Sydney: Noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck has said that the Australian team's 2-0 whitewash to India was primarily due to the reason that they lacked a speedster “as resourceful as Zaheer Khan and a spinner as menacing as Harbhajan Singh”.
India defeated Australia by seven wickets in the second Test at Bangalore's M. Chinnaswamy Stadium to retain the ‘Border Gavaskar' trophy and their number one Test spot.
In a syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald, Roebuck said that the Ricky Ponting-led team did not put up the expected resistance on the final day on Wednesday.
“None of the bowlers was up to scratch because none bowled straight enough. Instead they gave batsmen chances to score on both sides of the wicket. Numerous singles were taken with pushes to point and flicks to leg. Ponting seemed powerless to intervene,” Roebuck wrote.
“Rather than bowling stump to stump and setting a tight field, as the wearing pitch demanded, they banged the ball halfway down, allowing the second-wicket pair to take singles at their leisure. Every run was precious, but the batsmen were not made to work for them,” he added.
He further questioned Ponting's ‘dubious policy' while using off spinner Nathan Hauritz.
“Asked to bowl around the wicket to a leg-side field, and with two men on the off boundary and no one else in the vicinity, the offie faltered. Both batsmen plundered easy runs before he was hastily withdrawn,” Roebuck said.
“Allowed to bowl in his preferred style an hour later, he was promptly plundered but did remove Pujara with a top-spinner. Alas the runs kept coming,” he added.
Needing 207 runs to win on a wearing wicket in a minimum of 77 overs, Team India was easily guided home by debutant Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar and Murali Vijay.
When Virender Sehwag fell early in the chase, the match seemed to be heading for similar drama as witnessed during the final day in Mohali.
However, Pujara showed the kind of confidence expected only from an old hand, with a spectacular 72. He shared crucial partnerships with Tendulkar and Vijay to squash Australian hopes.