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Cricket commentary, like everything else in Australian cricket, is going through turbulent times. Gone are the days of late Richie Benaud when silence was the norm when there was nothing to add to the images on television. Today, instead, we get names ridiculed on air, even crass jokes about the opposition’s first-class structure, and biased, mindless even, opinion in the garb of commentary. (FOLLOW: Australia vs India Live Cricket Score, 4th Test match)

No, one isn’t referring to Kerry O’Keeffe here. There are two former leg spinners doing the rounds on Fox Cricket’s panel in this series, and this is pertaining to what Shane Warne is talking about. In Melbourne, when Australia were five-down in the second innings, he was talking about the ‘possibility of a win’. (ALSO READ: The best and worst from Day 2 of Sydney Test)

Sure, there is nothing wrong in being hopeful, and stranger things have happened in cricket than imaging Tim Paine and Pat Cummins coasting Australia to victory on an MCG minefield (as it was on days four and five when Jasprit Bumrah was bowling). But on day two, after India finished with 622-7, to hear Warne say ‘Australia should try to get 750-800 and win’ on air wasn’t comical. It was downright disappointing. (ALSO READ: Cheteshwar Pujara fusing the mechanical with the all-too-human)

The legendary leg-spinner belonged to an awe-inducing era of Australian cricket. That team – led by Steve Waugh – didn’t know how to lose, until 2001 at least. And even then, they didn’t know when they were beaten. It permeated through Ricky Ponting’s side, and later as well, leading to some ugly episodes in the interim. Forget the ball-tampering episode, if you can; remember the 2008 Test here at SCG? (ALSO READ: Cheteshwar Pujara’s marathon, Rishabh Pant’s landmark and other key stats from the SCG)

The underlying point herein is that there is no shame in admitting defeat, at least on air, when you are supposedly giving an opinion as a neutral voice. And after stumps on Friday, barring the Australian dressing room, everyone ought to admit one simple truth – there is no way India is losing this fourth Test.

By winning the third Test in Melbourne, India had ensured Border-Gavaskar Trophy will stay with them – even if they loss in Sydney, the trophy would go home in the team’s baggage. They needed at least a draw here to record an outright victory in the Test series – a first on Australian soil in Indian cricket history. Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja have just assured that.

What more can be said of Pujara that hasn’t already been said? A statue of patience – check. Intent to score big runs – check. Batting time and negating the threat of Nathan Lyon – check.

You can say this about any Pujara innings, so what was different about the way he batted on day two? Nothing really, except the distinction was to be noticed in the Australian bowling attack. It was not the first time in Test history that a batsman was 100-plus not out at stumps on day one. Perhaps though, it was the first time in Australian cricket history that a team had thrown in the towel to one batsman. Did it happen with Sachin Tendulkar, or Brian Lara, or even Rahul Dravid here in 2003-04? Did it happen with VVS Laxman? It is tough to tell.

Again, those were indomitable Australian attacks not capable of throwing in the towel. They would grind and grind, with the ball, and keep coming back at you for more, even when you got the better of them. Barring Lyon maybe, the same cannot be said of this Australian attack. To say they looked a tired lot would be putting it mildly. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins just didn’t want to bowl at Pujara anymore, or at least their body language suggested so.

Ever since Pujara and Pant got together at the crease, the general expectation was of slam-bang cricket from one end. Maybe, Australia expected the declaration to come after Pujara’s double hundred. Maybe, they expected it to come after India crossed 500, or Pant’s hundred. Or, after 600, that certainly was the expectation – nay anticipation – from everyone watching, even if the Australian bowlers and fielders looked like they had given up guessing too.

It didn’t come. The declaration came only after Australia’s spirit was worn down. Virat Kohli waved his hands over only when he trusted that instinct of having taken one result out of possible context of the game. Usually, he waits for it to happen in the second innings. Here, he got the chance to do it in the first innings itself and he made it count.

In a way, it was ruthless cricket from India. Mostly this is a term we identify with the white ball formats nowadays when you can slam the opposition out of any park. Test cricket is slow release in comparison. But at its relative slow pace, India were comfortably bullish in crushing the opposition.

Time and again, both Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have spoken about the desire to play like the world’s number one Test side. Through 2018, they didn’t get too many opportunities to exert themselves over a series in the manner they have done here. That it come in Sydney as a mix of Pujara’s marathon stonewalling and Pant’s exuberance indicates they have found the right balance, finally.

“The mood (in the dressing room) is okay,” said Tim Paine, as he came for a surprise mid-Test post-play press conference. He didn’t admit defeat, he couldn’t have – Australia can still bat out of their skins and save this Test. Winning it from here to draw the series would be a miracle of Biblical proportions, and Christmas is long gone.

Even if he couldn’t say anything about the match in singularity, deep down Paine knew the series is lost. Everyone knows. Someone should tell Warne too.