Australia v India, 1st Test, MCG, 4th day December 29, 2011

Australia make for compelling viewing

Michael Clarke's side is not a great one, but just about everything Australia have done in their past five Tests has made for compelling viewing. Whether good or bad, it has been impossible to look away
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Michael Clarke's team is not a great one. But it is great to watch. At a time when the Big Bash League is trying to lure new followers to cricket in Australia, the long format is providing some of the most absorbing action it has in years. Just about everything Australia have done in their past five Tests has made for compelling viewing. Whether good or bad, it has been impossible to look away.

Who could move from their seat as wicket after wicket tumbled in Cape Town last month? Who could fail to be mesmerised by the sight of 18-year-old Pat Cummins leading Australia to victory with bat and ball in Johannesburg a week later? How could one not be impressed by James Pattinson's pace and swing in his match-winning debut in Brisbane against New Zealand? And who could deny that the following Test in Hobart, with David Warner carrying his bat for a century in a seven-run defeat to Ross Taylor's underdogs, was a fantastic contest?

Australia's 122-run victory over India in Melbourne was another example. Clarke would love to win every Test as emphatically. It is good for the spectacle of the game that his side has not. The 189,347 spectators who turned out over four days to watch the Boxing Day Test - a record for Australia-India matches in Melbourne - were treated to a battle that twisted one way and then the other, and was at times as unpredictable as Ian Healy on a segway.

Not insignificantly for the Australian fans, they saw a side that is, for the most part, likeable. Since the retirement of Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist et al, Australia have won more Tests than they have lost. But there has been a certain blandness about the squad. At last, that is changing. Young men like Pattinson and Warner provide raw energy, as Cummins did in South Africa. They also bring immense talent and promise.

A 21-year-old Melbourne lad who grew up with the tradition of family trips to the Boxing Day Test, Pattinson had the MCG crowd behind him as a bounded in, over after indefatigable over. He swung the ball. He bounced some of the best batsmen of the modern era, bringing roars from Bay 13. He was aggressive without overstepping the line. For the Melbourne fans, he might as well have been Merv Hughes.

He finished the Test with six wickets, including 4 for 53 in the second innings as he rattled the stumps of Rahul Dravid and also accounted for VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni. In his third Test, he won his second Man-of-the-Match award. Pattinson also has a personality, and is willing to show it off the field. Unusually for young players, he says what he thinks. Occasionally he resorts to cliché, but only occasionally.

Before the Test, he spoke bullishly of his plans to intimidate India's batsmen and lead the attack. Then he went out and did it. Some might call it cocky, but it's refreshing to hear a young fast bowler show such genuine self-belief. It's a trait possessed by most great fast bowlers. Some men, Mitchell Johnson for example, have the pace but not the confidence. Pattinson has both.

"Bringing it all together is a captain, Clarke, who is willing to try different things. His plans don't always work, but seeing Hussey amble in and nearly draw a false stroke from Sachin Tendulkar with his medium pace was, again, fascinating."

He appears to boost the energy and belief of those around him. Peter Siddle bounces off his Dandenong club-mate effectively, his aggression and passion evident at the MCG. Ben Hilfenhaus and Nathan Lyon are men of few words, but they complete a four-man attack that fans can relate to: a bricklayer (Hilfenhaus), a groundsman (Lyon), a woodchopper (Siddle) and a would-be roof tiler (Pattinson). All of the fast men performed over the past four days, and the way they worked together on day four was outstanding.

It is also hard not to be impressed by the debutant, Ed Cowan, who speaks with confidence and views the sport with a more discerning eye than most cricketers. At 29, Cowan knows his game. He has written about the trials of the Sheffield Shield cricketer, the mental and physical strains that accompany that lifestyle. Those who have read his book, In the Firing Line, will feel that they know him. They would have appreciated his grit in making 68 in the first innings, and shared his despair at leaving a ball that trapped him lbw in the second.

His opening partner, Warner, has also won over fans who thought he was a Twenty20 basher. He did not show his Test credentials in Melbourne, but his hundred against New Zealand showed his willingness to knuckle down. When Warner walks out to bat at the top of a Test order, it is best not to look away. Like Pattinson, he supplies the side with energy in the field, throwing himself around to save runs and take catches. His leaping AFL-style mark in front of Bay 13, on the long-on rope, to finish the Test brought roars from the crowd.

The struggle of the veterans, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, has also been gripping. That they were the two men who rescued Australia when another collapse appeared imminent in the second innings was appreciated by the spectators. To watch them fight, every ball demanding their utmost concentration, was a sight to behold.

Bringing it all together is a captain, Clarke, who is willing to try different things. His plans don't always work, but seeing Hussey amble in and nearly draw a false stroke from Sachin Tendulkar with his medium pace was, again, fascinating.

