A few days back I thought that India being well ahead of the Aussies half way through day 2 of the test was one of the strangest stories from the cricket world. The weekend is over and India have won that test and that too convincingly.
It was probably the only test I have seen in which Australia NEVER looked like winning. They were never in front. There was no fightback from the other side, nor was there a 7th wicket fightback from Australia. I know the Aussies got to 340 in the 4th innings of the test through pure determination of not losing but it always looked like India will finish it off any moment. And they did and they did at Perth, which is supposed to be a pitch from hell for the touring sides.
The fact that this happened at Perth is definitely worth topping the charts of the 'strangest days in cricket'.
But there was one story that beats even this one and it also involves an Aussie. An ex Aussie Cricketer. Who else other than Shane Warne to create headlines with strange stories. The latest in this cricketer's life is that he was penalized during his career's first poker game because of sending a text message while sitting on the table. The headlines read "Texting trouble sets back Warne's poker career".
Coming back to the Perth test. I've read all the papers, surfed the net and read what all the columnists and bloggers have to say. No one has mentioned the Sachin-Dravid partnership on day 1 as the key reason behind India's victory. Sure they bowled well, definitely they were united cause of Sydney, maybe the aim was 'to do it for Harbhajan', and yes there were a few umpiring mistakes on the last day. But for me it was the way Sachin attacked Lee & Co. and the way Dravid batted for his 90 odd that took India to 330 in the 1st innings. That was the defining moment of the test I believe. Without that partnership both India and Australia would have had similar 1st innings totals. And the Aussies out did the Indians in the 2nd innings.
Pathan, Ishant, RP, Laxman, Kumble deserve all the plaudits they have been getting in all the reports I have read. But Sachin and Dravid need to be mentioned before them in my view.
Well done India but the Aussie dominance can only be called 'over' and you can only stake claim to number 2 if you can repeat this performance in Adelaide.