Myth and reality of dot balls and maidens
After the first Test in Melbourne, which India lost by 122 runs, the Indian trio of Zaheer Khan (10), Umesh Yadav (9) and Ishant Sharma (7) sent down 26 maiden overs together. Australians, on the other hand, managed only 22 maiden overs among James Pattinson (8), Peter Siddle (3) and Ben Hilfenhaus (11).
It`s only In Sydney where Australians bowled a fair bit of more maiden overs than Indians did. But then the Indians faced the most difficult bowling conditions of the match on the first morning. Indians bowled only eight maidens when the pitch had turned into a complete featherbed.
Australia, exploiting the lively conditions of the first day, bowled 20 maiden overs. Thus, after three innings of the two Tests, Indians bowled 30 maiden overs to Australia`s 42 run-less overs.
It`s not an overwhelming difference of maidens and dot balls as the Australians would like the world to believe. It`s the penetration of their fast bowlers which is causing the maximum damage. But Hilfenhaus clearly is Australia`s bowler of the moment. The busy swing bowler has not only claimed 15 wickets at 18.06 average, with two five-wicket hauls, he has also bowled as many as 28 maiden overs from the four Indian innings. He presently is the bowler who has caused maximum damage in the Indian ranks.