It may be a stretch to say that in his first Test match, Moises Henriques was the leader in Australia’s day one recovery against India but Australia was in the wilderness when Henriques came to the crease, with the score at 5-153. And Henriques did play a very important part in the recovery. However, once again, it was actually Michael Clarke who lead the Australians with a brilliant century but I can easily fit him into the analogy. Clarke would be the pillar of flame (or cloud) leading the way.
Speaking of religious experiences, I had one last night. I arrived home to an open front door, and I could hear coming from the TV what sounded like the noise of an Indian cricket crowd. The reason this is unusual is that I don’t have pay TV. People such as myself who only have “free to air” radio and TV were consigned to a cricket black-out. I was faced with the prospect of hauling my tail down to the pub if I wanted to watch the Test. Thankfully, Miss Maddie (19 year old daughter) lives in the 21st century and had googled “live streaming cricket” and had her laptop connected to the flat screen, with the stream playing when I got home. It was a very good feeling. Fortunately, just last month, I upgraded our broadband package, increasing the download by 300%.
Australia had just lost its fifth wicket when I arrived home and I spent the next three hours watching Clarke and Henriques rebuild. Henriques was finally out for 68, with the score just past 300. And it was very exciting to see Clarke come down the pitch, having been stuck on 99 for about seven balls, and loft the second last ball of the day down the ground for four. I might add that Clarke came down the pitch all day, whether it was t o defend or attack. His footwork is something else, especially when you compare it to some that had gone before him.
Ashwin was India’s star taking six of the seven wickets to fall and the first six at that. And to be honest, he could well have had Clarke as well. Clarke was caught bat-pad, just before lunch when on 39 but was given not out. It is pretty clear that he hit the ball but there you have it. And to be honest, any time India could bemoan not having DRS, I’m happy. They deserve punishment for ham-stringing the rest of the cricket community in moving forward with a development that the most want.
Australia finished on 7/316 having the first use of a pitch whose colour made me think of Roland Garros. It is an already competitive score. It has been a good start for Australia and it will be interesting to see how the bowlers fair. Firstly, in assisting their captain to post a higher total. And more importantly, in dismissing Indian batsmen before they have made a mountain of runs. Over the past 15 years, Australia has started some recent tours well but have fallen away. Partly because of complacent hosts starting slowly and partly because it is difficult to sustain ones intensity in India. I wait with keen interest to see how this series unfolds but Clarke must fail at some stage and much of his batting line-up looks pretty clueless against spin. But I don’t care too much what happens as long as I can watch it and as long as I can see the pillar of Australian cricket blazing the way.