India in Australia 2011-12

India's quicks' fitness key to series - Warne

Brydon Coverdale

December 22, 2011

Comments: 209 | Text size: A | A

Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan shared nine wickets between them, India v Australia, 1st Test, Bangalore, 2nd day, October 10, 2008
Ishant Sharma: "I think it's going to come down to how India are going to take 20 wickets with their bowling." © Getty Images
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Shane Warne believes India's chances in the upcoming Test series in Australia will hinge on the fitness of fast bowlers Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan. Both men have had ankle problems in recent times and Warne believes a lack of depth in India's attack could be exposed if Ishant and Zaheer are not at full fitness for the series, which begins at the MCG on December 26.

Ishant was bothered by a dodgy ankle during the first of the two tour games in Canberra last week, and he bowled only four overs in the second match, on the final day. Zaheer is coming back from surgery on his ankle; he did not play in the first match and then sent down 15 overs in the second game. Neither man has yet taken a wicket on the tour.

"India has a quality team, as they've been showing in recent times," Warne said. "In Test cricket we've seen them, against West Indies, do well. But before that they played England in England and got beaten 4-0 with a swinging ball and a good English seam attack. Their batsmen will do pretty well.

"Their bowlers will have to stay fit. If Zaheer Khan or Ishant Sharma get injured, then I think their bowling attack could be quite weak. The Australian batsmen could perform pretty well. I think it's going to come down to how India are going to take 20 wickets with their bowling.

"I think their batters, especially Rahul Dravid, will make big runs. He's a quality person, he's a quality act, he's a quality player. Hopefully Sachin [Tendulkar] will get his hundredth hundred here. It would be a great time to do it here at the MCG in front of 70 or 80,000."

Warne was speaking outside the MCG at the unveiling of a bronze statue of him in his legspinning stride, the first in a series to be known as the Avenue of Legends. His former captain Mark Taylor was also at the ceremony but, unlike Warne, he was less certain that India's outstanding batting line-up would thrive this summer against an attack led by James Pattinson and Peter Siddle.

"They've been great players," Taylor said. "I'll be interested to see, though, how they'll go against this young Australian bowling line-up, because I don't feel that Sachin, Rahul and VVS [Laxman] are getting tested as often as say Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey have in recent times.

"They have been tested on wickets that have been more bowler-friendly, whereas Sachin and Rahul and VVS play a lot of their cricket in India, where the wickets are generally flatter and don't bounce as much, don't move off the seam. This will be a really good test for them, and a good test for our fast bowlers. I reckon they [Australia's bowlers] are up to it. I think that's going to be one of the highlights of the summer, to see how those ageing batsmen from India go against the young quicks."

Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman are all older than Ponting, who has struggled for form over the past two years and has not made a Test century since January 2010. Taylor endured a similar slump in the later years of his career, but even his longest stretch without a Test hundred was only 24 innings; Ponting's has now ballooned to 31.

"He's probably in a similar boat to where I was, and I think Steve Waugh had the same problem getting towards the end of your career," Taylor said. "It's not that you can't do it anymore. You just need a moment where a lucky break goes your way or you just play a shot where you think, there it is, and Ricky is probably that close. Boxing Day has generally been pretty good to him … hopefully, over the five days here, we'll see the real Ricky Ponting."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Cric_Is_Fun on (December 24, 2011, 20:16 GMT)

@Mad_Hamish Dude, it is silly to check the stat for the past 60 years. If you check the statistics of India in Australia in the last 10 years you will find Aus to Ind (W:D:L) as 3:3:2.;home_or_away=1;opposition=6;spanmax1=24+Dec+2011;spanmin1=24+Dec+2001;spanval1=span;team=2;template=results;type=team;view=results That was when Australia were sweeping everything that came their way. Aus is a much weaker team now. I will definitely put my money on India.

Posted by A.K.Sharma on (December 24, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

@ PakCricket-Elite .. i'd like to see what would you have to say after the series is over.

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (December 24, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

@Subhash Devadiga have a look at how many of India's wins have come in Australia.;home_or_away=1;opposition=6;team=2;template=results;type=team;view=results shows that since 1990 India has won 2 tests in Australia out of 16. The results in India really have no bearing on the likely results of the current series (check Kumble and Harbi against Aus at home and away to see the difference in conditions). Now if Khan is fit and bowls as well as he can that could swing things hugely in India's favour and, obviously, the inexperienced attack and inexperienced or past it batting lineup for Australia could well be a huge issue as well. But quoting 12:10 doesn't mean much because almost all of the Indian wins have come at home. The conditions matter a huge amount (and yes, even when Australia had McGrath I was always dubious of their chances in India)

Posted by   on (December 24, 2011, 11:36 GMT)

@Pakcricket-Elite please wake its Pakistan not playing Australia who had taken 15 years to register a single victory its India whoms record stand 12-10 against the same side Australia during these periods

Posted by   on (December 24, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

home or abroad India still play weak bowling unit with 1 or may be Two Strike bowlers in last 15 years against Aussies Still the wiining ration count 12:10 favouring India,Whatever the bowling may be its the batting line up that must deliver the goods and for me thats will make the differences

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 24, 2011, 3:58 GMT)

@LillianThompson - check and mate.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 24, 2011, 3:50 GMT)

@Mad_Hamish... Agree... The best spin bowler in the world (Swann) found the going tough in Australia in all but one Test last summer... In the other Tests he averaged just 2 wkts per Test match... Even the great spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan had his poorest overseas average in Australia... I expect the spinners to get some wickets, but the bulk of them will come from the seamers...

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (December 24, 2011, 0:44 GMT)

Those who say that Australia can't play spin might want to look at the performance of various non-Australian spinners in tests in Australia. Most Australian batsmen don't do all that well starting against spin in India but they do pretty well against it in Australia. There aren't many touring spinners who've done well in Australia in tests, it's especially tough for finger spinners. It's not impossible to do so (a lot of touring quicks haven't done well in India but the Windies pace quarter & McGrath did) but I don't think Ashwin and Ojha have bowled here before this tour and it does take time to adjust. Generally in Australia you need quicks to do most of the damage and wrist spinners are more useful than finger spinners.

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (December 24, 2011, 0:30 GMT)

@ "Apoorv Pandey" & "G. Narsimha" My Humble Request to Both of you Please Check Previous Records for Each team against Other teams, You will find Exact Information about the world's best Teams. And also Check which Country of the world produced more talented players and still producing!!! Well it is a bitter thruth for you Guys that your bollywood movies leave very bad impact on your minds, that is why always you dream the things on every platform far from the ground realities. Write down on a paper that Australia is going to win this test series with 4-0 or 3-1. Good Luck!!!

Posted by reubengame on (December 23, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

I believe Warne is spot on here, as Geoffrey Boycott recently said, our team does have an enduring bowling problem. I sometimes think the reason is the fact that everytime we play Cricket in India, evbody wants to bat and rarely would you see someone genuinely interested in bowling or fielding, those are given secondary status in comparison to batting. If Zak and Ishant fail to play or perform, I fail to see us bowling Aussies out, and If any other way to win a test match has been discovered, id like to know that.

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 23, 2011, 19:30 GMT)

With current Aus' form, target of 100 runs is more than enough. Street kid from India could prove costly for them.. Altogether, Melbourne match would be the venue for Sachin's 100th ton and Sehwag blasting fastest 100 in the tests.. Im lucky to watch it from the stands.. - Prasant UNSW

Posted by Yaad_Aa_Gaya_Mujhko_India on (December 23, 2011, 18:43 GMT)

I have read a lot of comments here and it seems that Indians feel India will win and all other nationalities feel India will lose just like they lost in England. You say Indian batsmen cannot play short balls on fast bouncy wickets; well i think they are the best batting lineup of all teams and once they get in the right mindset, they will be able to play just fine. And they are awesome players of spin for sure unlike Australia. India's spin bowling is amazing. India's fast bowling is looking better than ever with Ishant, Zaheer and the new guys. The difference betweeen the English and Aussie tours is going to be India's hunger to conquer the Aussies, India's mental preparedness going into this tour and India's best XI playing.

Posted by o0oPiTBuLLo0o on (December 23, 2011, 17:22 GMT)

Well, you could call it whatever but i will wait and return to comment after Oz looses this test series. What happened in england was a total disaster which i agree and that too happened coz many key batsmen were missing in that series. I am happy to read news that both the seam Indian bowlers were fit, fine and practice in the nets today. Nevertheless, we got excellent spinners in the bag too for the OZs who can't play it (may be except punter). Another thing, Don't forget India's test ranking is 2nd which is above OZ's. It's above them due to a reason and strength. Indian power will definitely show the real colors. Good luck players !

Posted by Lord_Dravid on (December 23, 2011, 14:53 GMT)

@RAHULCRICKET007..dont worry mate united we stand..zak and ishant are going to fire they did well in the nets today..and even if they dont the aussies cant play spin and we've got ashwin and ojha to spin them out! :D

Posted by g.narsimha on (December 23, 2011, 14:43 GMT)

BRAVO BRAVO ,stats in this site suggest that during the last decade our team was third in winning away ,just behind AUS& SA ,so just one series loss to ENG in their bach yard in decades, it seems that you people cant live without mentioning that in every form ,our team did well here in the last 2 visits, we had beaten AUSSEEs 2-0 in IND , but i found your great team was white washed in their last visit to this place , 3-0 IN TYESTs 5-0 in ODIs ,so before trying to make fun of others one must see where he himself stands ,

Posted by g.narsimha on (December 23, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

PAK CRICKET ELITE , This is realtime cricket between two high quality teams we have just seen clash of the titans in BD , yr team played magnificiently , I ithink next in line is AFGNISTAAN ,BD will be vising your plce very soon , so be happy this is IND-AUS series ,in AUS ,INDIA did play good cricket ,as past record suggest,unlike your greate teams performance in last THE series here ,which is even worse than our recent ENGLAND TOUR

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 13:53 GMT)

pakcricket elite look at pakistan minnow team compares this decade india drew in australai2003 and won in perth 2008 drew in england 2002 andwonin 2007 also won in durban 2006 and in 2011 drew in south africa also won vb series in austrlaia no team has done that this decade won netwest in england won word cup wat did pakistan tharshed by australia in australia england in england pakistan have not achieved anything sinnce statrted playingcricket wat india achieved in this decade dont have any matchwinners chuckers like ajmal andshoaib and fixers like ajmal remeber last tour whitewash in one day and test in autralia no match winners alsofixers look at stats since 1990 highest avg in quialication two series atleast sehwag 59 sachin 56 kevin peterson 56 laxman49 dravid 45 kallis45 lara41 no pakistan because they are club batsman lolzzzzzzzzz

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 23, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

As DHONI keeps saying to everyone play good cricket and then results will take care of themselves. Fans its no use delving into any stats iolder than a year. To the Indian team that is history - look forward not back.History can only help in deciding the lineup and team to take for each game. India s poorly endowed with pace bowlers which is one of the ingredients to win in Oz. Their spinners and batsman can setup a game or two - but it is uphill. Australia have fairly balanced resources and start as favorites with home advantage. Having said that there is always the odd hiccup - NZ beating Oz recently. Lets enjoy and appreciate two great teams battle it out - one will emerge the victor and then its no use condemning the other as useless.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 11:22 GMT)

Well .. Looks like Mr. Taylor is really Fond of Ricky Pointing... Well.. If Ricky is so great.. Then why he never did well in India.. If Indians find Pace bowling difficult.. then SA, Aus.. have been very poor against Spin.. thats mainly due to the which one had grown up.. but if M. Taylor feels Scoring in India.. is a very easy thing to do.. then Why Ricky Pointing Always.. Struggled in India.. For us.. Pointing Scoring Run in Aus..doesnt matter .. if Sachin , Dravid & laxman's scoring in India doesn't matter to them.. These three players are class in themselves.. they had proven it in the past.. Lets compare how many hundreds..or runs.. Pointing had scored in India.. he wd havent been got selected in any Indian team wd those scores what he has in India.. If Indian are not good players of pace bowling then.. Aussie are Poorest when it comes to playing against India in India..

