Monsoon wins day as Indian ideas of squaring series washed away

<preform>Australia 235 &amp; 369 <BR> India 376 &amp; 19-0<BR> Match drawn&#009;</preform>
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The Independent Online

No time need be wasted upon speculation about the likely result of the second Test after the game was abandoned following the untimely return of the retreating north-easterly monsoon here yesterday. A low trough over the Bay of Bengal was the death knell to a fascinating match.

No time need be wasted upon speculation about the likely result of the second Test after the game was abandoned following the untimely return of the retreating north-easterly monsoon here yesterday. A low trough over the Bay of Bengal was the death knell to a fascinating match.

Adam Gilchrist's men must have been relieved that their 1-0 series lead remained intact. Poor shots were played and catches were dropped and it was fighting spirit as much as skill that prevented India securing victory before the heavens opened up. Australia were sustained by resolute batting and an untiring performance from Shane Warne. Bowling accurately, skilfully and with a higher arm, Warne enticed enough edges to have returned better figures.

Damien Martyn and Jason Gillespie were the other saviours. Australia's defiant fifth-wicket stand reflected an increased willingness to play attritional cricket.

Glenn McGrath was the least effective of the bowlers. He bowled rhythmically but did not move the ball through the air or off the pitch. Still, his returns might have been different had a straightforward slip catch been taken in his first over.

Among the Indians, satisfaction could be taken from the competitiveness of the bowlers, particularly Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble, who deserved the man of the match award. Kumble is a resourceful cricketer capable of changing his game for every batsman and pitch - which showed in his dismissal of Gilchrist with a relentless leg-stump attack. The captain, Sourav Ganguly, must also have been pleased with the form of Virender Sehwag, whose defence has improved, and the contributions of the younger players, especially Mohammad Kaif and Harbhajan Singh.

Doubtless the Australians will keep the same team for the third Test. But India's gifted all-rounder Irfan Pathan has incurred a side strain and will miss the game, which starts in Kanpur next Tuesday. Astonishingly, Parthiv Patel has been given another chance despite a wretched performance behind the stumps. Sachin Tendulkar hopes to play, but the thought is not always father to the deed.

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