CHENNAI: India’s stubborn attitude against using DRS as well as selecting a team based on sentiments rather than form could well cost them the first test match against Australia in Chennai.
Michael Clarke scored his 23rd test century and put on a partnership of 151 with Moses Henriques to frustrate the Indians after they were reduced to 5/150 at one stage. It could well have been 6/206 had umpire Kumar Dharmasena spotted a huge inside edge of Michael Clarke when he was on 39.
But once again the Indians had objected the use of DRS and Clarke took full advantage as he remained unbeaten on 103 and taking Australia to an above par total of 7/316.
At the conclusion of the play when Ashwin was asked at the press conference if he thought the DRS would have made a difference he said “we could have used it twice before and when it came to Clarke decision no reviews would have been left, so in hind sight we could well be in the same situation”.
Perhaps it will take more than a solitary decision to change the Indian thinking. If India is to be in a precarious position tomorrow they might be ruing that chance.
The other facet in which Australia greatly benefited was the Indian team selection. It seems even after 100 odd years in the game the India selectors still believe in handing out matches on basis of personal landmarks. Harbhajan Singh was selected so he doesn’t finish his career on 99 tests and he has tormented Australia years back. It becomes even a bigger issue when it comes in the expense of their best spinner, Pragyan Ojya.
The whole benefit of having an extra off-spinner was to make it difficult for the Australian left handed batsmen but Ashwin later said “when the wicket is turning and there are footmarks a left arm or right arm spinner can be equally effective”.
The theory was even more puzzling when Ashwin few minutes later contradicted what he had said stating “I would have picked two off spinners as well”.
On a track tailor made for spin, dropping Ojha and playing Harbhajan was bizarre tactic, not that the Australians are complaining. Indians have been suggesting a four nil whitewash before the series started if they continue playing with their foolish tactic, the result could well be the same but in the Aussies favour.