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 23, 2011, 9:25 GMT)

@bravobravo - You can score set a target of say 150 runs. Can you defend it with the bowlers you have? Most teams will give it their best shot. Not team India outside the subcontinent. Their bowlers capability of taking the necessary wickets is not as high as other teams. If you look at England series - Zaheer broke down after 13 overs. Immediately England took the initiative away as the bowlers wilted. Niow when it came India batting they were already tired - the game was going further out of reach. The series was starting to slip. Ishant was already tired from Windies tour.

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (December 23, 2011, 9:13 GMT)

Please Indians be Realistic. It's not an Indian Bollywood movie where you guys are Dreaming!!! Ground Reality is Completely Different. Australian team is going to give very tough time to your So Called Indian Team. So get ready for Excuses!!! I am waiting to see, how your Batting and Bowling Line up is Going to handle Australian Key Bowler "Pattinson" and Batsman "Warner" Because both are in Form and match winning Players. Do you guys know about "Match Winniing Players"??? Well I don't feel so, because in your team no one is a Match Winnig Player.

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 23, 2011, 8:51 GMT)

With current Aus' form, target of 100 runs is more than enough. Street kid from India could prove costly for them.. Altogether, Melbourne match would be the venue for Sachin's 100th ton and Sehwag blasting fastest 100 in the tests.. Im lucky to watch it from the stands.. - Prasant UNSW

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 23, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

@hira02 . and my feeling is that if zaheer , ishant didn't fire then we will see another whitewash .

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 6:58 GMT)

i would like to state a few facts as a pure cricket lover.When analyzing a team's performance at least 12 months need to be considered and it seems strange why almost every non Indian poster here keeps forgetting the Indian tour to SA which ended on Jan6.SA got bowled out cheaply on the bouncy Durban track and Ind won the test.And 3rd test was Jacq the King Kallis's test.Every one seems to know only about India's tour to England.Agreed it was a disgrace (especially the last 2 tests),but it should be noted that Indians including Kapil Dev had blasted BCCI and players for what happenedr.You may read a lot of excuses here BUT that does not reflect true Indian cricket fan's attitude.And talking about this series Aus start as clear favorites despite their run of defeats because this is held in Aus.Best India can hope for is a 1-1 scoreline with classic performances from their batsmen.This is no shame considering the bowling resources we have.and if Zak does not play..4-0 pls publish

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 6:06 GMT)

punchinello first clear your stats your socalled warne was smashed by sachin in 1998 along with magrath again in 2001 wat did magrath did in india he need helpful wickets to bowl lolzzzzzzzzzz warne said sachin comes in my dreams and this also shows australia only produce two good bowlers since 1990 this overdependence on them now showing australia is moving towards westindies

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 5:51 GMT)

mad hamish magrath was smashed 2000 by sachin that time indian team was young and some useless players magrath took wickets of them also if magrathisthat great wat happen in 2001 india smashed by indians in india

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

bravo bravo one stat for you india drew series in 2002 and won netwest also won in 2007 england only beat indias injured side and inone day it was indias b team match was disturbed by rainindia record inengland 1-1 wat did englanddid in india lost 17 out of18 inone day and smashed intest this is reality and england cant digest ho ho ho

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 5:39 GMT)

All talk on Zak and Ishanth. But Aswin is going to be the real threat for AUS. No none predicted he will be the MOS for Ind-WI.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 5:04 GMT)

Aus also have very weak bowling attack most of the bowler are young and inexperienced so in my view point both team are 60-40 so hope it will be good series and india have very good chance to beat Aus this time Aus is very week side now a days their batsman are struggle for runs and bowler serching for wickets

Posted by Vinodha19 on (December 23, 2011, 4:56 GMT)

Stop playing mind-games. Our seniors players are in team not bcos of the performance of the past. We may lose the series bcos of our bowling unit. But these seniors will atleast score 250 runs. And I love to watch that. All the best india.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 23, 2011, 4:23 GMT)

Too much talk about weakness in IND bowling department. The way I see it, it was IND abject batting and batsmen failure during their recent whitewash by ENG. It does not matter how many thousands run you made, but if you can't deliver at the need of time then batsman becomes a useless run machine. Bowlers of any team need some decent score from their batsmen before they could bowled the opponent out. For sure, IND is not going to win the test series in AUS. If IND batsmen fail (which is strong likelihood) like they did in ENG, then result of AUS vs IND series is pretty obvious. About AUS vs IND ODI series, it will be another nightmare for WC 2011 holder IND. Once again too much hype was pouring in on this bulletin board when IND caravan was travelling to ENG, that how MIGHTY IND batting line is going to crush and pulverize ENG, and punish ENG bowlers in England. And everyone knows as what happened in summer of 2011.

Posted by vertical on (December 23, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

australia will probably win the series.i remember last time in 2003 we had a good chance to seal the series in sydney after posting 700 odd still could not take 20 aussie wickets and the 2007 was closely contested too.Zaheer still looks terribly unfit and ishant sharma is very unpredictable.Hopefully would not be steamrolled like in england

Posted by jango_moh on (December 23, 2011, 3:45 GMT)

I still dont understand people indicating that the main indian players cant ever play bounce on fast wickets.... india had a freak series in England and played poorly no doubt... but this same team has been doing well in the past 5 years abroad... eng was pretty much the only series loss recently, we won the series last time on the same seaming wickets... won in PERTH!!! last time around in AUS... so to suggest that the batsmen are rubbish against good pace bowling is a stretch... ofcourse they are not consistently good against pace outside india, but i would say the indian batsman are as susceptible to pace bowling as other batsmen are susceptible to indian spinning conditions....

Posted by rohan024 on (December 23, 2011, 3:32 GMT)

I have been saying this for a while that Indian team is 40% Sehwag, 40% Zaheer Khan and 20% Tendulkar...Yes, dravid of late has been in terrific form but from 2007 onwards till 2010, he did nothing & was in team bcoz of good relations and past performance. Its Sehwag who scores big in the first 40-50 overs, and then all Indian batsmen score their centuries slowly & steadily. If Sehwag doesn't perform at the top, then most Indian batsmen are fallible barring Tendulkar..For India to take 20 wickets, Zaheer has to take 7-8 wickets in the match else we are looking at Australia posing a total of 500+ everytime.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 3:29 GMT)

dr thirsty yes they played well but long term stats not just one series yes we can include kevin and also this aussie attack and last aussies attack big diffrence kevin should be included m sorry because he has played more than one series and played old attack also the way sehwag and kp dominate aussies after sachin its amazing kp ismy all time fav english player and one more guy finn he is undrerated but far betterthan green track bully anderson finn in my opinion after steyn no 1 guy was bowling well in subcontinent and fast everybody can bowlquick in aussies condition but its difficult in india

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 3:15 GMT)

meety india this year have more difficult tourthan aussies in 2011 sa sachin scored and smased teyn morkel 2 centuries watch vedios of that series india won in durban england was exception due to injuries aussies played sa all out for 47 debutant horrified them india wasneva all out for 47 advice taylor to watch those vedios and mind you dont underestimate indian teamthey were no 1 sa underestimate and lost durban and might even lost series but badlite and dont estimate bowlingalso ask sa and this time far more better attack if fit yadav bowls at 150ishant can touch aussies lucky aaron is not playing bowls at150 then two worldclass spinners ashwin is great 3 nil to india and in 2008 india won at perth with medium pacers this time two quicks they have andone injured

Posted by only_sehwag on (December 23, 2011, 3:06 GMT)

The big three will not be tested in this series either...Sehwag will bludgeon the bowlers and fielders before they can reach the big won't be the bowlers but sehwag who will decide the fate of this series..

Posted by Punchinello on (December 23, 2011, 2:34 GMT)

@hira02 The last time the 'MIGHTY INDIAN' batsmen toured australia when they had both Mcgrath and Warne was around 12 years ago! To say that their averages were built against them is stretching it quite a bit. Even Tendulkar whose been around for eternity has had to contend with them in only one series. In a sense India were fortunate not to run into those two, in their last two visits especially considering Mcgrath was more than a handful even in Indian wickets. Otherwise we would still have been searching for our first test win in Australia in 30+ years.

Posted by o0oPiTBuLLo0o on (December 23, 2011, 2:30 GMT)

I don't agree at all with the comments above from Taylor and Warne. Indian batsmen might be old... But they are in their best times and best shape. Those old batsmen are in their career best times. For whomsoever fast bowler of Oz new or old.. It'll be hard for them to pierce the Indian batting line up consisting up of Sehwag, Dravid, Gambhir, VVS, SrT, Kohli, R.Sharma, & even MSD. Indian batsmen are going to make sure that they make the Oz bowlers pay and Indian bastmen will definitely defend their bowling department on the accounts of batting and smashing hard with their bats. Although Indian quickers picked are not that bad too, U.Yadav, V. Aaron. These 2 are great too. Again, don't forget Oz players (may be except Punter) get troubled against playing spin... So, Ind has got R. Ashqin and Ojha in bag for them too. Definitely India will clinch the series, despite this hype, pitch, bowler's health ! Go India go !!!

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (December 23, 2011, 2:22 GMT)

@hira02 in actual fact very little of Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar's record in Australia is against McGrath. McGrath played 3 tests against India in Australia back in 99/2000 (for 18 wickets @13.77) In 03 /04 the Australian specialist bowlers were JN Gillespie,BA Williams,AJ Bichel,CG MacGill,NW Bracken,B Lee in 07/08 B Lee,SR Clark,MG Johnson,GB Hogg

some useful bowlers but not McGrath and not Warne. Which isn't to say that the Indian batsmen won't be too good for the current attack but your reasoning is off.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 2:18 GMT)

Ponting never faced Mc Grath, Shane Warne Brett Lee Kallis Never faced Dale steyn ,Allan DonaldShaun pollock They face the weak Indian Bowling attack, where as Tendulkar faced the strongest bowling line ups of SA and AUS

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (December 23, 2011, 2:10 GMT)

It's way too hard to call this series. There are just too many unknowns. Finger spin is generally not effective in Australia so it's going to be tough for India if their quicks aren't bowling well. Against that the level of the Australian bowlers is largely an unknown, Siddle looks better than he has since he started having injury problems around 2009, Pattinson looks good, Lyon looks the most promising spinner we've had post Warne, Starc doesn't look ready, Hilfenhaus seems to be back up where he was before recent injuries but how they'll stand up if Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar or Laxman get going is a huge unknown. Pattinson (and Cummins) look promising but also put down a fair few loose balls (not surprising for inexperience players) the top Indian batsmen may be better positioned to take advantage of them and they've all shown they're not exactly easy to dismiss. Against that they aren't getting any younger and their reflexes might not be quite as sharp. Time will tell.