The challenge for Clarke is to elicit consistency from his men. Since the start of the South Africa tour they have had a devastating loss in Cape Town, a memorable win in Johannesburg, a strong victory at the Gabba, another gutting defeat in Hobart, and now a fine win over a good team in Melbourne. Australia are not a great side, but with consistency they can become a very good one. For the time being, let's enjoy the compelling Test cricket they keep dishing up.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Wozza-CY on January 1, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    If Australia is to reach number 1 again, then there are going to be plenty of days where we'll be head scratching. But it is necessary that we have these days in the quest for what is our best 15 test players. The bowling looks as if it's getting somewhere. All the selectors can do is pick players with talent, skill & determination to give them an opportunity to showcase their talents. It's important that they give them an extended run like the Hughes of the second opportunity & not cut them short like the Hughes of the first opportunity. So expect guys to come & go until we find players who are comfortable at this level & can be successful. The result of this process will be inconsistent performances which we will have to accept for the time being. But, like the article says, it's never dull!

  • Shan156 on December 30, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    @suavesjmh,@_Australian_, don't get me wrong. IMO, Khawaja is as Aussie as anyone else in the team. I was only pointing out the folly in RandyOz's argument. In this age and time, people migrate from one country to another in search of a better life and to achieve their goals. I see nothing wrong in that. You see a lot of Indian people moving to the western world. After accepting, say, US citizenship, they are American and enjoy the same rights and privileges that other US citizens get. Why should it be any different with sports? Going by your argument, Strauss and Prior may have been born in SA but they learned their trade in the UK. Even more absurd is the case of slamming Monty Panesar. The guy was born and raised in England. Yes, KP, Trott and Morgan were born and raised elsewhere before playing for Eng. but they have pledged their allegiance to England and deserve to play for England. Saying that they can't play for England is denying their rights and is unfair.

  • DAN22 on December 30, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Guys...this article is about the Australian team, so lets not use this to bash India. That said, I need to jump in to defend the team. We didnt play as bad as the scores say... I would say we ended slightly ahead on day 1, almost won day 2, Ended equal on day 3 and lost day 4. The batting is ageing but look at how Dravid played in England and Sachin played here and we can see that age is not an excuse at least for this series. Our bowling clicked and shows promise and we have a talented Rahane and Rohit on the bench. Want to stick my neck around and say that we could still win this series...

  • StJohn on December 30, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Various comments on Cricinfo in the last couple of days have revisited a popular focal point for whinging: the fact that England has a couple of South African born players in the current Test side (and an Irish chap). A bit of gentle mickey taking and banter about this is fair enough, but some comments tend to betray a rather blinkered and narrow-minded view of nationality. We live in an increasingly globalised world where many people frequently move, or want to move, to different countries to seek out better opportunities. Why should cricket be any different? Obvious English parental links apart, the more pertinent question is why these guys don't want to move to Australia instead of England or stay in South Africa? It certainly isn't for the weather! Be mindful not to stray towards unhealthy nationalism too: the undertone that people should only play for the country where they were born is not a good direction for society to move in.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on December 30, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    India needs to learn From sri Lanka how to win TEST matches away.

  • AidanFX on December 30, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Yep @ Randy - agree the bowling stocks are very good and affecting batting averages of the quality out there - During the Warne/ McGrath era I don't remember thinking gee "I wish this such and such bowler was playing" - A guy like Bichel was the guy who game in for an injury or extra option - but there was no one else that good - at the moment there are whole series of players not even in the team who would be good additions.

  • landl47 on December 30, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    I've enjoyed watching Australia over the last few months. You never know what's going to happen- bowled out for 47, chase down 310, win by 9 wickets, lose by 7 runs and then this match. They are consistently inconsistent. Who knows what will happen in the next match? They're not, as the article says, a great side, but they're great fun to watch.

  • baskar_guha on December 30, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    A test win is like an air freshener -- makes the bad smells go away for a while. While we all should laud a good win, here is what Australians need to worry about. Consistency at the top of the order; Haddin's batting blues; and Lyon's pedestrian spin. On a pitch that is more varied (assists spin as well as pace over the duration of the test), this Aussie team will not do as well even against this Indian team.

  • gothetaniwha on December 30, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    The problem with Aussie is going too be there batting in the future , bowling looks like its got depth . all this talk about bringing youth into the team is just that TALK ,drop Kawaja and Hughes and keep the oldies Ponting and Hussey even though they probably won the game for them ,there best days are behind them , as for India they are the same boat but they have yet to admit or refuse to pension off the oldies Dravid , SRT and Laxman watching them in the field is comical - shelling catches .Indian fans want to drop Koli ,he,s there future .The next couple of years will be painful for Aussie and India ,when they tour NZ ,ZIM,WI ,and Sri Lanka they will struggle to put away these teams in there home conditions, only England it seems (and i hate to say this ) are clearly ahead of the rest .

