Sunday, January 27, 2008

Australia happy with 2–1?

Matthew Hayden speaking to the media after the third day’s play at Adelaide (emphasis mine).

They wanted us to be attacking. It was indicated by the way they didn’t take the new ball. It was perfect for us to bat time in the game. The way they’ve bowled has been perfect for us not to lose. If it’s wide outside off, we don't have to play. Australia are 2-1 up in the series and that’s the way we definitely want it to stay.

It seems to suggest the Australians are playing for a draw, but more than that, does it hint at a certain unheard-of defensiveness in the Aussies? When was the last time they played for a draw?

It is the same Australia (well, almost; if you disagree, that makes its own point) that chased down a target of 168 in 36 overs (they knocked it off in a ball shy of 33) against England in the last season at the same Adelaide Oval, a game they didn’t really need to win, having won the first test and this being just the second of five. It is the same Australia that pummelled South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground, chasing 287 in about 70 overs (they breezed through half way down the 61st over), a game they just needed to draw to take the series.

Is this Hayden statement a tribute to India? Or am I just reading too much into it?


Golandaaz said...

Australia are playing India into a corner. I think they have a stragey to win this game. It is just not clear to me what it could be.

I think they want to call Kumble's bluff. If he is reallyu serious about winning he will have to make things happen. A fatal declaration or something. That is when Australia will seize the chance and win it.

Geetha Krishnan said...

Seeing the position at lunch on day 4, I agree with you, Gol. It looks like Sydney all over again.

Samir Chopra said...

Geetha, yes, a very dodgy day's play lies ahead. What we need is for someone to go on the attack, and to push the lead up quickly. But I'm not sure that will happen, which is, I suppose, good for the spectators (and not so good for us nervous Indian fans).

RamG R said...

I read Haydos' comments. If you analyze his comments closely, it tells you a mindset in this current Australian lineup. They do not have a Warne or a McGrath to bowl out sides on the last day. It is a sign of things to come! All this talk about ‘Aussies don’t think of anything other than victory’ is humbug—they could afford to do have that mindset because they had McGrath-Warne in their midst. (Let us keep Sydney 08 out of the discussion—it was an aberration!)