Posted by Nampally on (December 23, 2011, 1:50 GMT)

@Chris_P; Indian bowling average that you quoted at 70+ in England was mainly due to injuries to Key bowlers. Indian bowling has changed significantly since then with the introduction of 2 reliable spinners in Ashwin & Ojha + a seamer in Yadev. The only remaining missing piece is Zaheer- still trying to regain his form coming back from ankle surgery. So this bowling attack is significantly different to that in England. 3 new bowlers are young & have a high wicket tally in tests they played even on flat Indian tracks.India has 3 aging batsmen in Dravid, Sachin & Laxman. But in the recent tests they have done well. Gambhir, Sehwag, Dhoni are each 30 or just above whilst Kohli & Sharma are only 23. So it is a mix of youth & experience.What is more important is that Indian regular openers - missing or playing half fit in England -are back.If they give India a good start, India will get 400+. Result: On 2 the spinning wkts.India has a good chance of winning whilst on other 2 they can draw.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 1:27 GMT)

in Australia 2007-2008 4 493 154* 70.42 2 0 - - 0 5 0 in Bangladesh 2010-2010 2 264 143 132.00 2 - - - - 0 0 in England 2011-2011 4 273 91 34.12 0 0 - - 0 2 in India 2008-2011 20 1709 214 58.93 6 0 - - 0 6 inNew Zealand 2009-2009 3 344 160 68.80 1 2 2/45 22.50 in South Africa 2010-2011 3 326 146 81.50 2 1 1/9 66.00 0 0 0 in Sri Lanka 2008-2010 6 485 203 44.09 1 - - - - 2 0

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 23, 2011, 1:26 GMT)

For many years India has got by in Test cricket thanks to several great batsmen and in spite of a dismal bowling attack. But sooner or later the greats start to fade, and Laxman and Tendulkar demonstrably are fading, while Dravid's scores just before his 27th birthday in 99-00 in Australia - the last time Australia fielded a good attack at home against India - were 35, 6, 9, 14, 29 and 0. MS Dhoni averages less than 18 in Australia too, which is no fluke as in his two series in South Africa he only averaged 26 and 36, so he too clearly is technically unsuited to bouncy tracks. I went to the Gabba for the AUS v NZ Test earlier this month, and the hostility of Siddle and Pattinson was astonishing. I think that India will be very reliant on Gambhir as the only established batsman aged 30 or under whose reflexes may survive the ordeal by pace and swing which awaits them.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 1:05 GMT)

Boy! I doubt anyone will survive that 2nd test pitch where Aus vs NZ just took place. That would test the quality of every batsmen and Dravid seems to be the best of the bunch at that. And for Aus, their young attach seems to be way better than our Indian attack. The good thing is that they can listen to their coaches and captains and bowl to the plan compared to our Indian ones (bar Zaheer but he aint fit yet.) Yadav to me is promising as he's a lot more composed and a little mature and aint head heavy as others. I am sure it has to be a great series and the first test will say it all!

Posted by clarky1958 on (December 23, 2011, 1:05 GMT)

@hira02 - The Indian batting averages were NOT made against McGrath. McGrath took 18 wickets @ 13.8 in the 99/00 series which Aus won 3-0. McGrath did not play in the 03/04 series.

@Longhopper - Based on his record, if Zaheer is forced to bowl a lot of overs in the first test then I think he will miss the next two through injury. His record shows he is now 33 and injury-prone.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 1:02 GMT)

India have to bat well to win against Australia if they want to win the series

Posted by Meety on (December 22, 2011, 23:56 GMT)

Mark Taylor is spot on about the fact that the Indian trio do not get tested under bowling friendly conditions as often as Oz have. The counter to this then is, we don't know how well the big 3 will respond. I agree with Warne that Dravid is in a zone & will do well, I think there are question marks over the rest of the batting line up, (albeit not in reference to long term history). VVS scares me the most, I suspect that SRT wants a test series victory in Oz - even more so than a W/Cup. It would be the last big box to tick. He will be motivated. However, if Oz's young quicks (& Lyon), live up to reasonable expectations (not overhyped levels), I think there are some cheap wickets available as older reflexes will always be susceptable to pace. Fascinating contest looming (can't wait), if the England debacle never happenned, you'd say India 2-0, but I think it will be Oz 2-1 or 2all.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 22, 2011, 23:52 GMT)

I would also add, that the 2 players (Khawaja & Hughes) dropped for lack of form, also piled on an undefeated cebtury opening partnership against Khan & Ishant. So are we measuring form or just waiting to see what happens? Australia's biggest issue is the form of their batting lineup. 2 things India have to overcome is their pedestrian bowling attack and their aged batting lineup. 6 of their first 7 batsmen are well into their 30's, just how long can time be defied? All will be revealed in the next 4 weeks.

Posted by cricmatters on (December 22, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

I think time has come that India should look beyond Zahir Khan and Ishant Sharma. Zahir has done a great service over the years and had been a key element in India reaching the No. 1 stutus in Test Cricket before taken over by England. His absence in England left a huge gap as rest of the attack struggled to get 20 wickets to win a Test Match. I am yet to see Ishant Sharma take a five wicket haul in any Test match of substace. Umesh Yadav and Abhimanyu Mithun are our future Test prospects with Irfan Pathan to support them if his form holds. Time to give the youngster a chance to prove themselves.

Posted by jaggernot on (December 22, 2011, 23:26 GMT)

TOUGH FACT!!! Batsman can draw a Test match. Bowlers can win a Test match. Unless Zaheer is fit and fires i don't see India winning series.At the most India can win it 1-0 if Australia play pathetically or they can loose 2-0 if Australia plays well. But if Zaheer bowls well India can win 2-0 or even 3-0.None of the other bowler except for Ashwin will create a impact whatsoever.

Posted by notvery on (December 22, 2011, 23:23 GMT)

@Randyoz. sa and Aus are a level above Ind and Eng??? how do you work that one out after being done by an innings in your own backyard by england? yes sure india are rubbish... but england proved that.

Posted by Imad_K on (December 22, 2011, 23:10 GMT)

Hira - listen mate. I hardly watch cricket anymore. But I said well before the England series that India would get thrashed. Two reasons they have no bowling and can't play against good quick bowlers on fast tracks against short pitch bowling. I also said that only two Indian batsmen were going to produce any runs - Dravid and Tendulkar - so I might have got that wrong slightly as I think it was only Dravid. Don't get me wrong I'm not Indian but I used to be a huge fan of Indian batting until I watched them play against the short bowling in the T20 World Cup in England. Watching them play quick short pitch bowling is almost embarrassing at times. Averages, experts - I have heard and seen it all. Mark my words Australia will not lose against India especially if Australia have some quick left arm over the wickets bowlers who are fit.

Posted by martinlee on (December 22, 2011, 23:03 GMT)

I think rahul Dravid will be the pinacle for indian batting line up but wn u think abt 20 is going to be huge challenge for the indian bowlers..........especially if india has a fitness problem with zaheer or ishant then...........india has to pay much..............

Posted by Longhopper on (December 22, 2011, 22:56 GMT)

I think the emphasis will be on how a very fragile aussie team can bat against Zaheer Khan - that will be the battle that could decide the whole series. The aussie attack is very play and miss on a session by session basis and i don't really see them causing too much trouble for the Indians - especially if Sehwag gets a hold of them early on.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 22:48 GMT)

@Big_al_81 Laxman may not be at the same level as Tendulkar, Dravid or Ponting, but when he scores, his runs have plenty weight on the fortunes of Indian team. His 281 vs Australia testifies to this. I won't be too critical towards him because he might be the most successful Indian batsman on this tour besides Dravid. I have to agree with Warne's comments. India are in serious trouble in the bowling department without Inshant Sharma and Zaheer Khan.The results in each game will be dependent upon the bowling and fielding. The batting almost cancels out.

Posted by Lord_Dravid on (December 22, 2011, 22:31 GMT)


Posted by dr.thirsty on (December 22, 2011, 22:19 GMT)

@Apoorv Pandey - You should add to your list of highest averages against Aus in Aus the following. Jonathan Trott - 89; Alastair Cook - 65.12; Michael Vaughan - 63.3; Kevin Pietersen - 56.66; Matt Prior - 50.4. I know they're not Indian, but surely they should count? Anyway, looking forward to a fascinating series. It has all the hallmarks of a tight contest, pitching as it does a team that can't bat against a team that can't bowl.

Posted by vishx on (December 22, 2011, 22:11 GMT)

@big_al_81, it makes little sense to compare India and England on all away matches they've played since they started playing test cricket. It is true that India have won only 37 of 226 away matches. But if you look at the last 10 years, India have won 21 of 62 (33.8%) and England have won 18 of 57 (31.5%). If you look at the Win/Loss ratio during this period, India's is 1.05 and England's is 0.85. India have become better travelers (the recent England series is an exception). In the past year they drew a series in South Africa and beat WI in away series. Increased exposure to foreign conditions is part of the reason. Also, starting with Saurav's captaincy, the team has more self-belief than teams of the past generations.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 22, 2011, 22:11 GMT)

An even bigger question mark than Australia's batting is India's bowling. Just check recent efforts; averaged 70+ against the English and struggled to bowl out a very ordinary WI batting lineup. The warm up games haven't shown anything different. To win games, you need to take 20 wickets. That is the biggest question mark against the Indian bowlers. And I believe Warne summed it up perfectly.

Posted by Yaad_Aa_Gaya_Mujhko_India on (December 22, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

I think Indian fast bowling attack at this time is decent, not great but decent. At least its not embarassing. Spin bowling is great as always and batting is undoubtedly No.1 hands down no question in all forms. With a great captain at the driver's seat, and with australia not at their peak, I don't think India will lose a test match on this tour. I think it might be 2-0 for India with 2 matches drawn or maybe even 3-0! Chukk de India!

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 22, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

Pretty funny that India have never won a series here hey? Won't be continuing soon. Australia and SA are a level above India and the United XI.