  • AidanFX on December 30, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    All this talk about Warner not having the technique for Tests is becoming frustrating to listen to. It is like "Chinese Whispers". Someone random online says he is a 20/20 specialist - no technique then another person says "yeah that's right and repeats the sentiment and before you know it circulates "he has no technique". Listen check his first class stats - impressive. The 37 he made in the first innings was enough to show he has what it takes. I suspect he is still learning the craft but his inclusion is justified (as was in previous time Michael Slater). There is nothing wrong with Warner's Technique; the guy has been playing since he was like 5 or something; He can leave, block play on the front and back foot - that's called cricket! The batting talent overall seems a concern but it is out there; one thing which should be kept in mind is the the spicy pitches have contributed to the very good players ave between 37 - 45 rather than 50+.

  • Wozza-CY on January 1, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    If Australia is to reach number 1 again, then there are going to be plenty of days where we'll be head scratching. But it is necessary that we have these days in the quest for what is our best 15 test players. The bowling looks as if it's getting somewhere. All the selectors can do is pick players with talent, skill & determination to give them an opportunity to showcase their talents. It's important that they give them an extended run like the Hughes of the second opportunity & not cut them short like the Hughes of the first opportunity. So expect guys to come & go until we find players who are comfortable at this level & can be successful. The result of this process will be inconsistent performances which we will have to accept for the time being. But, like the article says, it's never dull!

  • Shan156 on December 30, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    @suavesjmh,@_Australian_, don't get me wrong. IMO, Khawaja is as Aussie as anyone else in the team. I was only pointing out the folly in RandyOz's argument. In this age and time, people migrate from one country to another in search of a better life and to achieve their goals. I see nothing wrong in that. You see a lot of Indian people moving to the western world. After accepting, say, US citizenship, they are American and enjoy the same rights and privileges that other US citizens get. Why should it be any different with sports? Going by your argument, Strauss and Prior may have been born in SA but they learned their trade in the UK. Even more absurd is the case of slamming Monty Panesar. The guy was born and raised in England. Yes, KP, Trott and Morgan were born and raised elsewhere before playing for Eng. but they have pledged their allegiance to England and deserve to play for England. Saying that they can't play for England is denying their rights and is unfair.

  • DAN22 on December 30, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Guys...this article is about the Australian team, so lets not use this to bash India. That said, I need to jump in to defend the team. We didnt play as bad as the scores say... I would say we ended slightly ahead on day 1, almost won day 2, Ended equal on day 3 and lost day 4. The batting is ageing but look at how Dravid played in England and Sachin played here and we can see that age is not an excuse at least for this series. Our bowling clicked and shows promise and we have a talented Rahane and Rohit on the bench. Want to stick my neck around and say that we could still win this series...

  • StJohn on December 30, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Various comments on Cricinfo in the last couple of days have revisited a popular focal point for whinging: the fact that England has a couple of South African born players in the current Test side (and an Irish chap). A bit of gentle mickey taking and banter about this is fair enough, but some comments tend to betray a rather blinkered and narrow-minded view of nationality. We live in an increasingly globalised world where many people frequently move, or want to move, to different countries to seek out better opportunities. Why should cricket be any different? Obvious English parental links apart, the more pertinent question is why these guys don't want to move to Australia instead of England or stay in South Africa? It certainly isn't for the weather! Be mindful not to stray towards unhealthy nationalism too: the undertone that people should only play for the country where they were born is not a good direction for society to move in.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on December 30, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    India needs to learn From sri Lanka how to win TEST matches away.

  • AidanFX on December 30, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Yep @ Randy - agree the bowling stocks are very good and affecting batting averages of the quality out there - During the Warne/ McGrath era I don't remember thinking gee "I wish this such and such bowler was playing" - A guy like Bichel was the guy who game in for an injury or extra option - but there was no one else that good - at the moment there are whole series of players not even in the team who would be good additions.

  • landl47 on December 30, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    I've enjoyed watching Australia over the last few months. You never know what's going to happen- bowled out for 47, chase down 310, win by 9 wickets, lose by 7 runs and then this match. They are consistently inconsistent. Who knows what will happen in the next match? They're not, as the article says, a great side, but they're great fun to watch.

  • baskar_guha on December 30, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    A test win is like an air freshener -- makes the bad smells go away for a while. While we all should laud a good win, here is what Australians need to worry about. Consistency at the top of the order; Haddin's batting blues; and Lyon's pedestrian spin. On a pitch that is more varied (assists spin as well as pace over the duration of the test), this Aussie team will not do as well even against this Indian team.

