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Jan 04, 2012 at 05:16pm IST

Doom looming large for Indians

One thing is sure; after the second day at the Sydney Cricket Ground, India need a performance of biblical proportion or a great piece of luck to avoid defeat against an Australian team that's growing in confidence by the day.

India, defending only a first-innings total of 191, were humiliated by the Aussie batsmen. Especially Michael Clarke, who scored 251 not out - his first double hundred. Ricky Ponting, under fire for quite sometime now, also saved his neck through a 40th Test century. He made 134, his first ton since January 2010. Michael Hussey also weighed in with an unbeaten 55 as the Aussies closed the day on 482 for 4 with a gargantuan lead of 291.

SCG curator Tony Parker had cried out prior to the match about the pitch being full of runs. But the tourists batted dismally, and now the advantage lies with the hosts.

Doom looming large for Indians

Michael Clarke celebrates after scoring 200 on day two of the second cricket Test against India at the SCG. (AFP)

India's bowling has often lacked penetration. It's the batting that has more often than not done the job for the team. But when the batting doesn't come good, the bowlers look hopeless and hapless.

Let's look at the Indian bowlers' performance in the last overseas series. In the first Test against England at Lord's this past summer, the hosts were reduced to 107 for 6 in the second innings and things looked bright for the Indians. But Matt Prior and Stuart Broad added an unbeaten 162 to take the game away from them.

The same story continued in the second Test at Nottingham. England were limping at 88 for 6 in their first innings but Broad, no mug with the bat, scored a crucial fifty down the order to take England to 221. From there, the hosts didn't look back. In the third Test at Edgbaston, in reply to India's 224, the Englishmen declared their innings on 710 for 7 to muzzle the visitors. And, in the last Test at The Oval, again England piled up 591 for 6 to notch up another innings victory and wrap up the series 4-0.

In the autopsy report later, the BCCI said injuries to key players led to the chaos, and the absence of Zaheer Khan hurt India the most. Zaheer is playing this time around but he can do nothing; he has no support at the other end, and God knows what would be the excuse this time. The writing is on the wall and another whitewash is now just a matter of a few weeks.

However, it would be useless to point a finger at the Indian bowlers. Most bowlers would struggle on the SCG pitch. The worrying thing is the whole Indian bunch looked disinterested. Their body language reflected negativity. And when that happens, it's all over bar the shouting for a team.

The last time India looked so hopeless abroad was during the tour to Australia in 1999. They failed in all departments. But then that Australian team was from another world. Forget India, no team came close to challenging them.

But the current Australian team has many Achilles heels. With no Glenn McGrath, no Shane Warne and many other big names, it was India's best chance to register their first series Down Under. That chance has been blown.

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