark of 58. "I've had a couple of disappointing Test series (in India). In 2001, I made next to no runs," Ponting said. "The last series over there that we won, I broke my thumb and missed the first three Tests and came back for the last one, and that was the only one we lost. "It's certainly a void in my cricket resume in India and I'm obviously hoping to rectify that over the next six or seven weeks."
Ponting said the series represented a great challenge for Australia's cricketers. "There's no doubt they (India) have got a lot more experience than we have going into this series," he said. "But I think we made too much of the conditions in India a lot of the time before we get there. "I think quite often the less that you talk about it and the more you just get to understand it, the people and the conditions, the better off you are over there."
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said substantial planning had gone into the Indian series. "The tour of India is an icon series for the Australian team and the selection process has been a highly detailed exercise," Hilditch said. "A lot of planning has gone in to how we want to play against the Indian team and how we go about that in Indian conditions." Australia's opening Test against India starts in Bangalore on October 9.
Toronto offered as alternative venue
Sept 18, 2008Canadian cricket authorities have offered Toronto as an alternative venue for the India-Australia series if Ricky Ponting-led Aussie team does not visit India because of security concerns.
“We hope the Aussie tour of India will go through. But if the Australians cancel their trip citing security concerns, we are willing to hold their matches here. Our proposal is not only for this series, but also for any such eventuality in the future,” Cricket Canada CEO Mr Atul Ahuja told. He added, “If security issues lead to cancellation of future tours to the sub-continent, Cricket Canada would request all the cricket boards - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - to help us build a Friendship Stadium in Toronto to serve as an alternative venue for the series cancelled for security reasons.” Mr Ahuja said he raised this issue when he was invited by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for the inauguration of the Indian Premier League in April. “I spoke with Mr Sharad Pawar, Arjuna Ranatunga of Sri Lanka Cricket and Mr Nasim Ashraf of the Pakistani Cricket Board at that time. They all said it is a good idea. Pawar was very sympathetic, but there was no follow up.”
He said he would take up the issue again if the Aussie tour of India does not take place. “In the current atmosphere, Toronto can be a solution to the problem. We used to host the Sahara Cup between India and Pakistan here, so why can't we be given the opportunity to hold the series which will otherwise be cancelled?”
The Cricket Canada CEO said this will help in the growth of cricket in Canada. “The staging of series between giants like Australia and India will give a major boost to cricket in our country and help us build world-class cricketing facilities,” he told. Asked whether Cricket Canada has the facilities to hold the current India-Australia series, he said, ''Our Maple Leaf ground is as per ICC norms. All we need is making seating arrangements around the ground. We are eager to have more and more cricket here.”
Ponting backs CA's decision to tour India
Sept 18, 2008Captain Ricky Ponting has defended Cricket Australia's decision to go ahead with India tour despite recent bomb blasts in New Delhi, saying the the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and independent security experts have given them green signal.
Terming the decision 'serious', Ponting told the Australian, "Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have obviously been in very close contact with CA over the last few days. "As we all know and has been outlined already, these are very different circumstances between India and Pakistan right at the moment and the Board has made that very clear."
He added that both as captain and player of the team he is comfortable to visit India on the advice of CA and the Australian Cricketer's Association. The skipper also welcomed volatile all-rounder Andrew Symonds decision to return to the game as a better person.
"I actually think there were some really positive signs over the last couple of days with Andrew," said Ponting. "He's fronted the media and admitted that there's some room for improvement in certain parts of his life," he added.
Security could still scupper Australia tour of India: Ponting
Sept 17, 2008Security concerns in the wake of a series of bomb attacks could still scupper the Australian cricket team's upcoming tour of India, captain Ricky Ponting indicated Wednesday.
The team and officials will constantly monitor the situation with the assistance of the Australian government ahead of their scheduled departure this weekend, Ponting said. "Anything could happen tomorrow, things change very quickly in the world right at the moment," he told reporters in Canberra.
"Cricket Australia will continue to be in touch and the government will continue to be in touch, and Cricket Australia will keep us players and the players' association in the loop on a daily, if not hourly basis." Cricket Australia said Tuesday the tour would go ahead despite five coordinated bomb blasts which ripped through crowded markets across the Indian capital on Saturday evening, killing more than 20 people.
The 15-man squad is due to leave this weekend with the first of four Tests starting in Bangalore on October 9. Delhi will host one Test match from October 29. Ponting said Australia's foreign affairs department had been providing detailed information to Cricket Australia about the security situation.
Cricket Australia general manager Michael Brown rejected claims that the tour of India would go ahead despite the bombings because of money or the power of Indian cricket's governing body. While there were reciprocal obligations with India in terms of tours, security would always be central to deciding whether a tour went ahead.
