Here is my summary of the 4-match series…..
- Brett Lee – He is bowling the best I have ever seen. In my view he is the best bowler in the world at present – Probably the single biggest difference between the two sides
- Matthew Hayden – His batting, specially against India is just awesome – his absence was telling in Perth
- Stuart Clark – Started off in McGrath-esque style but tailed off towards the end of the series
- Lack of a genuine spinning option – This could really hurt in places like SL, Ind and against the English & Souh Africans
- Shaun Tait’s inability to perform in favourable conditions
- Batting against sustained swing bowling
- For a team that prides itself on aggression and always on the lookout for a win, both the over rate and the scoring rate while batting were not upto to their usual high standards
- Catching was well below par
- The re-emergence of Virender Sehwag and possibly, Irfan Pathan
- Ishant Sharma – A rare breed of Indian paceman that is not reliant on swing but pace, bounce and the ability to bowl long spells
- An ability to sustain (relatively) high energy levels in the field for 3 test matches in a row
- The abject failure of Wasim Jaffer and Yuvraj Singh against top quality fast bowling
- Rahul Dravid’s continued mortality
- Harbhajan Singh was (again) woefully short of expectations. He was consistently outbowled by Virender Sehwag and Andrew Symonds in the last two matches.
- The bastmen’s (specially the seniors) well recognized inability to retain focus when fighting for a draw. This was evident on the last day at both Sydney and Perth.
- The standards of ground fielding seem to have (I know this seemed impossible 🙂 ) dropped further
From an Indian perspective, their poor performance on the last day in Sydney, when they could not bat out two sessions, came back (quit justifiably) to haunt them. I would have loved to see Australia’s batting response in Adelaide had the series been level and they had to go for a win.
The Black Irishman