It was perhaps India's best chance to win the Melbourne test and go one up in the series. The script was written for the Indians. Ponting had a poor run with the bat, Greg Chappell was engaged by Cricket Australia to "demystify" Tendulkar, No Harbhajan, Zaheer was fit. With all ingredients of sure fire success present, team India goofed up like only team India could. Sachin looked all set for his 100th international century until he decided to prove the "demystification” theory of Greg Chappell right and got out in the last over of the day in the first innings. Century or no century, Sachin's knock of 73 was an absolute vintage Tendulkar innings which meant Ravi Shastri got enough opportunity to say "punched off the backfoot" but since the boundaries at the MCG are long the ball couldn't go to the fence "like a tracer bullet".
Gautam Gambhir embraced the away going deliveries just like Vinod Kambli embraces controversies. His habit of fishing outside the off stump made the slip cordon look busier than the Flinders Street Railway Station in Melbourne. His batting was like Russell Arnold's commentary; no one could understand what he was doing. Sources on condition of anonymity revealed to us that Gambhir was practicing these shots for the next season of IPL for getting DLF Maximums in that area. Sources also informed us that Coach Duncan has threatened Gambhir that if he doesn't stop playing that shot, he'll be asked to listen to Ishant Sharma sing by locking the two of them up in a room.
Zaheer Khan changed his hairdo and Ishant Sharma changed the spelling of his name but neither of them changed the bowling length enough to polish off the Australian tail. Duncan has warned Ishant not to lift heavy objects as he is more susceptible to injuries than any other player which means Ishant can't use a knife and fork at the dinner table.
There were two grounds that made headlines in this month. The MMRDA ground where Anna Hazare began his fast and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where there was no fast but pure fast bowling and Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Pattinson showing some insatiable appetite for Indian wickets. The only common thing between the two events was Anna's fast and Gambhir's innings, both of which ended sooner than expected.
Ed Cowans made an issue about the non-implementation of UDRS after he was given out and made it look like he would've broken Lara's record for the highest score. The Indian team revived the careers of two Australian batsmen namely Ponting and Hussey by allowing them to forge a partnership which took the game away from them. Virat Kohli gave some lip (in hindi) to the umpires after being given out and sadly for Rohit Sharma, the umpires didn't understand Hindi else Rohit would be in playing the Sydney test in place of Virat. After Ed Cowans called for the implementation of the UDRS, Rohit was heard rooting for umpires who could understand Hindi.
Since the match got over on the 4th day itself, Virat Kohli didn't waste time and started preparing for the Sydney test from the 5th day itself. His preparations included going out to get another tattoo on the other hand for that menacing look, which he thinks would help him deal with Siddle and co.
The cricket ball sneaked into Dravid's defence, not once, not twice but thrice in 4 days (once off a no ball) just like Ravinder Jadeja sneaks into the Indian team again and again. V.V.S Laxman couldn't reenact the magic of Calcutta 2001. Umesh Yadav bowled his heart out and looks unlikely to go the Ishant-Irfan way, by cutting down on his pace.
Finally looking at Sachin's scores it looks like Cricket Australia, actually may not have engaged Greg Chappell to "demystify" Tendulkar. The day Tendulkar scores his 100th international century, only then we will be sure that Greg is very much with the Australian team and wreaking havoc with the minds of the Australian team.