  • gothetaniwha on December 30, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    The problem with Aussie is going too be there batting in the future , bowling looks like its got depth . all this talk about bringing youth into the team is just that TALK ,drop Kawaja and Hughes and keep the oldies Ponting and Hussey even though they probably won the game for them ,there best days are behind them , as for India they are the same boat but they have yet to admit or refuse to pension off the oldies Dravid , SRT and Laxman watching them in the field is comical - shelling catches .Indian fans want to drop Koli ,he,s there future .The next couple of years will be painful for Aussie and India ,when they tour NZ ,ZIM,WI ,and Sri Lanka they will struggle to put away these teams in there home conditions, only England it seems (and i hate to say this ) are clearly ahead of the rest .

  • AidanFX on December 30, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    All this talk about Warner not having the technique for Tests is becoming frustrating to listen to. It is like "Chinese Whispers". Someone random online says he is a 20/20 specialist - no technique then another person says "yeah that's right and repeats the sentiment and before you know it circulates "he has no technique". Listen check his first class stats - impressive. The 37 he made in the first innings was enough to show he has what it takes. I suspect he is still learning the craft but his inclusion is justified (as was in previous time Michael Slater). There is nothing wrong with Warner's Technique; the guy has been playing since he was like 5 or something; He can leave, block play on the front and back foot - that's called cricket! The batting talent overall seems a concern but it is out there; one thing which should be kept in mind is the the spicy pitches have contributed to the very good players ave between 37 - 45 rather than 50+.

  • RandyOZ on December 30, 2011, 2:41 GMT

    @LilThommo - good observation, but the fact is our bowling stocks are so much stronger now than they were in the McGrath era, so the batsmen don't average as much. When you have the likes of Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Geroge, Coulter-Nile, Hazlewood, Butterworth, Cummins, Cutting, etc playing state cricket, the averages are gonna be lower.

  • Wacco on December 30, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    ha ha smashed again , India! Indian hyped batting is a kind of a Joke! Patto could have walked in at #3 in this line up. Its better play with WI at home and take care of the record books.

  • vinnyrock on December 30, 2011, 1:47 GMT

    Would love to see this Australian team playing in Indian pitches and then prove their superiority. Yes, Indian team is only better in Indian pitches, but so is every other team. England, South Africa, Windies and AUSTRALIA. At least India haven't lost any test match in Indian Soil this year like Australian team against an underdog team who ranks 8th in ICC ranking. oops that hurts doesn't it ?

  • Naresh28 on December 30, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    SHEWAG and GAMBHIR are not the best to open in tests.Dravid and Rohit should be tried there. We need openning stands of over 50. Gambhir is the only left hander in the team.A selection flaw.Since Dravid is openning due to early losses we might as well make him openner.Kohli is a good fielder but too short to face Oz pace/high bounce as batsman - maybe Rahane can come in place of him. It means the tour side game gave us false impressions. Laxman and Shewag talked before the game and were made to eat their words. Thus drop Gambhir and Kohli for next game. Laxman needs to pull up his socks otherwise it is time he quit or made to quit. If we have the 50 run openning stand that makes the 300+ mark possible

  • JimmyMilton on December 30, 2011, 1:22 GMT

    Well done Aussies! I think it's going to be a bumpy ride, but I see smooth roads ahead. Batting 6/10, bowling 8/10, fielding 7/10, captaincy and tactics 9/10. India may have taken the Aussies lightly, so expect them to come out strongly in Sydney which should be a corker of a Test. Agree with some of the media about the ageing Indian batting line up - Batting 4.5/10, bowling 7/10, fielding 6/10, captaincy /tactics 6/10. To the tunnel visioned Indian supporters, just accept the result and give praise where it is due, I can do that - so can you! To the fair minded, well all the best for your team for Sydney, Perth and Adelaide -but I hope we beat you!

  • Barnesy4444 on December 30, 2011, 1:18 GMT

    Shaun156, re Phil Hughes. What do you think of Hilditch as a selector? Terrible? Hughes was treated appallingly by him. 1000 runs in 6 weeks then two, that's right, two low scores and the young 20 year is dropped and told to change his successful technique! It's like dropping Warner now because he failed in the MCG test! Before Hughes had a chance to change whatever Hilditch thought needed changing he's picked out of form! He was doomed to fail, confidence fell, newspapers got on his back. Now we have decent selectors Hughes will sort himself out and begin dominating bowling attacks again, just at the same time Ponting and Hussey will retire and Australia will have empty places in the test team.............

