At last I have been able to sit comfortably to witness the quality of cricket I have been longing to see for many years.
Of course, I am referring to the recent series between Australia and India; the Aussies were at home and promised to keep their series victories on their home soil against the Indians.
Well, forget the ultimate results. India eventually won the series 2-1 but it was the brilliance of play which was demonstrated by India captain Virat Kohli and his team. It was definitely the best team preparation which I have witnessed for many years since the days of Frank Worrell, Clive Lloyd etc. It’s a lesson our West Indies team can learn.
The fundamentals of batting were displayed by all of the first six batsmen—the Indians were superb in their planned efforts to build innings rather than going out to bat and attacking first before assessing the opposition bowlers. The Aussies were shocked seemingly, and were forced to get aggressive on their bouncy wickets at Adelaide and Melbourne.
Consistent bouncers by Aussie bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazelwood reminded me of the days when Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee started the bouncer route to gain victory. They got the shock of their lives. The Indians realised their dilemma, but were resilient in their manner of dealing with the short balls.
Two players were hit in the head and the others, including Kohli, struggled with consistent short balls. But they adjusted by becoming defensive, and the bouncers failed to work in the manner which the Aussies wished.
As for the batting of Kohli and company, it was the epitome of brilliance in every way. The taking of the short singles as often as they could change ends, the drawing in of the fielders until there were vacancies to make well-executed drives and flicks into the available space put the Aussies under pressure until their bowlers became weary and dropped the level of their competence.
India’s approach was as calm and despite some mistakes by the umpires, they marched on relentlessly to show the Aussies that they are the best cricket team in the world today. Remember the names Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ravichandran Ashwin. Well done, India. You have brought test match lovers back to the great game.