The much awaited clash between Australia and the rest did not take off to the expected heights. The Aussies won with ease with the rest looking miserable with the bat. The stars including the likes of Lara, Dravid and Kallis could not simply get their act together. Maybe, the closed environs of the Telstra dome played havoc with their brains just as a mountaineer feels due to the lack of oxygen.
The rest of the world could contain Australia to just over 250. It was a combination of good bowling by the spinners and the scratchy Aussie batting that made the total look reasonable rather than unsurmountable. The batting woes continue for the Aussies with many of them not looking convincing. However, the great McGrath found his rhythm and returned to his familiar miserly ways while Watson made the best of the opportunity.
Sehwag looked out of sorts as has been the story in recent times, especially in the shorter version of the game. Dravid has not been his confident self ever since Ganguly took back the captaincy. Lara looked to be in a hurry to catch a flight back home and the Aussie fielders did catch one. Kallis has always been a suspect against top quality bowling and it showed. It is too early to talk about Pietersen's failure and Flintoff showed a glimpse of his batting ability although he was not successful with the bat. The super-sub Shahid Afridi did not add to his tally of sixers.
There was some anxiety over the damage to the roof that could result from the hits from Gilchrist and Pietersen. There was no such damage. The audience presence was not encouraging.
Hope to have a good match the second time round with the rest of the world pulling one back to maintain interest in the series. Personally, I am looking forward as my brother is going to be there inside the dome.