Posted by freo75 on (December 22, 2011, 21:35 GMT)

Cant see India taking 20 wickets and I like the look of this new Australian bowling attack so I can see a repeat of the England tour on the cards. Australia need a convincing win 3 or 4 nil to convince me they will be in any way competetive in the Ashes.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 22, 2011, 21:29 GMT)

@Apoorv Pandey@ isn't it about time you got over the FACT that your team were WHITEWASHED by ENG a few months ago. Why are you dragging up series that happened 4 and 9 years ago ? surley it's the most recent one which matters! perhaps you would be better off talking about your upcoming series against Aus as that is what this thread is suppose to be about. It's like everytime you write something on here your trying to have a dig at Eng. You took a huge beating and you will get your chance to put it straight next year so in the mean time just let it go!

Posted by NP_NY on (December 22, 2011, 21:13 GMT)

Taylor may be right, I am little worried about these oldies (creaky old terminators as Dravid says) in the Indian side. No matter how skilled you are, your reflexes aren't going to be as good at 38 as they were when you were in your prime. I am worried that they are going to let India down in this series, but I'd love to be proved wrong.

Posted by sunilramlall on (December 22, 2011, 20:55 GMT)

India wins 2-0. Tendulkar makes 3 100's.

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 22, 2011, 20:38 GMT)

@ Rushikey, it's not really clear to me where you find your stats unless they are of the '132percent of all statistics are made up on the spot' variety. Had a little look into your claim that India have a better winning record than England overseas and found some interesting REAL stats: India's win/loss ratio overseas is 0.39 away and 1.53 at home. England's is 0.83 away, 1.67at home. And that's a fact. Winning overseas is hard unless you are WI of the 70s and 80s or Australia of the 90s and noughties. Since they started India have only won 37 of their 226 overseas matches compared with England's 88 out of 335. That's a 0.83 w/l ratio for England compared with India's 0.39. What a wonder statsguru is...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 20:28 GMT)

I think Mark Taylor needs to refresh his memory a bit. Indian greats have always been tested in tough conditions. Rahul Dravid scored back to back centuries in England while VVS laxman has always been the savior of Indian Cricket in the second innings and i don't think i need to elaborate on the achievements of Sachin Tendulkar.

Posted by Pritt32 on (December 22, 2011, 20:11 GMT)

Good luck to India for the Boxing Day match. India needs to focus and show they can play well abroad. I expect the Aussies to put up a good fight and plus they have home advantage. It is down to Indian batmen to play sensible and their bowlers need to take 20 wickets. This is the key to achieving success. There are fitness concerns of Sharma and Z.Khan. It is imperative these two bowlers are fully fit, as India's back up bowling is inexperience and may struggle to contain. It will be an interesting clash between two cricketing giants.

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 22, 2011, 19:58 GMT)

Once again I find myself at a loss to understand what Laxman has done to be considered in the same breath as Tendulkar,Dravid and Ponting. He's not in their league or close to it. Good but not anywhere near great. He ought, by now to have been dropped for Kohli or someone similar. It's baffling that someone on here describes him as one of 'the three great Indians'. Count the runs, count the failures, there have been plenty of batsmen just as elegant and yet who have managed more of a contribution. Ignore the hype! And it should be a good series between two teams in transition, Australia should edge it though as they have bowlers that on a good day could be described as an 'attack'.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 22, 2011, 19:52 GMT)

I only hope this series we see one match as thrilling as the previous Sydney Test between these two sides. Wasn't that a GREAT match! India crumbling against part time spinner Michael Clarke. Oh, the memories!!!

Posted by nlambda on (December 22, 2011, 19:23 GMT)

Am not worried about our batting but yes our bowlers are very capable of letting us down. How I wish Kumble were playing in this series - that would have won this for us. Still bummed about Varun Aaron and PK getting injured - this series has a good probability of going the England way.

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 22, 2011, 19:21 GMT)

Indian fans don't half go on about previous tours.Lets deal with recent history and go from there.You have not torued well recently so lets see how you go in Aus. No bowling and a batting line up that can't handle pace and bounce.Should be an easy Aussie win. What will the excuse be after you lose. Try the usual ones of dodgy umpires as that seems to work well for you.

Posted by donda on (December 22, 2011, 19:10 GMT)

Tayler is right, old bodies cannot react fast to swing and seam fast bowling. This series will be real test for ponting, hussey, tendulkar, vvs and dravid.

This can be the last series of one these old men too.

Looking forward to see this series, hope to see great matches.

Posted by cricketcritic on (December 22, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

Australia's belief in its abilities has been its greatest strength, but now that stocks are low it has become their greatest weakness. Mark Taylor has been a voice of reason on C9 for some time, but he is wrong here. How anyone who knows anything about batting can believe Ponting is "just around the corner" from a revival is beyond me. The horse has bolted - the eyes and reflexes are gone and he's searching for it. No better illustration than the LBW against Tim Southee at Hobart - the ugliest dismissal of the summer so far. Further, Taylor's comments about the Indian batters is just the usual sort of Aussie propaganda ahead of a test series. Tendulkar might be older than Ponting but when his game dipped he reconstructed his approach and has continued his stellar career. Not so long ago I watched Dravid score one the gutsiest centuries I've been privileged to see, on a green seaming deck against a quality English attacked - full of application and technique.

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (December 22, 2011, 18:57 GMT)

Without Emotions After warm up matches I have Strong Feeling that Indian team is going to lose this test series because now day by day all Senior players will be unfit as usual (Remember England Tour). And series result will be 4-0 or 3-1 in favour of Australia. I don't know why always Indian team use to unfit out side the India??? And Indian media start saying that we lost the series because, our senior players were unfit??? Is it not to funny??? Well Best Regards for Australian and Indian team for an Interesting Series.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 18:45 GMT)

why cant we hope that hell make the century and be done with this exciting moment he had in his life

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 18:35 GMT)

mark taylor....u never flared at indian wickets...neither ur ponting and hussey...does that mean u guys are total fail....each wicket has its own challenge...wat say abt ur english summer failure...they were ur wickets...ashes 2005...SA 2010...India (every tour)...does that mean aussies can not play on this earth???when we make runs on indian wickets then they are flat...but when u guys fail...then they are dust bowls...spinning tracks...why double standards...patriotism is good...but disgracing others in the name of patriotism is bad...instead go and ask ponting to correct his technique...

Posted by riskreddy on (December 22, 2011, 18:25 GMT)

@Mark Taylor. "Ponting, who has struggled for form over the past two years"? If you see, the fact is that Ponting has struggled for form over the past 4 and a half years. He has averaged 38 since Feb 2007, compared to his average of 59 before 2007. I think you are in a phase of denial. Cricket Aus, always boasts about dropping senior players when they are out of form and pick youngsters instead. EX: The Chappell brothers advising to drop Ganguly, or retire Tendulkar, ignore Laxman. There were even articles about Dravid struggling for form and needs to retire. All these players were out of form only for a year or 2 at the most. What about Ponting? 4 and a half years of draught with an average of 38? Even tail enders are having a better average than that nowadays in Test cricket. And you quote "hopefully, over the five days here, we'll see the real Ricky Ponting.". You spoke like a true Indian Sachin Tendulkar fan, only in this case fanning for Ponting! I must say "hipocracy prevails".

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 22, 2011, 18:17 GMT)

@Indian fans in Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli our future team lies after the big three retire>Well make that 4 as Shewag will also call it a day. The future looks rosy for the batting department but not the pace bowling depatrtment.

Posted by bdsmaruf on (December 22, 2011, 18:06 GMT)

i think indians bowler will do good but batsmen will be failure in aus. condition like in england.good luck both.

Posted by landl47 on (December 22, 2011, 18:04 GMT)

Zaheer and Ishant have bowled 24.3 overs between them in the two warm-up matches and neither has taken a wicket. Can India risk both of them for a 5-day test match? Ashwin looks to be a useful spinner, but Ojha has taken 3 wickets for 236 in the two warm-up games and doesn't appear to be suited to Australian conditions. Yadav is a good prospect, but is inexperienced; Mithun and Vinay Kumar are ordinary. Aus isn't a great batting side, but unless Zaheer and Ishant miraculously regain fitness in the next 3 days, it's hard to see India bowling out Aus twice. The real duel is between the Aus bowlers and Indian batsmen. If Tendulkar and co have a last effort left in them, then maybe India can score enough runs to draw or even win a game, if everything falls right for them. If not (and they didn't look too good in England) then it's Aus to win a close series, maybe 1-0.

Posted by Lord_Dravid on (December 22, 2011, 18:01 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 17:59 GMT)

Tounge iin check comments by Taylor - Sachin Dravid VVS play most of the games on Flat indian pitches. Oh Oh Mr Taylor - Your statement is a reflection of the level of frustration of the Australian cricket and its fans. ALl these three under mention have made leven the best of their own Australian attacks - look pedestrian stuff - time and again on thieir own back yard - We can understand your frustration Mr Taylor. We Indians will finish Winning the series against your Oz this season for sure. Wait and watch the glory of Strongest even batting line up in the cricket history.

Posted by Lala_Amarnath on (December 22, 2011, 17:32 GMT)

It is going to boil down to fitness and preparation. The fact that Indian bowlers were trying to preserve their stamina and not having a go - full blast for the preparatory matches tells me that they are going to be in trouble. India will have to rely on second and third tier bowling attack. Spinners will be more or less ineffective, with the exception of Ashwin. Zaheer and Ishant will be out with injuries. Australia, even though they have been down and out recently, will find their hidden form against India. Dravid, VVSL, Gambhir and Kohli will do well. Sachin should forget about the 100 and just concentrate on making 50.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (December 22, 2011, 17:29 GMT)

India will play 12 test matches in 2012,3 of those 12 would have been in India.Mark Taylor says that India have played a lot in India,which is actually not true.There could be some doubt in how much India have been tested as 6 of the tests would be against the West Indies.The Indian team needs to prove to the world that they are great even in old age.Rahul Dravid & Sachin Tendulkar need to leave lasting memories as this should be their last Australian tour.Rohit Sharma might be a better choice for the #6 spot than Virat Kohli.Kohli has batted very well lately but his problem with real pace could be a real problem,Sharma might be more comfortable.If Sehwag & Gambhir fail in the first two test,Ajinkya Rahane might have to play in the last two.India must not allow the game to be taken away from them as they allowed to in England.

Posted by nyc_missile on (December 22, 2011, 17:09 GMT)

@Dinker Rkn- Not sure why you think we'll go to Sydney after 2nd test because we will play in Sydney back to back after Melbourne(refer to the right hand corner on this page) as always in Aus.The key is somehow to either draw if not win in 1st test and then push on our strenght(spin) in the next at Sydney. The only vulnerable venue this time I see is Perth unlike the last time where we had all energies focused on only and only winning it after what had happened earlier courtesy the clown Bucknor.My biggest worry which most ppl here are missing is form (lack of it) of Dhoni, he is a walking wicket in Tests especially abroad and he seriously needs to step up and hence a defacto tail ender especially if middle order flunks..otherwise batting is solid on paper.Just pray & hope Zak & Ishant dont break down. I suspect it wont happen but Zak wont be penetrative or lethal either just to try avoid another hammy..