  • dsig3 on December 30, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    As long as Sehwag keeps opening his mouth with his bravado the pressure will be on India. Your not playing the West Indies anymore mate.

  • _Australian_ on December 30, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur. Different series same dribble. I believe you said almost the same thing after the first test in England! You need to understand that India will never be the same force as they are at home. @SHAN156 Khawaja came to Australia when he was 3. He learn't all his craft here. Not like those imports who came over in their 20's.

  • suavesjmh on December 30, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    @Shan156. Kawaja moved here when he was a young child. Slight difference from the English boys who grew up and learned the game overseas and then packed up and moved to greener pastures (if u can call it that). I haven't heard any Australian say any bad words about the fact that he was born overseas.

  • sirvivfan on December 29, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    Australia ono blanche deserve to win least because Non availability of DRS suited them! When will India realise they are shooting themselves in the foot. At least India unlike against England in the summer gone got a good bowling attack. Credit to Australia to select Usman and not so much credit for dumping him at first opportunity. Sad to hear their commentators quick to critise him against New Zealand, yet no such criticism for his replacement! We do live in a very fair world. He was criticised for getting bogged down, yet Cowns got praised by the same commentator for batting carefully and slowly.

  • smudgeon on December 29, 2011, 23:36 GMT

    This is a very flattering write-up, and perfectly captures where the squad is at the moment. Lots to look forward to. Rather fitting (telling?) that Haddin doesn't rate a mention.

  • dms1972 on December 29, 2011, 22:57 GMT

    Don't take anything Gupta.Ankur says seriously. He's so passionate about India that he cannot acknowledge a champion if that champion doesn't play for India. His logic is completely flawed and inconsistent. According to him, Ponting isn't a champion because the likes of Gilchrist, Hayden, Langer and Martyn made him look good and he never had to face Warne and McGrath, and yet Gupta.Ankur doesn't apply the same logic to Tendulkar who has had the likes of Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman, and Ganguly around him, and he never had to face Kumble and Harbajhan. So, like I said, you cannot take anything Gupta.Ankur says seriously. When he tells us India were the better team in Melbourne, well you just know his passion for India is leading his thought process astray.

  • LillianThomson on December 29, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    Australia's problem is the next generation of its batting. The likes of Shaun Marsh don't even average 40 in First Class cricket, whereas players like Mark Waugh, Brad Hodge and Stuart Law couldn't get a Test when they were averaging 50. Hughes, Warner, Khawaja, Marsh and Christian are massively flawed batsmen, and T20 is clearly messing up players techniques, and now the main two months of the Australian season are entirely devoted to it. Pattinson, Cummins, Siddle and even Johnson would be in any other Test team. But no Australian batsman under 30 would be. Can you imagine what a Hadlee or a Marshall would do to this Australian Test batting line-up? 26 all out would be severely endangered!

  • mamboman on December 29, 2011, 21:10 GMT

    Warner, I am afraid, decived to flatter in Hobart and is still not good enough. Haddin is doomed as well. The makes Hughes and Kawajah must never be spoken again. It will be difficult to reintegrate Watson. But our problems pale next to India's. The emperor has been again shown to have no clothes ans Dhoni is perhaps the weakest captain to bring a disunited and deluded team down under.

  • bhaloniaz on December 29, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    What if India comes back as they did in the England tour? (they get better). go for UDRS india, you might lose anyways, why not give players the right speak up against mistakes?

  • harry93 on December 29, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    Hahahaha! @ Gupta.Ankur. And yet we won....by 122 runs. :-)

  • Shan156 on December 29, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    @RNikh, re: India's "bouncebackability", that is what we thought when they lost at Lord's few months back. Unfortunately, they went from bad to worse. India's batting is shaky but the fab 4 aren't totally responsible for that. Gambhir needs to sort his game and Kohli needs to be replaced by Rohit. Dhoni? well, the less said the better. He simply doesn't possess the technique to bat in such conditions against such attacks. He is a very good ODI player but a mediocre test batsman.

  • Chris_P on December 29, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur The better side on the day didn't win? Interesting take that. And a pedestrian bowling attack that claimed 20 wickets for 451 runs (the last 18 for 237!)? If true, what does that say for the batting? Sour grapes, don't they taste bad.

  • Shan156 on December 29, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    @RandyOZ, "Phil Hughes will come back in a year or two and dominate attacks around the globe" ROTFL. Is this the same Phil Hughes of "c Guptill b Martin" fame? Some OZ commentator said it best: If Phil Hughes gets a nick while shaving, Guptill will appear with the med kit. You talk about United XI and then you mention you should pick Khawaja. Remind us, where was Khawaja born? If you consider him a fair dinkum Aussie, then all England players are, well, English too. Big up your team as much as you could. But, your team will get pasted when they play England in 2013 (both home and away). If the Indian pacemen can roll your top order for not too many runs, the English seamers will definitely get them for even little. Be prepared for more double digit team scores but kindly wait your turn for getting smashed. Are consecutive Ashes defeats not enough for you already?

