Heart-stirring stuff at the MCG
This could be a cracker of a series. Australia is in a rebuilding phase, blooding some exciting, promising fast bowlers, while India has brought two of the world’s greatest ever batsmen to tour here for perhaps the last time. I was at the mighty MCG on Boxing Day to see it all begin.
70,000 people flocked to the entrance gates...
...many paused to take a photo of the new statue of Warnie. (Shane Warne, recently retired Australian spin bowler)
Then they packed into the stands.
We watched from on high as the national anthems were played...
...and the Indians took the field. Sachin Tendulkar, greatest run-scorer in cricket history is second from the right.
The Swami Army, at least 20,000 Indian fans, went wild.
The match and the series were underway. This is ball 1, day 1, as Australian debutant Ed Cowan faces his first ball in test cricket. He batted well to make 68.
Lunchtime at the MCG can be a daunting affair, as the bars and food outlets are packed. My brothers and I have discovered that we can take a pass-out, cross the road and eat a leisurely lunch in the quiet cafe in the nearby Fitzroy Gardens. Definitely the way to go. Maybe I shouldn't be giving away this best-kept secret in cyberspace. Boxing Day lunch will never be the same again.
Rain delayed the restart of the game, allowing us time to stroll in the gardens, then slip back into the ground for the resumption of play. It was worth the wait – Australia faltered, Ricky Ponting rescued the innings and his career, Tendulkar and Dravid looked like dominating for India, the young Australian bowlers fought back, Australia’s top order batting collapsed, Ponting and Mike Hussey came to the rescue again, India wilted in the face of hostile Australian bowling, and the result was an Aussie win by 122 runs.
It’s all happening at the G.