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

I am sure this series is memorable for indian players. Luck is with Dhoni and he has won India World Cup with the average bowling attack,i was feared of that bowling luckily we won. Coming 2 this series, neither of the teams got great bowlers right now(if some one argue zaheer),but both teams got new bowlers.Interesting 2 see them. I am damn sure sachin will score 2 centuries here.

All the Best for both teams & i expect some very interesting and Exciting series.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

Veeru, Laxman will be key in Indian batting and Ashwin,Zaheer will be key for Indian bowling. Good chances for India to win this series. All the best to Team India.

Posted by Rushikey on (December 22, 2011, 16:41 GMT)

dscoll from England, Before saying India is only good at Home, Have a look at your own English team record first. India have better wining record than England on a foreign pitches! Check out the stats :)

Posted by hunksurat on (December 22, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

India will not survive the Aussie attack mate.......4-0 humiliating defeat is on the cards. Neither Sachin nor Dravid could save the series.

Posted by zico123 on (December 22, 2011, 15:52 GMT)

this MCG test has to Ponting last, if he doesn't get run, he should be dropped, as Marsh and Watson should be back in the team come 2nd Test, and if he does gets runs, what better occasion that here to walk of on the high

Posted by zico123 on (December 22, 2011, 15:49 GMT)

any other Australian with 2 year run drought would have got dropped and forgotten long long back, it is just because of Ponting's massive career stats he got 2 year long rope already, how much more time does he need? Australia just can't wait on him forever!! he got to go now

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 15:47 GMT)

Taylor may be right about the quicks, but outside of the sub continent, very few batter can play quality spin. And India has good spinners on this tour, not great but good enough to trouble the Aussies. Sharma & Kholi will do well,maybe Dravid, but I dont know about the others. If Sachin can`t make runs in AUS,he is finished.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 22, 2011, 15:42 GMT)

Warne sounds very sweet ever since he started playing IPL. He is all praise for Dravid on more than a couple of occasions. This is what club cricket can do. The mutual respect and admiration for players across the nations is now palpably genuine. Point is, they want their once bitter opponents to do really well. We can also see that many Indians are rooting for Ponting also to do well in this last clash of the 5 big names - RSD, VVS, RTP, MEKH and SRT. I'm really really happy that Ponting and Hussey didn't get dropped on this final tour of the three great Indians. Wouldn't it be a dream come true if this tour really turns out to be a fierce clash of that priceless generation of batsmen? Can't wait for each one of them to register at least 3 centuries each and give fans like us something to cherish for the rest of our lives. I want these gems to put bowlers of either side on the defensive. Bowlers are getting too cocky of late just because some of these greats are having a lean patch.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 22, 2011, 15:31 GMT)

@nightrider001/ Mark Taylor - yes Sachin will retire after oz tour, but this 38yr old made 94 against your young side just the other day. India should field Rohit and Kohli in place of one of the seniors. there three other games after this and the three seniors could be rotated in the other days.

Posted by bapiojah on (December 22, 2011, 15:23 GMT)

India has historically been very poor starters...and think this time will be no difference...the much vaunted batting lineup generally fails when required the most...when the ball swings..only Dravid plays....recent history shows that more than is the batting failures that cost India the matches in Eng and SA, verdict...Aussies will win it 2-1...

Posted by DennyDavisParamban on (December 22, 2011, 15:10 GMT)

If India has to win in australia, India should use five bowlers with 3 spinners. My team would be Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Dhoni, Zaheer, Yadav/Pathan, Ashwin, Ohja, & Rahul Sharma. No one should have any doubt on our bowlers that our spinner Anil Kumble has taken 10 wickets himself in a match :). Trust our spinners, they will win matches for India.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 15:03 GMT)

India can beat Australia very well, also big scores from sachin bhai and dravid bhai .

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 14:57 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 14:51 GMT)

@Himanjai Saxena: aaron is a rubbish bowler right now..yes umesh yadav is a good prospect..and with ishatn,zak would be a good attack..both the teams are balanced in my opinion..

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 22, 2011, 14:42 GMT)

@dscoll . sa are a way upper level above india . mate have you forgot in jan when we tour them the series ended in 1-1 draw and india winning the only match in the bouciest track in durban. also aus draw recently with them by 1-1 . and my prediction for this series : if ishant-zaheer remains fit then india will win the series easily by 2-1 . otherwise a 2-0 , 3-0 win for aus .

Posted by Nampally on (December 22, 2011, 14:40 GMT)

Warne is right on with his comments which are based on his personal experience in playing with the Indian cricketers in the IPL. With Ishant & ZAK with doubtful fitness, India should not risk playing both. ZAK appears to be in a better shape than Ishant. So India should go with ZAK, Yadev & vinay or Mukund as their 3rd seamers. I strongly feel that Ishant should be sent home. He is a liability to the team. An alternate seamer is urgently needed. Indian batting needs to come out big in order for India to fare well with crippled seamers. Sehwag & Gambhir's opening partnership is the key to the Indian batting.Ideally India should have chosen 2 all rounders in Jadeja & Irfan Pathan. This would have given them an option of playing these guys in XI when they need both bowling & batting strengthened. In absence of all rounders, India has to risk going with 5 bowlers to get 20 wkts.This has become more complex due to injuries of ZAK & Ishant.So India start as underdogs in the MCG test.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 14:27 GMT)

Disagree somewhat with your analysis!

Ashwin may turn out to be the most critical factor in the entire series! He has the guile and the range to trouble most batsmen and does not necessarily need a big turning wicket to prove lethal!

The Aussies have not faced him before either and Dhoni employs him brilliantly.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

india should win this time.australia team is about to finishnow.all indian players are in good form.having very long batting line and good attack. .i m sure we will win . all the best boys.

Posted by ksad on (December 22, 2011, 14:14 GMT)

I'm looking forward to an engrossing series and hopefully an Indian series win. I do feel Sachin will make his 100th ton here. My prediction is Kohli will solidify his position in test cricket on this tour. As far as the bowling is concerned, it is definitely a worry. Neither Ishant nor Zaheer should play if they are not fit. I think a fit attack without them is better than being a bowler short. I am eager to see if Yadav can make an impression. I doubt Mithun or Vinay will make a big impact. As far as Ponting is concerned, I would not worry if I were an Australian supporter. India has a habit of ensuring that opposition batsmen return to form against them.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 14:04 GMT)

All Ausies who are shouting India has never won a series here... should remember the last series... where India lost test match at sydney to umpires and not to Aussies.... and who all are questioning inidan bowling.... aussies will be chewed up by umesh and ashwin.... they shud thank god that aaron isn't fit..... and Mr. warne who is questioning India loss in English Conditions... England just beat them up at there own den..... :D

Posted by Murtaza_Rox on (December 22, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

India will surely play badly with Ishant/Zaheer not fully fit as well as Sachin looking for his 100th ton. All the concentration of media and focus will be on Sachin's 100th ton and in the mean time India will be bashed up in the series just like what happened in the recent England whitewash series.

INDIA will never change nor does there players wants to change, they are highly paid among rest of the cricketers in the world.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 13:44 GMT)

hmm dudes specially england 100yers playingin australias still amazing statshighest average in austrlia sehwag 58 sachin 56 lazman 50 dravid 46 kallis 45 lara 41 were are englishmen dude ho ho ho last decade from 2000 t0 2011 three series in england india drew in 2002 in 2007 won and 2011lost decent 1-1 englandin india humiliated series win isa dream both inone day test india won netwest

Posted by dscoll on (December 22, 2011, 13:43 GMT)

Im an Eng fan but i agree with RandyOZ. India are a great team AT HOME but these wickets (except Adelaide) won't suit them and subsequently they going to get hammered (by a very average Aussie team). Eng and SA are a level above these 2 on bouncing/moving tracks.

Posted by gularan on (December 22, 2011, 13:41 GMT)

The aussies should take every precaution not to lose early wickets against India. If they put up a good first wicket stand the batters to follow will build on it, otherwise it will be curtains for them. Also a little chin music will not be out of place here just to play on the vanity of the Indian batters who think they should not bow down to the dictates of the aussie bowlers. Their huge egos should be made to be their undoing in every match.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 13:37 GMT)

India performed well last time they visited down under. Just remember its not about winning and its how you perform on the cricket pitch upholding the values and traditions of this fantastic game.Anil Kumble's commented there was only one team playing with spirit of cricket and am sure that comment is still giving Aussies nightmares.

Posted by Arjun_CB on (December 22, 2011, 13:31 GMT)

To all AUS Blind Fans :- It is the same point system Put AUS, IND now ENG the No.1 Test side... So IND won so many test matches @home and away.... (that means they took 20 wkts often) ....

all can argue that IND won matches in Indian pitches, and they won more games... then my question is Why the touring teams couldnt able to take 20 wkts in India if they have a gre8 bowlers????

Why Ricky ponting Aus team couldnt able to win a single test in INDIA??? Why only INDIA in india??? does it mean AUS couldnt able to play against Spin??? Is there any rules that always fast bowlers should take wickets ?? lol.... Spinners are also bowlers ...........

Posted by Valavan on (December 22, 2011, 13:28 GMT)

@Kritika Prasad, 47 all out was vs SA and 130 allout was vs NZ. what india will do? thats the question, Australia struggles against swing, say me except zaheer who is genuine swing bowler for india. Aussies will hit the deck hard, does indian batters except Rahul, dhoni and sachin, who can adjust bounce, VVS was exposed in England. didnt you see that. rohit says aussies will struggle against swing, but the whole bunch of indian batters may struggle against swing and bounce, does anybody think aussie gonna give you dry wicket at Adelaide and SCG, Australia planning to play a 5 bowler attack, so better expect green decks in SCG and Adelaide as similar to Hobart which was relaid. If Indian batters doesnt adapt to conditions given, they will be troubled, recent example is the summer in England. cricinfo please publish

Posted by IamRavinder on (December 22, 2011, 13:24 GMT)

india wuld find them self in great problem if indian senior blowers(Zaheer and Ishant) are not at their 100% in the series, Come the 1st test I wuld think that Zaheer is in better shape as far as recovery is concern as he blowed 15 over is last practice game while Ishant only managed 5 overs that too on the last day . I believe this wuld be a career defining series for Rohit and Umesh Yadav as they have great potential in them. for all and all it comes to 20 wickets that needs to be taken to win a test match and india needs their bowlers fully fit for that.

Posted by PACERONE on (December 22, 2011, 13:19 GMT)

All of these players have their weaknesses.Indians are prone to the short balls directed towards the bowlers bowl too many short balls going over the batsman's head.Only the silly batsmen try to play at those balls and get out.Leave that ball alone and he is not allowed to bow another.Australians are prone to balls moving around.Clark might be the only one capable of playing the moving ball and he still makes mistakes to get out.Mark Taylor always sees the best in Australians and is not good at analyzing problems.India has Kohli and Sharma that can give Australian bowling a difficult time.England batsmen did and they do not play with the flair of these two.

