The old and the bold hold key to Boxing Day test
Australian batsman Ricky Ponting (right) and Mike Hussey make their way from the ground at tea
The controversial and dramatic first Test between Australia and India at the MCG will be decided by one or more of the nine ‘senior cits’ on duty.
It’s the fourth day, with Australia leading by 230 runs, and only two wickets in hand. The 230 is not nearly enough, but a whole lot better than it looked when Australia was 4-27, with David Warner (5), Ed Cowan (8), Shaun Marsh (3), and Michael Clarke (1) back in the shed.
Rahul Dravid (38 years 351 days) – This Test 68 – highest score at the MCG 92, aggregate 230, average 32.85 – career average 53.28.
Sachin Tendulkar (38-248) – This Test 73 – highest score at the MCG 116, aggregate 417, average 46.33 – career average 56.08.
Ricky Ponting (37-9) – This Test 62 and 60, his job is done.
VVS Laxman (37-57) – This Test 2 – highest score at the MCG 42, aggregate 113, average 16.14 – career average 46.89.
Mike Hussey (36-215) – This Test 0 and 79* – his job unfinished.
Brad Haddin (34-66) – This Test 27 and 6, but it will be his keeping that will count. In the first dig Haddin snared five catches, and dropped one – there can’t be any mistakes today.
Zaheer Khan (33-82) – This Test 4-77 and 2-32, his job nearly finished, depending on how quickly he can dismiss Australia’s last two wickets.
Virender Sehwag (33-69) – This Test 67 – highest score at the MCG 195, aggregate 273, average 91 – the dangerman for Australia.
Ben Hilfenhaus (28-288) – the youngest of the contenders who claimed his first five-wicket haul yesterday in 31 Test innings with 5-75. A far cry from his last series against England just over a year ago with 7-305 from four Tests. More of yesterday today.
Mike Hussey is the key to an Australian victory. But he needs James Pattinson, and Hilfenhaus, to stick with him to stretch the lead.
Then it’s the Indian batting’s big guns turn to fire. Amazingly they have scored 126 Test tons between them – Tendulkar (51), Dravid (36), Sehwag (22), and Laxman (17) – but only Tendulkar 116, and Sehwag 195, have scored centuries at the MCG in 26 visits to the crease between the quality quartet.
So buckle up folks, this promises to be a fascinating day’s cricket.
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