  • Shan156 on December 29, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur, are you saying that India were the better team in Melbourne even though they lost by over 100 runs? Man for man, India may be the better team (only slightly as Ind batting >>> Oz batting and OZ bowling > Ind bowling) on paper but in Melbourne, they were clearly the better side. Proof: well, the result. They won by over 100 runs. Yes their top order collapsed but so did India's in the 2nd innings. Even in the first innings, they shipped their last 8 wickets for 68 runs.

    Nothing wrong in being a passionate Indian fan but it doesn't hurt to admit that they played worse than OZ to lose by such a margin.

  • Alexk400 on December 29, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    For me it is India lost more than aussie won. if aussie would be batting second they would have score that 292 runs.

  • frankc1974 on December 29, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Gupta, Australia were the better side. They scored more runs. Generally when one side scores more runs than the other they are the better side.

  • JimDavis on December 29, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Not sure Cowen and Marsh#1 will work in the long run. Either with Warner is fine, but together for too long could drag them both down into a snorfest. One or both of them may end up being the next Brad Hodge at any rate. Great to see Hussey come back from his horror start with bat and in the field.

    Still a lot to do before those 10 Ashes tests.

    In John we trust.

  • CiMP on December 29, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Looks like the nucleus of the future is forming for Australia in Cowans, Warner, Shaun Marsh, Pattinson, Lyon, Cummins etc. The wins and losses roller coaster gives an inkling of this return road to the days of more consistent success in the future. While India flattered to deceive at the MCG, the value of the elders in pulling the fat out of fire must be learnt by the younger brigade to complete the skill-set. The remaining Tests in this series will provide firmer clues on where Australia is headed. India would do well to watch the unfolding story closely as India is on the same cycle as Australia but a little behind.

  • Beertjie on December 29, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    Yes, they're very far from the finished article. I'm looking to Boyce to add another dimension some years down the line. If O'Keefe could develop into an all-rounder, that, too, would provide further options. But the batting looks too suspect and one can only hope that replacements for Huss and Punter can emerge from the likes of Khawaja and Marsh (don't lol). Remember, too, that both Watto and Pup are not the sturdiest physically, so the search for depth in batting will be an on-going headache for the selectors.

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 29, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    It would be fool hardy of the aussies if they believe that they were the better side here...

    Their top order collapsed under 200 twice and their bowling was looking quite pedestrian when india were 214-3 on Day-2...

  • nadu_1975 on December 29, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    I think its time 4 Aussies to look beyond Haddin i mean give the other keeps a chance. Haddin is being given a free run and he hasn't shown that resileince aussies r known for. try out the other keeps may be a gily may be made out of them.

  • mensan on December 29, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    It was India's full fledged team that got beaten by Australia B team. Wonder what will happen when Cummins, Harris and Watson return.

  • zico123 on December 29, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    had enough of Gambhir, he needs to be dropped ASAP from both Test and ODI team, he needs to go back to domestic cricket, sort out his technical flaws before playing for India again. he has developed such bad habbit of dabbing ball to thirdman, that it is out of his control now, even when 4 slips are waiting against new ball he is playing dab shot, and getting out in same manner behind the stumps again n again, he has to sort out this flaw in domestic cricket first, meanwhile India can try Rohit Sharma at opening may be, or Dravid opening and Rohit at 6.

  • zico123 on December 29, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    same story again n again, SHAME Team India, they keep making same mistakes again n again, how can they win if they don't seize initiative, they had Aus at 214/6 in 1st innings, from there couldn't grab the opportunity, Aus scored 333, then India was at 214/2, opportunity to take big lead and seal the match but only to fold next 8 wickets for 67 runs, then again had Aus 23/4, let them get off again to 140/4, then again had Aus at 166/8, from there let them get off again to score 240, how do you expect to win a Test match like this!! SHAME Team India

  • RNikh on December 29, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    Lovely bunch of enthusiastic cricketers with a hell a load of talent! Knowing now that India gets better as any series progresses, they might just have to be a bit better for the same sort of result... Nail biting three test matches to look forward to...

  • RoJayao on December 29, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    Still got Watson to come in, Harris hopefully to choose from sometimes, Khawaja on the peripheral and hopefully soon enough Haddin to be replaced. In time they'll be up there, England don't have the depth for a long reign as champion.

  • AndrewFromOz on December 29, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Finally the legions of people who want to see Siddle dropped have been silenced. A pace attack of Patto, Cummins and Siddle is just what the doctor ordered.