Posted by Valavan on (December 22, 2011, 13:18 GMT)

What did Mark taylor say? Indian batters could be troubled. He didnt say Aussie pacemen will give more trouble, if the indian batters wont adjust the conditons as it was in english summer, they will be definitely troubled. @Raj Pallasetty, good list but if you know australia, SA, England or WI play fast bowlers better and in bouncier conditions. Will these bowlers can really troubel the batsmen who were brought up playing in swinging conditions, 2015 WC is so far to say or predict victors. Why many indians steaming when mark taylor remarked here, where did you all go when rohit sharma was speaking about aussies weakness against swing bowling, if you all think if india can swing and trouble aussie batters, why cant aussies do that against india, If you deeply see where india lost to england, just the english diffused Laxman, that was the key. If one of the big 3 will flop in Oz, so things will get difficult. cricnfo please publish.

Posted by NightRider001 on (December 22, 2011, 13:10 GMT)

Agree with Mark Taylor. This series should be the last one for Sachin who seem to be playing mainly for his batting records, but he will never say that out. India have got good young talent and it is time for SRT to take his way.

Posted by vishx on (December 22, 2011, 13:03 GMT)

If Zaheer and/or Ishant break down during the first test match, India will be in trouble. We need to think about the best eleven. India usually goes for 6 batsmen, WK and 4 bowlers. If both Zaheer and Ishant are in the starting lineup, it may make sense to include a 5th bowler. But that would mean Kohli (or Rohit) would be out. I feel the selectors have missed a trick by excluding Ifran. He is bowling a lot of overs in domestic cricket and can beef up the late order batting. If the two openers are in form, that would make it a bit easier to go with 5 batsmen. I have a feeling that Ishant may sit out the first test with Vinay sneaking in (McGrath's comment that he is impressed by Vinay came as a bit of a surprise).

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

@RandyOz - mate, I'm English. You said last year the Aussies would smash us to pieces, and looked what happened. Drop the Aussies arrogance until after the series has completed. If indeed you have won the test series, then by all means brag, but brag then. Australian cricket just expects the world to roll over for them, but you've got a weaker team now than when Border took over in the 80s!!

Posted by TheLight on (December 22, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

I eagerly await this series. It would be interesting to see if anyone retires after this tour (both sides).

Posted by sathyasss on (December 22, 2011, 12:56 GMT)

time to cook aussie curry, and time to send ponting out of cricket. come on india, we know you guys can

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 22, 2011, 12:55 GMT)

jonnybtestmatch -- yes any criticsm of mr cricket is laughable. he has been the best batsman in the world since his debut when you combine all forms

Posted by Er-.S.R.shankar on (December 22, 2011, 12:55 GMT)

Come on Mark?your comments were disappointing as normally you are well balanced.--Indian trio veterans have performed in every country--Dravid scored three centuries in four tests in England--Sachin was a revelation again in South Africa--Laxman always knocks the stuff out of Aussies-- not to speak of Sewag-Retrospect your batsmen's performance in last two years. Sparing Hussey none were consistent--Perhaps Marsh could rise to the occasion In bowling too we have some dark horses whose names would remain confidential Warne has assessed the batsmen better as he has been one in receiving end [rarer occasions]from these trio If to be judged by morale before the series Aussies are at the lowest ever

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 12:55 GMT)

@Randy Oz, it ill be hilarious if australia lose ya know. Just saying, I'd be more realistic than completely adamant that india are going to get destroyed. Realistically australia are probably going to win due to india's pedestrian bowling, but don't underestimate the indians batting for what you call australia's "best bowling attack" in the world.

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 22, 2011, 12:52 GMT)

Yes Badrinath could quite easily replace Rahul Dravid one day. Has the same attributes. Future batting of India is not a spot of bother. In Rohit Sharma we have a new Sachin/Laxman. Bowling could take off in future provided BCCI could invest resources into this aspect.

Posted by SasiGladi on (December 22, 2011, 12:42 GMT)

I am seeing many people are jumping up by saying Indains are not good overseas/flat track bullys etc, those points are true before 2000 but not after that. Indians are the only team which made Australians to face innings defeat in Australia even in the presence of their legends and it is the last series of Steve Waugh and series ended up as draw, it is an well faught series none of the team matched aussy strength in Australia ONLY INDIANS DID AT THT TIME.....they repeated the same in the next series even we faught well, unfortunately we have no steve Bucknor in the team so again we levelled the series.....SO PEOPLE DONT JUMP by seeing England white wash there are several factors for the lose beside Eng prime bowling form...even we won test series in England after 2000..check our records and keep quite.......

Posted by David_J5 on (December 22, 2011, 12:37 GMT)

I think India will loose the series 4-0 or 3-0. India's bowling attack is weak and injured. I think this is Ricky Pointing's best chance to cement his place in the team for next year or so. India's experience Batting line up will crumble in front of Pattinson and other fast bowlers. Also I have a feeling the Zaheer and Inshant will be out of the tournament in first few days of the test match. Sachin will hardly score a half century in whole series forget about century. Laxman too wont score any. If anyone from India makes runs that will be the bowlers and in every test Indias one inniging will be folded under 200 runs.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 12:27 GMT)

Lets go with only 2 f"fast" bowlers ansd 2 spin - Aswin and Rahul Sharma. We should play to our strengths

Posted by srikanths on (December 22, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

They were tested in SA a year back and more recently in England. Dravid came out with flying colors in England and Tendulkar had done well in SA, but had failed in England by his standards. I do partially agree with Taylor that the ageing team could have problems against young fast bowlers but Ponting has had a prolonged dry run.

As one ages, playing pace bowing does become a challenge , but I am just hoping that these people being such quality players , with some luck, they would do well, especially in the early part of the innings.

This could well decide whether Tendulkar could stretch his career for a year. Failure here could well mean the end is near. It did appear so in England , where he was a fraction of a second late in responses. In the highest level , that could mean falling Dravid was quite a revelation. One thought his reflexes were down, but in England he appeared the best equipped and was quick to respond and appeared to have ample time to play and adjust for the swing

Posted by nav84 on (December 22, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

@RandyOz : 21/9 and 47 all out. that was some chewing and spitting of aussie batsmen done by SA bowlers. and then 136 all out and 74/8 while chasing a modest 240 at home against a low ranked team. that was even more fierce chewing and spitting of aussie batsmen done by NZ bowlers. does it still hurt? do the aussies still feel the grinding teeth and stinking saliva of steyn, philander and bracewell all over them. i bet they do.

Posted by gvrk111 on (December 22, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

If indian playing 11 consists of both Kohli and Rohit no problem for the Batting strength. Cool captain Dhoni will do the rest.

Posted by WICric101 on (December 22, 2011, 12:20 GMT)

Why does Warne sound so sceptical about Aus comprehensively winning this series? India will lose, there attack is faulty and there batting is suspect on foreign soil. This series should spell the end for Pointing,Tendulkar and others, allow world cricket to grow.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 12:19 GMT)

@RandyOZ : Indian indeed has won the series in Australia during last visit but unfortunately its not in papers...But all those who watched the series know who won the series and also know how bad Aussie camp can behave in this gentlemen game...The only way Aus can put up show is to bring back Steve Bucknor.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 12:11 GMT)

Indian bowling is definitely a concern and almost a sure failure.lets face it.But what concerns me is the scheduling (from an Indian perspective).India will be crushed at MCG and Perth (first 2 tests).Ideally our batting is good enough to secure us draws in Sydney and Adelaide.But since we would be 2-0 by the start of Sydney test will our batsmen be at their best???i was expecting a 2-0 scoreline in favour of Aus since i thought scheduling is similar to last time (MCG,Sydney,Perth and Adelaide)but since we go go to Sydney only after the 2nd test i fear a 4-0 scoreline because Indian bowling is equivalent to that of Bangladesh..and sadly our batsmen would again be held culprits..Afraid a couple of great careers would end in a not so good fashion come Jan2012..

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 22, 2011, 12:06 GMT)

I SERIOUSLY am confident India WILL win this series. They have the BEST team to do so. I don't share Warne and Taylor's views on AGE of the Indian middle order batsmen being any problem. They have the CLASS, QUALITY, and EXPERIENCE to dent Australia. The Aussies will always write off India. It's their ego and attitude. If Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman were missing in the line up, then these same people will say India don't have ANY chance given their INEXPERIENCED middle order. So as an Indian supporter, I don't care about their opinions. India are the better team and Indian fans can be very confident about team India doing well. I hope Zak and Ishant can be fit throughout the series. One thing is for sure, this series WILL decide the fates of many players on either side.

Posted by sluxman on (December 22, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

Yes, India has never won a series in Australia. Every one knows the difficulty of winning a series in Australia - remember the Mike Holding incident in the 1976-77 series?? But now, with neutral umpiring, things are not getting easier. Yes, India's bowling strength may be equal to Lancashire's but the batting should prevail.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 22, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

Can't disagree with Warney regarding India's bowlers. The attack was no better than powder puff in Eng without Zaheer and that was with Ishant! In terms of the batting you get the feeling that this will be the last series for 1 of the big 3 of Sachin, Dravid and VVS. On recent form you would imagine that Dravid is the one who probably still has the most to offer. Sachin will probably want one last crack at Eng next year so I would think the guy who is under the most pressure is VVS. I don't think India's selectors can hold back the likes of Kohli and Sharma for much longer.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

India will win this time. We have a better lineup than aus, there bowlers are young too. Batting always win the test matches . If u can post around 500 runs onion first innings then bowling attack has no pressure

Posted by thecricketlover on (December 22, 2011, 11:53 GMT)

Realistically speaking India is known for good batting and Spinners but pace is not their tradition. Occasionally some blowers bowled 140kph or some time 145kph but this is not called pace. Fast bowling is something where average speed above 140Kph and mostly bowlers clocks 145kph. And also the quality of swing and seam is also important, this will be the big test of both Indian bowling and also the Aussies vulnerable batting.

Posted by rishab.cricfever on (December 22, 2011, 11:48 GMT)

wat i get 4m all d comments in general is d general aussie public dwelling on thier once-upon-a-time invincibility which clearly aint d case at present..dey r a gud side but not d best side !! remember their recent record against India itself stands at 0-4 over last 2 series (though both in India)..India is not d greatest side ever n has its weaknesses..infact I wud say d top 4 teams at d moment : Ind,Aus,SAF,ENG are all but on even terms wich stands gud 4 world cricket unlike 3 yrs ago wen Aus was superior 2 all....SO ENJOY D SERIES WICH HAS A NICE BLEND OF YOUTH AND EXPERIENCED PLAYERS WAITING 2 PROVE DIER MATTLE..its goin 2 b a nice n even contest

Posted by sluxman on (December 22, 2011, 11:34 GMT)

This may not be the last tour of Australia for the 3 greats. Remember Boycott played when he was 40+ and so did Bobby Simpson. And without runners!!

Posted by jonnybtestmatch on (December 22, 2011, 11:33 GMT)

As an English fan I can't understand the criticism of Hussey. He has been class and has probably had a few low scores, but not relative to the extent of criticism. I hope India can put up a better show than in England, but fear that their attack may be blunted once again if the pitches don't turn. Potentially a batsmen dominated series, I just hope that the pitches will assist the bowlers as it makes for compelling cricket. Please no flat wickets

Posted by Yasassri on (December 22, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

Rohith Sharma should be given a chance before it is too late.

