There were a number of reasons why Australia lost the Border-Gavaskar trophy. You can always blame it on things like toss, the pitch, team in transition, etc, etc. But some of the real reasons include things like bad captaincy, poor team composition, bad tactics and over all poor planning.
In addition, the No. 1 team in the world were outplayed in a number of areas in this series – particularly areas where India have struggled frequently in the past.
Here is my take on some of these areas:
The Opening pair
|1st Test Innings 1||70||0|
|1st Test Innings 2||16||21|
|2nd Test Innings 1||70||0|
|2nd Test Innings 2||182||49|
|3rd Test Innings 1||5||123|
|3rd Test Innings 2||29||31*|
|4th Test Innings 1||98||32|
|4th Test Innings 2||116||29|
The partnership of Indian openers was 300 runs more than their counterpart and they averaged around 73 per innings. If you look at it from another angle – the total runs scored by Indian openers (Sehwag, Gambhir and Vijay) was 888, where as the Australian’s total was just 583.
The last four wickets
Apart from a rare failure in the 1st innings of the fourth test, the last four wickets have have made a significant contribution to the total. They have also pulled India out of trouble twice – in the first innings of the series, when Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh top scored for India and then again in the last innings of the series – when Dhoni and Harbhajan scored fifties. Australia on the other hand have sorely missed the services of someone like Gilchrist and failed in important situations.
|1st Test Innings 1||165||80|
|1st Test Innings 2||–||25*|
|2nd Test Innings 1||143||122|
|2nd Test Innings 2||–||53|
|3rd Test Innings 1||132*||151|
|3rd Test Innings 2||–||–|
|4th Test Innings 1||19||89|
|4th Test Innings 2||129||48|
The run rate and overs occupied
Both these are important in forcing a result. Australia in the past would score runs and do them fast – this enabled them to force results even on the 3rd or 4th day of the game. India on the other hand used to score runs slowly. In this series however, the roles were reversed.
|India Overs||India RR||Aus Overs||Aus RR|
Taking 20 wickets in a game
No matter how good your batting is, you need to take 20 wickets to win matches. The Indians did this twice, but the Australians without the likes of McGrath and Warne struggled with this – in fact, they were able to do this only in the last game of the tour and managed to take just 4 wickets on the last day of the 1st test – the only test where they were placed well to take the game.
India completely out bowled the Aussies. Here are some stats to go with my claim:
India played just 2 fast bowlers – Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma. Between them they bowled around 283 overs and took 26 wickets at an average of around 34. They also troubled the Aussies a fair bit with their reverse swing.
The Aussies, on the other hand played up to 4 fast bowlers in a game, bowled close to 545 overs and took 37 wickets at an average of around 45. Except for Shane Watson’s overs after tea in India’s last innings of the series, there was no hint of reverse swing from any one at any other time.
The difference in the stats for slow bowlers between the 2 countries is even worse – India bowled around 477 overs taking 37 wickets @ 34.8, whereas the Aussies bowled around 286 overs and took 20 wickets @ 54.