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India v Australia: Shades Of 1998 For Australia

Remember this match when an unheralded Mumbai lineup demolished Mark Taylor's touring Australians by 10 wickets. Shane Warne had arrived in India after cleaning up batsmen the world over, only to be pummeled into insignificance by each and every Indian batsmen to whom he bowled. Jason Krejza, while not nearly within a stone's throw of the great one, in terms of ability or promiscuity, is facing the same music 10 years later, in 2008. Are these events a sign of future inglorious defeats for Ricky Ponting's Australians, as they were for Mark Taylor's band?

The Indian Board President's XI gave the Australians a tougher test than the visitors were likely anticipating. With Ponting's continuance of the sub-continental run drought, only another gallant rescue act by Mr Cricket, Michael Hussey, and Stuart Clark saved Australia from an egg-on-face moment of a magnitude they have not suffered since the loss to Bangladesh before the 2005 Ashes.

While it's heartening to see Yuvraj Singh score a century and rub salt in Australian wounds by making them slave away in the searing heat on the last day, I wonder if this mauling of Krejza has jolted the Australian think tank into considering the option of playing four quicks and Shane Watson? With figures of 31 overs for 199 runs (and not even a whiff of a wicket), is Krezja really going to do a better job than Michael Clarke's pies or even those of Matthew Hayden?

Mind, the only other fast bowler that could take Krezja place in the Test XI is Peter Siddle, and hasn't exactly covered himself in glory during this match. One can only imagine how Ponting must be cursing Andrew Symonds at this very moment! I wonder if any bookie is offering odds for an SOS call being placed to Symonds mid-trip?

With a fragile batting lineup, impotent bowling attack and a captain who can't buy a run, Australia really need to pull a rabbit in a hat trick if they are to have any chance of saving face during this Test series. Not sure about you, but I simply cannot wait for Thursday afternoon!

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