Posted by BozoSri on (December 22, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

Indian bowling attack is really a concern, inexperienced and unfit. Good chance for Australian batsmen to regain confidence after their no so satisfactory tours of SA and home tour against New Zealand. Australian bowling attack apart from their home advantage aren't that great either. If Virender Sehwag gets going they can get flustered and the game can slip away in a matter of a session. Indian batting even at their worst will not fold for a score less than 250-300 just because they have enough players with considerable experience who will hold it together. But as it is always test matches are won by bowlers, not by batsmen, as it is them that need to take 20 wickets. Batsmen can merely save a game or set it up for the bowlers and in this respect both the teams are not in a strong position.

Posted by sluxman on (December 22, 2011, 11:25 GMT)

Hhillbumper puts a question mark after the greats. And it is the greatest of them all (the Don himself) who has said that one of these "question marked" great is his closest. So let us accept facts as they are and let Ponting and the other "half-greats" learn from the real masters.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 11:22 GMT)

Indian pace future crickets are 1.Ishant Sharma 2.Umesh Yadav 3.Varun aaron 4.TP sudhindra 5.Sudeep Tyagi 6.IRFAN Phathan 7.RP Singh 8.Manpreet Gony 9.ATUL SHARMA

These players fit and quick without any injuries india will goona rock in 2015 World cup

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 11:18 GMT)

i think unknown fast ATUL SHARMA and TP Suhindra who are very quick bowlers can trouble these aussies batsman i think they need to replace with A.Mithun and vinay kumar.....plz selectors select these days...and more over the end of 3 greats coming give chance to badrinath and dheeraj jadhav who are just 31 would be solid replacement in batting

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 22, 2011, 11:10 GMT)

Green track is the only way.. Atleast for the first test to gain some serious advantage.. If track is flat for first match, Aussies will be on backfoot.. What history says is, if Indian batsmen find groove, they ll continue for the whole tour.. Waiting for the first match to begin..

Posted by back2vg on (December 22, 2011, 11:05 GMT)

In 2004 India sent steve waugh home from test matches,in 2008 india sent matthew hayden from ODIs, now its time for Ponting from both the formats.

Posted by kurups on (December 22, 2011, 10:55 GMT)

This Indian series is a blessing in disguise for Ricky, Hussey and whoever out of form..for generally against India with their weak bowling attacks these players can resurrect their careers. Btw if they miss this golden chance, they may well not make it again!!Hope Ponting & Hussey scores massively but with India winning the series. The struggling oz bowlers can easily become India's frontline bowlers now! what a shame!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 10:47 GMT)

If not this time & it will be never for Indians.........This will be the last tour for Sachin, Dravid, & Laxman......then every one will know where they will stand in test cricket.....And still no series win in Australia for Indians...........But we cant trust BCCI they can ask this guys to play on by giving by runners for all the three guys, requesting a new rule in ICC to earn Money.....Cheapest Board of World Cricket...

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 22, 2011, 10:47 GMT)

the end of an era.India lose once again and the threee greats (?) retire. You have no bowlers and the one time you came up against a good bowling attack you got massacred.India have the most over rated batting line up going.last time you were in Aus you had to sulk to get your own way as usual.The BCCI shows the same lack of class as most of the players with only Dravid being the exception.Too much IPL adulation has you believing your own press.Stroll on Boxing Day and if you get what you deserve here comes another 4-0 thrashing

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 10:43 GMT)

"In recent times". Did Taylor forget what happened against New Zealand? LOL. And the best of it all.. Did he forget.. 47 all out. They are hopeless against swing. India atleast managed to reach 300 and touched 250-260 many a times in tests against England. What about Aussies? 47 all OUT! And 130 ALL OUT! :D:D Cricinfo publish.

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 22, 2011, 10:40 GMT)

india's bowling poses no threat even when fit and their two most experienced are far from fully fit. clarke and the lads should have fun. shaun marsh has just warmed up by tonking shaun tait and co around. pattinson and siddle and lyon to clean up the batsmen cheaply after the aussie runs have been piled on

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 10:40 GMT)

"In recent times". Did Taylor forget what happened against New Zealand? LOL. And the best of it all.. Did he forget.. 47 all out. They are hopeless against swing. India atleast managed to reach 300 and touched 250-260 many a times in tests against England. What about Aussies? 47 all OUT! And 130 ALL OUT! :D:D Cricinfo publish.

Posted by sankar8000 on (December 22, 2011, 10:26 GMT)

What Mark Taylor is talking about?? See Sehwag, Sachin and Vvs averages in australia! Sehwag and Sachin averages nealy 60 in australia! He has to wait what Viru&co do their job there....

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 10:25 GMT)

what taylor meant was that Indian batting line up hasnt been tested recently. playing their last series at home to west indies. whereas the australians played in south africa and australia. so in "recent times" Ponting and Hussey have faced stiffer competition.

Posted by sluxman on (December 22, 2011, 10:24 GMT)

With the quality of bowling that India offers, if Ponting does not "regain" his form in this series, he never will in future. Hopefully he will get inspired by Sachin and Dravid to keep age at bay.

Posted by spinkingKK on (December 22, 2011, 10:24 GMT)

I beleive India got a better spin attack and top 6 than the Aussies. However, pace bowlers have a big say in Australia. But, India, thanks to the selectors, are far behind on that department. Australia must win the MCG if they want to win this series. Because, MCG is a pitch where it can also take some turn towards day 4 and 5. That could mean, India's spinners can get some say in the match. So, if they let the Indian batsmen off the hook in the first innings, then they are in trouble. Having said that, it is definitely advantage Australia on Boxing day. It will be even contest at the SCG with pitch assisting the pace bolwers as much as the spinners lately. Aussies should win the Perth easily. India will have the advantage in Adelaide. So, MCG match will determine if Aussies can win this series. If they lose MCG, India might just escape with a 2-1 win. Otherwise, 2-0 for Aussies is well on the cards.

Posted by Haleos on (December 22, 2011, 10:22 GMT)

Give us a green pitch and ur batsman will be hoping too..Taylor is suffering from Short term memory loss. Forgot what happened just few weeks back?

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 22, 2011, 10:15 GMT)

well mark taylor , don't worrry , sachin , vvs , dravid will torn your aussies all over the ground .

Posted by sawifan on (December 22, 2011, 10:15 GMT)

Everyone talking about IND batsmen being tested for the last decade etc, Taylor specifically says 'recently' therefore the last few series! Read the article properly! In Australia's last 2 series, we played on 4 greentops, and our results weren't great. However, IND just played at home, therefor they were not 'tested' as much! So people need to understand these comments better. And to those knocking Punter, yes, his average in Indian is woeful compared to his overall career, but the last test series he had there he scored 3 70's in 4 knocks, not too bad if u ask me. Hopefully is a great series. And @Karthik Lakshmi, Umesh will rock the Aussie's with speed? When was the last time the Aussies were rocked by speed at home?! '92-'93?! Swing, yes, speed, no.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 10:14 GMT)

Come on guys!Taylor has mentioned 'in recent times' in the end! Only dravid n kohli r the main threats to the Aussies!! Go Aussies!!!

Posted by AKmAK on (December 22, 2011, 10:08 GMT)

Just wait and see.. this time Veeru & co will sure with the answer to Taylor & co. All the best INDIA.. go and get a series win.

Posted by g_cricFreak on (December 22, 2011, 10:07 GMT)

I think umesh is going to be the dark horse in the Indian lineup.

Posted by kenishah on (December 22, 2011, 10:01 GMT)

this is goin 2 be a very interestin contest between the 2 teams as aus hav a young, talanted bowling attack n a very decent batting line up wit the experienced ponting n hussy in the middle order.india however hav a very experienced , strong n talanted batting line up wit the experienced big 3 ( dravid, tendulkar n laxman ). india's big problem is their bowling attack. they chose zaheer,ishant,vinay kumar,umesh yadav n mithun as the fast bowlers in the 17 man squad. now zaheer, ishant n yadav r gud choice by the indian selecters. its gud yadav is in the team as the conditions will suit his bowling. vinay isnt needed in the squad, they could hav replaced him wit irfan pathan or sreesanth. mithun i tink will probely not get a game in the test seires but maybe he wil get a game in the ODI seires n the T20 game. it will a gud learning experience for mithun as he can tak somfin away from each game n improve on it.

Posted by Edassery on (December 22, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

I guess, we should stop worrying about our batsmen as I feel that somehow we will put together 250-300 runs. However, with the kind of bowling attack we have, I won't be surprised if Aussies pile up 500 runs in first innings of each of the test matches. i.e. if Zaheer is NOT fit. I personally believe that a fit Zaheer and Ashwin will deliver in Australia whereas when it comes to batsmen, it will be Dravid, VVS and Kohli.

Posted by FrankMeister on (December 22, 2011, 9:59 GMT)

LOL, these two are just making up absurd comments, *mindgames*. Don't worry Indian fans (Me being one as well), Warne and Taylor already know they are going to get thrashed therefore all of this build up... we don't see India saying things like this because they are confident of winning the series.

Posted by sluxman on (December 22, 2011, 9:58 GMT)

I think Mark Taylor has just come back from Mars. Utterly non-factual comments. Except for the last England tour, Indian batsment have scored everywhere. Infact batting is their key. Australian pitches are sporting and Indian batsment will thrive there. The series will be keenly fought.

Posted by hst84 on (December 22, 2011, 9:55 GMT)

i dont think except the experienced Indian batsmen, they can make an impact on Australian soil with Pattison, Cummins and Co. bowling with sheer pace and precision.. well lets c after the series..all the best to both sides

Posted by KarachiKid on (December 22, 2011, 9:45 GMT)

This will be an interesting series between two matching sides. I all depends how well Aussies bowl. Indians are very strong in batting but if you can get Sehwag out quickly then the whole equation changes. They need to be vary of Sehwag.

Posted by gvrk111 on (December 22, 2011, 9:44 GMT)

i agreed with Warne with the point about Indian Bowling attack. Especially about the fitness of our bowlers. Normally australian pitches are bouncy. Their bowlers practice on those pitches and will know how they respond. But regarding Taylor's comments its hard to hear that. No one forget about VVS Centuries in Aussies and how Dravid played against England in recent series. Every one knows Sachin is a Classical(now a days) but he was in pressure for 100th century. If he survives that in 1st test no one can stops him. Here i like to not about the batting of Kohli and Rohit sharma. Really these two guys are playing very nice from 1 or 2 years in every format. I hope Zaheer will be fit for 1st test and i dont care about Ishant. Umesh Yadav is Bowling well. In australin pitches also our Spinners will get wickets. Australia have to fought for this series.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

To dump Indian wickets as substandard is typically Aussie. Please have a look at the Aussie batsmen averages when playing in those same conditions

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 9:37 GMT)

zk will b the key.......