"The only reasons we can't play and participate is for security reasons and we'll keep monitoring those as time goes by," Brown said. Cricket Australia's decision to go ahead with the tour of India drew scathing criticism from Pakistan on Tuesday.
Australia was one of the nations that declined to tour Pakistan this month for the International Cricket Council's Champions Trophy on security grounds, which led to the tournament being put off by a year. Australia also refused to undertake a Test tour of Pakistan in March-April for similar security fears.
Cricket Australia confirms India tour
Sept 16, 2008Australia's tour of India will go ahead as planned although security around the team will be stepped up.
The four-Test trip had been in doubt after a series of bombs in New Delhi at the weekend which killed at least 20 and injured more than 90 others but Cricket Australia are satisfied the safety arrangements put in place are adequate and the players and support staff will leave for India as scheduled on September 21.
"Our advice is there are some concerns and to exercise caution, but currently they do not compromise the tour," Cricket Australia general manager of Public Affairs Peter Young said. Tight security arrangements are in place for the Australia A team now in India and will also be arranged for the Australia team for the four-Test tour, which includes a Test match in New Delhi starting on 29 October.
"In consultation with the BCCI, we have upgraded security in and around the dressing rooms and they will have an escort to the ground," Young said. "Australia A players have also been told not to leave the hotel without good reason. It's just a matter of prudence."
Australian cricket assesses India security
Sept 15, 2008Cricket Australia has asked its security adviser for an assessment on the situation in India after the bomb blasts in New Delhi.
The Australian squad is due to start a four test series in India next month, with the third test scheduled to be played in New Delhi from October 29.
The Australian team is due to fly to India on Sunday and play two warm up matches in Jaipur and Hyderabad.
Symonds left out of Australian squad for India
Sept 12, 2008All-rounder Andrew Symonds has been dropped from the Australian squad for the upcoming series against India. Cricket Australia on Friday omitted his name from the 15-member Test squad for the four-Test tour to India.
Symonds, who first broke the headlines accusing Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh for racially abusive remark, recently came into controversy again – this time in Australian media and cricket – when he was left out from a three-match ODI series against Bangladesh for missing a team meeting and instead choosing to go for fishing. Australian National Selection Panel Chairman Andrew Hilditch said: "Andrew Symonds was stood down for disciplinary reasons in Darwin and is now going through a process managed by Cricket Australia designed to give him time to assess whether he is fully committed to all of the things needed for a cricketer to be a member of the world's number one team."
Symonds omission has further pushed the inclusion of Shane Watson to return to the side. He has had a good domestic season and also had a successful IPL T20 start off while playing for Rajasthan Royals. The team has included two new spinners—leg-spinner Bryce McGain and off-spinner Jason Krejza. It will be certainly interesting to look at whether these two fill the gap of Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill and Brad Hogg.
Again fast bowlers like Brett Lee and Stuart Clark are yet to play their first Test match on Indian track though they have a good amount of experience of One-Day internationals. Australian Team: Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Doug Bollinger, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Bryce McGain, Peter Siddle, Shane Watson. The first test is scheduled to be played in Bangalore on October 9. The next is on Oct 17 in Mohali followed by matches in Delhi on Oct 29 and Nagpur on Nov 5.
Lee commits to India tour
Sept 4, 2008Paceman Brett Lee has committed himself to play in Australia's tour of India next month.
Lee is sitting out the current one-day international series against Bangladesh after Cricket Australia (CA) allowed him time away following the break-up of his marriage last month. However, the 31-year-old has indicated his willingness to rejoin the team for their four-Test tour of the sub-continent. "Absolutely. I'm looking forward to it. Can't wait," Lee said.
The news will come as some relief to CA with all-rounder Andrew Symonds likely to miss the tour as he contemplates his international future. Symonds was sent home one the eve of the first ODI against Bangladesh on Saturday for breaching team rules when he opted to go fishing instead of attending a compulsory team meeting.
CA will be hoping that time off invigorates Symonds in the same way it has apparently done so to Lee, who spoke glowingly of his desire to return and tour India. "I'll be looking forward to getting over there," he said.
"The crowds are brilliant, the people are so friendly and lovely. It's a tough place to play cricket but also one that is very enjoyable."
- Wed 26, Dec 2007 - Sun 30, Dec 2007 : First Test at Melbourne
- Wed 02, Jan 2008 - Sun 06, Jan 2008 : Second Test at Sydney
- Wed 16, Jan 2008 - Sun 20, Jan 2008 : Third Test at Perth
- Thu 24, Jan 2008 - Mon 28, Jan 2008 : Fourth Test at Adelaide Oval
- Fri 01, Feb 2008 : Twenty20 International at Melbourne