Australia vs India at the SCG - Marks out of 10 for Michael Clarke's army

Ricky Ponting is elated after hitting his century at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the second Test against India © Getty Images

By David Green

 

David Warner – 3: Fell in the first over of the Australian innings to a delivery outside his off-stump that he could have left, but produced a stunning catch to snare Virender Sehwag when India batted a second time.

 

Ed Cowan – 3: Beaten for pace by Zaheer Khan to get caught in front to leave his side in trouble at 37 for three. Will get at least one more opportunity before Shane Watson returns. Picked up three catches at short-leg.

 

Shaun Marsh – 1: Another duck – this one of the golden variety – to leave Shaun Marsh with just three runs from three innings in the series. Suckered by Zaheer at one he didn’t need to play at.

 

Ricky Ponting – 9: Finally, after 720 days and 34 innings, Ponting finally hit his 40th Test hundred. And it was a good one too with a theatrical climax and a desperate dive for the precious final run before the smiling hero emerged with bat aloft and shirt dirtied.

 

Michael Clarke – 10: It won’t get any better than this for “Pup”. A triple hundred, the highest Test score at the SCG on the occasion of its 100th Test, the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, a crushing innings victory for his side and his girl friend looking radiant in the stands to complete Clarke’s journey from zero to hero after the boos of 12 months ago.

 

Mike Hussey – 9: It must have been a long time since Hussey walked to the crease with 325 runs already on the board. He duly cashed in. Opened up with four commanding boundaries and went on to a chanceless hundred.

 

Brad Haddin – 2: At another time his dreadful drop to reprieve Gautam Gambhir just before stumps on Day Three could have cost his side dearly. As unreliable behind the stumps in this Test as he has been in front of them over the past year. This may prove to be his last Test series.

 

Peter Siddle – 8: Picked up five victims in the match and passed 100 Test wickets. Clearly enjoys his enforcer role and now has 28 wickets at 27 since coming back into the side.

 

James Pattinson – 8: Bowled wonderfully well on Day One to take out four of India’s top five and set up the Test for his side. His loss to a foot injury for the series is a big blow, but with 25 wickets at 18 from his first four Tests this hugely promising bowler will be back. 

 

Ben Hilfenhaus – 9: We were told that we would see a different bowler from the one that floundered so badly in the Ashes and a second successive five-for was proof of that. The ball to remove VVS Laxman’s off-stump was particularly memorable.

 

Nathan Lyon – 5: Provided decent enough control when called upon and picked up Sharma to register his first wicket of the match and second of the series. Will be looking forward to the Adelaide Test and a pitch that aids spin. 

 

 

(David Green is the brain behind the irreverent The Reverse Sweep blog and also writes for a number of cricket publications and sites such as World Cricket Watch. You can follow him on Twitter also@TheReverseSweep. David was a decent schoolboy and club cricketer (and scored his maiden 100 the same week that Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test ton) but not good enough to fulfill his childhood dream of emulating Douglas Jardine by winning the Ashes in Australia and annoying the locals into the bargain. He now lives with his wife and two young children in the South of France and will one day write the definitive biography of Hedley Verity)