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 9:22 GMT)

outside are always creating problems even for well set batsman and especially Suresh Riana is struggling with that at the moment . In Australia most of all u need a great temperament and which The Wall, Master and VVS occupies but need to see how the other players goes with it. Australian pitches are regarded favorite place for reverse swing too. Due to ankle problem, Zaheer and Sharma suffering from and the problem which leaded the bit early end of Haryanvi hurricane, legend Kapil dev's career, a bowler couldnt get the necessary jump which helps a bowler to get extra bounce, will keep Zaheer and sharma in doubt. My excitement is about to see how Yadav uses all these benefits which any bowler with +150 KPH expects .

Posted by crickeyt on (December 22, 2011, 9:20 GMT)

Mark Taylor is supposedly an expert commentator on Channel Nine. So I'd expect him to have known that Sachin (59.50), VVS (54.05) and Sehwag (58.50) average significantly higher away in Australia than their overall figures. While the likes of Ponting average significantly lower while playing away in India (26.48). This has to be one of the more ridiculous "expert opinions" I have read.

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 22, 2011, 9:19 GMT)

No one can survive long innings without being tested on different conditions. Sachin, Laxman and Dravid are playing for more than a decade, its total rubbish from respected veteran Taylor spelling age factor. CHEAP! Don't worry, with DRS being unofficial BCCI helped Aus to take first lead.. Lets see if you can capitalize on this.. - Prasant UNSW..

Posted by veerakannadiga on (December 22, 2011, 9:17 GMT)

Dravid scored centuries in Batting friendly, flat, non-seaming, easy wickets of England......... eh... Mark.Yet Taylor has a point here. Indian batsman cannot make easy runs against this bowling attack. They are hungry for success and they are a talented lot too.Getting the wickets of Sachin,Dravid or Laxman is a very big achievement for these youngsters. Actually it will be the other way round. These three greats will be wary of this raw Aussie attack.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

yes they are young fast bowlers but pls don refer to them as if they r great fast bowlers(so the statement of young aussie attack is misleading).if the three pacers in ur side are aged 18 21 and 27 and have not played 35 tests between them then its called an inexpirienced attack.they might be highly talented but then all great bowlers of the past got the stick at some pt of time and then improved.they might make a great combination later on but currently they are inexpirienced. sach,rahul and vvs have seen many talents like these so it will be tough for this inexpirienced attack to claim 20 indian wickets. being young and talented only doesnt win you lets wait for the action to start and see as to who is actually good and who is not


Posted by amitgarg78 on (December 22, 2011, 9:12 GMT)

India hv played 5 innings in last 12 months in India. this is only 25 percent of their games in India, and even there, rampaul, Edwards and roach are not slow bowlers either, so I dunno what world is mr. Taylor living in. The only real failure was in England and even there Rahul was incredible. Get the facts straight...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 9:07 GMT)


Posted by veerakannadiga on (December 22, 2011, 9:06 GMT)

He's a quality person, he's a quality act, he's a quality player..........yeah.. that is Rahul Dravid. Dravid bashers please note..What a human! Thanks Shane, for summing it up so nicely.

Posted by crikbuff on (December 22, 2011, 9:05 GMT)

India should expect at least 2 bowlers getting injured over the course of the series. If they play both Zaheer and Ishant together, there is a chance that both may get injured, or if 1 gets injured, the other will be exhausted due to heavy workload. They shd alternate - Ishant shd play @MCg and WACA, Zaheer @SCG and Adelaide.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 8:59 GMT)

@ Nish8738, Nish g really nice to hear from u, but the way and the things u talking about indicates that u are among those Indian cricket fans who are very good out side the cricket, I mean who have an ample store of knowledge about figures, records, who lost , who won and when but those people dont know much what is called inside the cricket, m An Indian and playing at district cricket in Australia, and I just want to hear good things about my favourite team, Indian Cricket Team. But What Mr. Taylor said who been a legend of his own time is logical and thoughtful. In India when the ball lands on the pitch , it swings with the seam and than straight to way but like in ENG or Aus balls goes up , bounce more and than swings what is called late swing, and clouds and moisture has its own role hir. Indian Batting line up is outstanding and The Wall and Master Blaster are familiars with the conditions but some batsman are to be tested. We all know short pitch balls especially going

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

ho ho ho taylor both india austoured sa sachin scored twohundred wat does ponting hussey does frustrated bad mouthed ithink guys like him dont need tobe repected averaging only 42 intests speaking big trash talks go go your team is a minnow in cricket now

Posted by prashkannam on (December 22, 2011, 8:52 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

may be mark has made a great point INDIAN batsmen played in IND on slow and flat wickets and were exposed heavily in ENGLAND ,as i keep on saying IND must survive Boxing day test and then they shall have the tempo with them,if Ishant and Zaheer are having niggles why are they not true to team,may be IND can get IRFAN and ASHISH nehra at least they have EXP of playing in AUSTRALIA,hoping to beat AUS with YADAV and VINAY is simply a dream in case Zak and Ishant are out,IND can only hope to score 600+ in every test so tat they can salvage draw still i feel IND can win 1-0 at perth with escapes in MCG and Sydney,ADELAIDE is happy ground for them, at manuka oval also a placid pitch was given to keep IND in illusion ,sehwag must fire like he did in 2003 and 2008 specailly last 2 tests,,IND bowling is always a concern and hopefully eric simmons can give them a trick,IND shuld have bowling coach of SHAUN POLLOCKS callibre,as he is doing well for MUMBAI Indians. GOOD LUCK TO IND AND AUS...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 8:49 GMT)

Mark Taylor, the bowling attack of England which thrashed India during the last series was the finest attack seen on a cricket field in the last 15 years. Even Aussies attack led by Mcgrath did not boast of similar quality attack. Dravid scored 3 hundreds against the best bowling attack in the wold and also under tremendous pressure when the rest of team caved in meekly. Sachin scored superbly against steyn and Morkel and VVS is the best disaster batsman in world cricket. Pattinson and siddle may run through this Indian side and for once do not get into the shoes of Ian Chapell and rate them higher the English trio especially in their own conditions. Ponting and Hussey are class players and to describe the reasons of their failure there is no need to belittle the achievement of Indian greats.

Posted by Ashar8983 on (December 22, 2011, 8:47 GMT)

totally nonsense from taylor..this is nt aussie team who were bowlde out for42 in sa.....just waitt n see yor greentop bowler will be hmmerd by veeru nd company

Posted by NAZMO-CRICKFANN on (December 22, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

well there is no doubt in my mind that india will face torment in this series

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 22, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

No one can survive long innings without being tested on different conditions. Sachin, Laxman and Dravid are playing for more than a decade, its total rubbish from respected veteran Taylor spelling age factor. CHEAP! Don't worry, with DRS being unofficial BCCI helped Aus to take first lead.. Lets see if you can capitalize on this.. - Prasant UNSW..

Posted by Mitcher on (December 22, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

Umm, I think the first few posters need to lighten up. Warne and Taylor are cricket COMMENTators. Therefore, they COMMENT on the game. I think both contributions, particularly warne's, were extrememly measured. For those posters spitting the dummy about them having their say, I think their combined 200+ Tests qualifies them to say whatever they want about the game. The hysteria has begun already. Wonder how long until one side threatens to go home when things don't go its way AGAIN.

Posted by Mic1234 on (December 22, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

India's biggest concern is the opening pair....both gambhir n sehwag avg 34 and 28 in the last 12 months....Both of them need to fire....If they do...big things await the baggy greens!!!! GO INDIA!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 8:37 GMT)

mark said sachin , dravid are not played good attacks nowadays.. but they should remember when ponting scored lot of his runs , not against great attacks... now he s playing some decent attacks he s struggling.... best hundred of ponting s 100 in quarter finals... he s a legend i agree but dont compare him wit god, wall , n a special...

Posted by cricketcrazy555 on (December 22, 2011, 8:37 GMT)

come on champs let's prove all of them wrong

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 8:34 GMT)

taylor usually don't say like this..i guess he may be quoted out of context as he is neutral commentator and analyst

Posted by crickey_fan on (December 22, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

With due respect to Mr. Taylor, I have to disagree. India have played test series in Eng and SA on many greentops. Though they havent fared well in Eng, there was no shortage of them being "tested". By all means SA attack is stronger than Oz attack. So, how can you say Ind were not tested but Aus are tested. Oh yes, Aussies were tested by modest NZ attack and came up short..

Posted by Trapper439 on (December 22, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

@Nish8738: If I was an Indian fan I wouldn't be bringing up the recent Indian tour of England.

Posted by ramli on (December 22, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

Oh .. Oh ... as the page 2 cartoon said ... mind-games seem to have been outsourced ... taylor will be proved wrong by our aging batsmen's success ... and ... warne will also be proved wrong by ashwin's success than our quickies ... go India go ...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 8:22 GMT)

Mark Taylor is confused and incorrect in saying that Sachin, Rahul and VVS has not been tested as often as Ricky and Hussey.

For more than 15 years they have been tested against all opposition and in all conditions. They have also been tested by Australian premier attack consisting of Macgrath, Warne, Gillispie, Bret Lee etc.. and always came with flying colors.

Posted by kasyapm on (December 22, 2011, 8:13 GMT)

Taylor's logic is really strange. Going by that logic, Sachin, Dravid & VVS should have stopped performing outside sub-continent long ago. Moreover, India had overseas tours of SA & Eng in the last 12 months. Saying that Australia has the home advantage is one thing (which is true and should be respected), but this logic is really absurd.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (December 22, 2011, 8:11 GMT)

Its a fair comment from Warne, though I would still say there is a heavy reliance on Zaheer more than Ishant, as Zaheer is the spearhead, without him the whole attack is only just above average, with out Ishant well it will be fill your boots time for the Aussie batsmen. The main concern for Australia is the batting, with only 5 of the XI having any form of experience (Punter, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Siddle), so this may help even the odds, and reduce the pressure on the Indian bowling unit.

Posted by unregisteredalien on (December 22, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

Taylor is a class act. I agree, the Aussie bowlers vs the Indian batsmen is going to be a huge point of interest - probably the biggest in pure cricketing terms. Other than that, it's definitely the lurking spectre of imminent retirements that will reappear every time a senior player fails.

Posted by Nish8738 on (December 22, 2011, 7:50 GMT)

Indians haven't been tested? are you kidding me mr.taylor. they toured SA,WI,ENG. and if our pitches are so flat why dont your batsmen make runs? what's ponting's average in india again? he hasn't even won a test match in india as a captain for god's sake mark taylor talk some sense. india hasn't lost to australia since that infamous sydney test.

Posted by Nish8738 on (December 22, 2011, 7:46 GMT)

Here we go with the oz know if something doesn't work you should not keep doing it again and again it makes you look stupid.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

Better late than never for these guys with expert comments...was wondering why these guys did not speak up so for long. Maybe , because Aussies team of today is not of that quality as Yester-years, they took this much time.... i

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 7:24 GMT)

Most of the talk is abt zak and ishy. but i think umesh is going to rock aussies with his speed

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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