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Harish's Take: Is the golden era of India's batting over?

Last updated on: January 3, 2012 20:41 IST

Harish's Take: Is the golden era of India's batting over?

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Harish Kotian glances at the first day's play in the second Test between India and Australia.

Has India's aged batting line-up finally gone past its sell by date?

The Indian batting line-up was once considered the best in the world, but that seems a thing of the past now.

  • PHOTOS: Australia on top after Indian batsmen flop at SCG
  • Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and V V S Laxman have a combined tally of over 45,000 Test runs between them, but in the last six Tests India has played overseas, the veteran batsmen have come up short big time.

  • Scorecard
  • India has touched 300 only once in its last ten innings played outside the subcontinent. That makes it quite evident that you just need a couple of fast bowlers and a good, bouncy or swinging wicket and India's batsmen will surrender tamely.

    It went perfectly to script in India's first innings of the second Test against Australia at Sydney on Tuesday. The batting collapsed yet again!

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    Image: Sachin Tendulkar flanked by Gautam Gambhir, left, and Virender Sehwag


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    Gambhir feels the pressure of his recent poor run

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    The only thing that went right for India was winning the toss.

    Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni promptly elected to bat.

    What was surprising was that most of the wickets fell to full deliveries, with the Indian batsmen taking the risk of driving away from their body and ending up getting caught in the slips or edging it back on to their stumps.

    Gautam Gambhir, V V S Laxman and Virat Kohli must be put on notice now. They have to come up with a big knock in the second innings, else others should be given a chance.

    Gambhir appears to feel the pressure of his recent poor run; again a poor shot cost him his wicket.

    The left-hander was caught on the crease, poking at an outgoing delivery. His dismissal in the very first over set India back early on.

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    Image: Gautam Gambhir is caught at first slip by Michael Clarke off James Pattinson


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    Laxman needs a very, very special knock to save his career

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    With Ajinkya Rahane waiting in the wings, the second innings will be Gambhir's final opportunity to rescue his place in the Test team.

    His last Test century came two years ago against Bangladesh in January 2010. Unless he comes up with a big knock in the second essay, he could find himself out of the reckoning for the third Test.

    V V S Laxman has not got past single digit scores in the three innings in the series so far.

    Once again the right-hander played a loose shot to a full delivery and was caught at third slip for two.

    It will need a very, very special knock to save Laxman's career.

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    Image: V V S Laxman walks back after his dismissal


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    Tendulkar looks the best Indian batsman

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    Virat Kohli reminds me a lot of Yuvraj Singh.

    Both are extremely talented, emerged as one of the best batsmen in limited-overs cricket, but fall short when it comes to Test cricket.

    It all boils down to temperament and technique, and Kohli must work on both before it is too late.

    There is only so much Sachin Tendulkar can do. He looks the best Indian batsman on the tour so far.

    The cricketing world awaits his 100th international century, but the only thing Tendulkar must hope for now is that someone stays with him out in the middle.

    Australia had a plan for the Indian tail, and that was to bounce them out. It worked to perfection.

    The last three batsmen -- Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav -- were all out for ducks as India crashed to 191 all out.

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    Image: Sachin Tendulkar


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    Ponting looks good

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    Zaheer Khan gave some hope with the ball, courtesy his three-wicket burst early on.

    But his pace partners, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma, had an off-day and that helped Australia to continue their domination despite a horrible start.

    Ricky Ponting looked set for his third successive half-century as he finished unbeaten on 44, while Michael Clarke raced to 47 from 59 balls.

    It was a day dominated by the fast bowlers, with 13 wickets falling to pace. Australia will look to continue their ascendancy on day two and bat India out of the SCG Test.


    Image: Ricky Ponting


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