All You Can Ask

After Friday's Tendulkar-fest, yesterday was the day when Australia came face-to-face with what life's increasingly going to be like in the post-McGrath/Warne era.

Just after tea, with Ganguly and Dhoni going well, and Shane Watson and Cameron White bowling, you had the feeling that, for the first time in a long time, an Australian side in the field were toothless. Watson and White are players with many strengths, mostly with the bat (and they're probably nice guys too) but integral parts of a good quality Test attack they're not and never will be.

Okay, Australia subsequently wrapped the Indian first innings up relatively quickly, but today the game went away from them again, to the point where India must be strong favourites to go one-up in the series.

The Indian bowling attack has impressed on a bland Mohali pitch; Zaheer got his rabbit Hayden again with a neat piece of variety, Ishant Sharma oozes promise every time you see him and the new leggie, Amit Mishra, has been cool and threatening, finishing this morning with a debut five-for.

As I said, the Australian attack has looked more limited, but a word for the game's other debutant, Peter Siddle, whose powerful, consistent action, sharp pace and muscular aggression has stamped him as a bowler who'll hurry a few people up on faster tracks.

And there have been people there to watch it. Not huge numbers but enough to give the impression that it matters.

And that, these days, is all you can ask.

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