  • Aspraso on December 29, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    This Indian habit of composing a playing XI by using fame as a norm rather than form has once again proven to be a recipe-for-disaster. Example how do the selectors justify Gambhir's inclusion in the final XI? or Rohit Sharma's exclusion over Virat's inclusion in an opening contest. the unfortunate trend is that Gambhir will be picked for the next test too. The 7 batsmen could not score the nearly 300 runs in nearly 2 days of play that was available tothem -- boasts of being 'comfortable chasing 300' will remain a boast alone. Now for the rest of the series, the Indians will be left playing catch-up.

  • RandyOZ on December 29, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Cummins, Pattinson, CoulterNile, Cutting, Copeland, Hazlewood form the best young bowling stocks in the world. Haddin is done for and should be replaced by Wade ASAP. The batting is looking slightly shaky but there are some good youngsters coming though. I personally think Khawaja should be there instead of Marsh, who has a proven bad shield record. Phil Hughes will come back in a year or two and dominate attacks around the globe. With our pace battery though and a very skillful Lyon coming though boy must the United XI be worried! They must wonder how we do it! No South African imports!?! HAHA!

  • hcic on December 29, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    If Aussies keep dishing out these kind of wickets they are in to win the series 3-0. Given the poor form of the batters in the Test Matches for quite sometime it is going to extremely challenging to win games when the team scores < 300. Happening with some regularity... India would be wise to bring in Rohit Sharma for Virat Kohli. Virat has this habit of going to far on the off stump similar to Uthappa, a prime candidate for the LBW with the ball swinging in. Virat is much stronger mentally and therefore should do well in good batting conditions but not in seamer friendly surfaces. Good Luck to India but it looks like a 3-0 test series win to Australia now with wins @ the MCG, SCG and Perth if the wickets are similar to what we have seen today. Adelaide would be a good batting wicket and therefore could be a draw. Cross fingers on the prediction...

  • playitstraight on December 29, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Under Clarke's captaincy, Australia have a great future. Ricky Ponting has proved that he belongs in Tests, being the only person in the whole match to make 2 half-centuries in both innings. Well done Punter!

  • AussieGreekCricketLegend on December 29, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Aussie Aussie Aussie'!!! Oi oi oi

  • LesGrossman on December 29, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    They do play some very good cricket at times, can they back it up in Sydney though? Craig McDermott has to take a bow for his efforts in instilling a mantra of bowling fuller at off stump. He's turned around Siddle and Hilfenhaus because of this approach, who would have thought that Hilfenhaus would have picked up 7 wickets? Against the best batting line up going around? It's amazing that a head coach (Nielsen), a bowling coach (Cooley) and a captain (Ponting) didn't think of this as the English played us easily off the back foot while we nicked off on the front foot to Anderson and co. If we can get the same simple approach in batting (play each ball on its merits, watch the ball and keep head still at ball release) we will do very well, but I doubt Arthur and Langer are the men to do this. They talk too much in cliche, always a sign you don't know what to do.

  • Kaze on December 29, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    @peeeeet Actually this side can be very dominant. All they need is a reliable batting lineup to put up a decent score. The bowling attack will in time be better than past attacks. Imagine Cummins and Pattinson 5 years from now when they get a bit more experience. They will give Glenn McGrath and Gillespie a run for their money.

  • jeauxx on December 29, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    Amen to that peet. Not only that but there is such a stock of young bowling talent coming through that is just incredible. Pattinson and Cummins are already names of the future but by no means does it end there. Names like Copeland, Hazlewood, Faulkner, O'keefe, Mitchell Marsh, Cutting, Starc. A little more depth to the batting would be nice but if Khawaja, Hughes and Callum Ferguson can sort themselves out they would also make big names for the future.

    I'd like a little more consistency to our performances but nonetheless I think the next couple of years are going to be an exciting time for our team. =)

  • sachin_vvsfan on December 29, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    Title should read "Australia make compelling for viewing against indian or subcontinent teams at home." Now Hussey and ponting will resurrect their careers with the help of indian bowlers.

  • peeeeet on December 29, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    This is beginning to look like a very good team. Cowan and Warner, if given time, can become a pretty good opening pair. There's some good potential middle order players around with Clarke, Watson, Khawaja, Christian, and Marsh that will hopefully hold the fort together once Hussey and Ponting move on. We've got two very good keeper-batsmen in Paine and Wade waiting for Haddin to be booted out. Then there's an impressive stock of bowlers coming through. It is by no means a side that will be dominant like the ones of the last 20 years, but I think it will be one that will provide good cricket against the other top teams and as long as Australia remain a competitive side, they should be able to work their way back to the top. Hopefully.

