Ricky Ponting tried to smile about it. I suppose, in some twisted way, it sort of justifies his possibly evil tactics in the hitherto successful 16 previous matches. That’s the way a bastard’s mind works.
Now, being an England fan of many years, I know how to lose. I’ve witnessed a kaleidoscope of collapses. There’s the inevitable slump, the enfeebled chase, the honest walk-over, desperate draw-seeking and unexpected suicide. So long has it been since Australia lost a match, that it is difficult to classify the Australian defeat into one of these categories.
I wasn’t sure if they were going for the draw (which, as an Englishman, is my first thought in most situations) but it didn't seem as though they were charging for the ridiculously unlikely win. Michael Hussey’s 46 from 113 would suggest that the Ausslers didn’t really plan how they were going to lose all.
I suppose you could label their defeat as “undirected flapping”, which, now that I think of it, is another common English approach to falling on your sword.
So, why did they lose? JRod thinks that Australians can’t handle swingers. JC suggests that umpire decisions may have had a hand. King Cricket sort of mentions seam. I happen to think India won because they were led by a spin bowler.
Anil Kumble made amazing decision after amazing decision. Much was been made of one moment, where, after a spell of seven overs, Ishant Sharma was about to be taken off. Ricky Ponting stated:
“RP Singh had already taken his cap and jumper off when the young lad [Sharma] grabbed the ball off him.”Allegedly, Virender Sehwag had advised giving Sharma one more over. With his next ball, the young quick took Ponting’s wicket. Indeed, later on, Sehwag himself was given the ball at a touch-and-go point. The opening batsman took two wickets, including that of Adam Gilchrist.
Only a GOD can make such prescient decisions. This is Anil’s victory. And his alone.
(He also took his 600th test wicket. That is, under official AYALAC taxonomies, “really good”.)