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  • peeeeet on December 29, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    This is beginning to look like a very good team. Cowan and Warner, if given time, can become a pretty good opening pair. There's some good potential middle order players around with Clarke, Watson, Khawaja, Christian, and Marsh that will hopefully hold the fort together once Hussey and Ponting move on. We've got two very good keeper-batsmen in Paine and Wade waiting for Haddin to be booted out. Then there's an impressive stock of bowlers coming through. It is by no means a side that will be dominant like the ones of the last 20 years, but I think it will be one that will provide good cricket against the other top teams and as long as Australia remain a competitive side, they should be able to work their way back to the top. Hopefully.

  • sachin_vvsfan on December 29, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    Title should read "Australia make compelling for viewing against indian or subcontinent teams at home." Now Hussey and ponting will resurrect their careers with the help of indian bowlers.

  • jeauxx on December 29, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    Amen to that peet. Not only that but there is such a stock of young bowling talent coming through that is just incredible. Pattinson and Cummins are already names of the future but by no means does it end there. Names like Copeland, Hazlewood, Faulkner, O'keefe, Mitchell Marsh, Cutting, Starc. A little more depth to the batting would be nice but if Khawaja, Hughes and Callum Ferguson can sort themselves out they would also make big names for the future.

    I'd like a little more consistency to our performances but nonetheless I think the next couple of years are going to be an exciting time for our team. =)

  • Kaze on December 29, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    @peeeeet Actually this side can be very dominant. All they need is a reliable batting lineup to put up a decent score. The bowling attack will in time be better than past attacks. Imagine Cummins and Pattinson 5 years from now when they get a bit more experience. They will give Glenn McGrath and Gillespie a run for their money.

  • LesGrossman on December 29, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    They do play some very good cricket at times, can they back it up in Sydney though? Craig McDermott has to take a bow for his efforts in instilling a mantra of bowling fuller at off stump. He's turned around Siddle and Hilfenhaus because of this approach, who would have thought that Hilfenhaus would have picked up 7 wickets? Against the best batting line up going around? It's amazing that a head coach (Nielsen), a bowling coach (Cooley) and a captain (Ponting) didn't think of this as the English played us easily off the back foot while we nicked off on the front foot to Anderson and co. If we can get the same simple approach in batting (play each ball on its merits, watch the ball and keep head still at ball release) we will do very well, but I doubt Arthur and Langer are the men to do this. They talk too much in cliche, always a sign you don't know what to do.

  • AussieGreekCricketLegend on December 29, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Aussie Aussie Aussie'!!! Oi oi oi

  • playitstraight on December 29, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Under Clarke's captaincy, Australia have a great future. Ricky Ponting has proved that he belongs in Tests, being the only person in the whole match to make 2 half-centuries in both innings. Well done Punter!

  • hcic on December 29, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    If Aussies keep dishing out these kind of wickets they are in to win the series 3-0. Given the poor form of the batters in the Test Matches for quite sometime it is going to extremely challenging to win games when the team scores < 300. Happening with some regularity... India would be wise to bring in Rohit Sharma for Virat Kohli. Virat has this habit of going to far on the off stump similar to Uthappa, a prime candidate for the LBW with the ball swinging in. Virat is much stronger mentally and therefore should do well in good batting conditions but not in seamer friendly surfaces. Good Luck to India but it looks like a 3-0 test series win to Australia now with wins @ the MCG, SCG and Perth if the wickets are similar to what we have seen today. Adelaide would be a good batting wicket and therefore could be a draw. Cross fingers on the prediction...

  • RandyOZ on December 29, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Cummins, Pattinson, CoulterNile, Cutting, Copeland, Hazlewood form the best young bowling stocks in the world. Haddin is done for and should be replaced by Wade ASAP. The batting is looking slightly shaky but there are some good youngsters coming though. I personally think Khawaja should be there instead of Marsh, who has a proven bad shield record. Phil Hughes will come back in a year or two and dominate attacks around the globe. With our pace battery though and a very skillful Lyon coming though boy must the United XI be worried! They must wonder how we do it! No South African imports!?! HAHA!

  • Aspraso on December 29, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    This Indian habit of composing a playing XI by using fame as a norm rather than form has once again proven to be a recipe-for-disaster. Example how do the selectors justify Gambhir's inclusion in the final XI? or Rohit Sharma's exclusion over Virat's inclusion in an opening contest. the unfortunate trend is that Gambhir will be picked for the next test too. The 7 batsmen could not score the nearly 300 runs in nearly 2 days of play that was available tothem -- boasts of being 'comfortable chasing 300' will remain a boast alone. Now for the rest of the series, the Indians will be left playing catch-up.