Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 1st day January 3, 2012

McDermott's vigilance needs emulating

Under the guidance of their pace-bowling coach, Australia's fast bowlers have adopted the simplest of methods and delivered excellent results
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Entering the second hour of the morning session, Craig McDermott, Australia's pace-bowling coach, was glimpsed on the boundary's edge at the northern end of the SCG. He was hunched over on bended knee, eyes watchful, body pointing to the pitch. It was not clear whether McDermott was intent on relaying a message to the middle or simply taking notes from behind the wicket, but his presence alone provided Australia's bowlers with a reminder of what they had to do.

In truth James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle were not doing much wrong in the first place, nipping out the hapless Gautam Gambhir and a penitent Rahul Dravid. But too many deliveries had been allowed to pass, and a minor tightening of method was required. Full balls needed to be fuller, off stump threatened more often, and India's batsmen kept guessing by the occasional short ball. Either side of lunch, such a peak of performance was reached, the trio dumping India from 2 for 55 to 6 for 124. Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar all fell during the period, consigning India to a dire first innings on a glorious day.

Amid general dismay at the visitors' spendthrift batting, there was also admiration - just as there had been in Melbourne - for the way the Australian pacemen went about their work. Immense credit for this had to go to McDermott, who has moulded Australia's quicks very much in his image. Against India, it is arguable that this is precisely the method required down under - 20 years ago, McDermott dominated a series won 4-0 over the tourists, plucking 31 wickets by alternating the full and fast with the short and nasty.

Ever since McDermott replaced Troy Cooley as Australia's bowling coach in mid-winter, the fast men have concentrating more or less on this simplest of methods, with increasingly startling results. His appointment was not met with universal approval, and even after South Africa there were sniggers in various places that McDermott was not the man to be mentoring Pat Cummins, Pattinson and the rest. More than once, the phrase "out of his depth" was used.

This muttering has become altogether more scarce since the start of the home summer, as each innings has brought regular wickets for the quicks via the aforementioned means. Pattinson is the bowler to have spent the most time with McDermott since his appointment, and he also happens to be the taker of 24 wickets at 14.45 in seven completed Test innings. Siddle too has improved, gleaning 29 at 24.82 since his recall to the Test side in the third Test in Sri Lanka.

The bare figures do not quite illustrate the improvement wrought from encouraging the Dandenong duo to abandon the shorter length favoured from them in Victoria. More striking evidence can be found with the eyes, and India's second, third and fourth wickets were memorable examples. Dravid drove at a delivery that seamed into him and squeezed a catch to short leg, Sehwag was coaxed into poking at a full delivery and snicked behind, and Laxman pushed out at one bending just enough away from him to take an edge to third slip. This time last summer all three of those deliveries might have been considered too full, the first and third definitely so.

While the batsmen have been tormented by the bouncing, moving ball of full length, the tail have been bounced without mercy. R Ashwin received a Siddle brute in Melbourne after the captain Michael Clarke had pointed sternly at the badge of his cap, and in Sydney the short-leg fielder Ed Cowan was busier than any Australian in the position since David Boon had been for McDermott and Merv Hughes 20 years ago. Simple as McDermott's dictums are, they are not one-dimensional. The short stuff is well-directed, and full-blooded. Nothing is sent down into the halfway zone that promotes the pull and hook shots, instead being higher and sharper rising to prompt flinching and gloves raised in surrender.

Tails are one thing, but perhaps the most salient illustration of the success engendered by McDermott's advice has been the slim scores registered by Laxman so far. For so long Australia's great nemesis, he has batted three times in the series for all of five runs. Twice he has probed at full deliveries and edged into the cordon, and to the third he flicked a full ball from middle stump into the hands of a man placed neatly by Clarke just forward of square leg. In a trice, the mystique of a man who has routinely tormented Australia for more than a decade has been drastically reduced. While it is true that Laxman is older than before, he is also facing more concerted and organised Australian bowling than at virtually any stage of his career. McDermott the bowler, one senses, may have had his measure.

If anything has detracted from Australia's pace regeneration it is the lack of support from the batsmen. While McDermott and his battery have quietly established a modus operandi proven to succeed, their willow-wielding counterparts have indulged in a batting camp yet still managed to slip into trouble in each innings against India. Though the pitches have offered some help in each case, the muddled methods of the batsmen using them have suggested anything but permanence.

History has been littered with batting aristocrats regarding the grey matter of fast bowlers with scant regard, but for the moment McDermott's simplicity is clearly winning out over the cod psychology and pugilism of his batting equivalent Justin Langer. It is to be expected that the team performance manager Pat Howard will be as vigilant about this as McDermott was at the SCG about his bowlers.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY akbarbirbal007 on | January 4, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    @Jordan Frost yes of course i mean like they could have gone for allan donald before NZ got him know he is with his hometeam...if they dont get anyone even Kapil Dev is not a bad option our legendary champion fast bowler

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 4, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    This is great news for Australia! Look at our fast bowling stocks now! Peter Siddle,Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Patrick Cummins,Trent Copeland,Mitchell Starc,Ben Cutting, Josh Hazelwood, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson! Wow! Thank you, Craig McDermott. What a choice!

  • POSTED BY on | January 4, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas.. U r very much biased against SRT which makes ur comments none bt fun.. So, it was "his centuries and huge loads of runs" b4 and now the 30s and 40s have become meaningless.. May b, the scores of Dravid in this series were more meaningful for u.. If every batsman(till Dhoni) could score those meaningless 30s r 40s we will very well end up above 300.. If u can't appreciate some1 who is doing better than others, why don't u move out of his way.??

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | January 4, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster- Kapil Dev was turned off from coaching post his disastrous stint as the Indian coach during 1999-2000. Afterwards, he took up the assignment of promoting cricket via BCCI! Another problem is that Kapil was a natural talent, an athlete who went by instinct. For coaching, the detail oriented, process driven people are possibly better.

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | January 4, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    I went to the Gabba and saw this line-up demolish NZ. I came to the conclusion that Pattinson is a lot like Ian Bishop: tall, quick and able to bowl fast away-swing with the new ball, but short of tricks after the 25 over mark - and he can't get the bounce from a full length that Bishop could. The comments about his top-order swag of wickets could reflect that limited bag of tricks and his toothlessness when the shine is gone. Siddle is similar to Merv Hughes: quick and aggressive, but not especially good at moving the ball. Meanwhile Hilfy is just an into-the-wind support bowler. But Lyon isn't going to take wickets unless Mitchell Johnson or Starc return to create him some rough outside off-stump. Good attack. Scary on a fast wicket with a new ball. Not particularly suited to English or NZ conditions, let alone the sub-continent. It's only 16 months ago we watched the English Tests where Asif / Amir / Gul / Ajmal was the Pakistan attack - each far better than this lot.

  • POSTED BY on | January 4, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    Australia's best quick bowlers of the last 20 years (post McDermott and Hughes?) have been McGrath, Gillespie (before his last 10 tests), S Clarke, and recently R Harris. All of them bowled simple nagging lines and lengths that didn't give batsmen breathers. McGrath bowled a shorter length than McDermott asks but he forced batsmen to play every ball.

    This is all that McDermott has gotten the current pacemen to do in recent tests. If you looked at the heat maps of ball placement between last summer and this summer it would be chalk and cheese. And this reflects poorly on both the coaching and captaincy before now.

    In contrast to the above Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson were both 'match winners' who lacked the consistency to maintain their brilliance - their overall records (averages, wickets per test etc.) are poor if you remove the peak 10 test bursts of their careers.

    We can only hope Pattinson, Cummins learn from McGraths consistency and keep hitting the right spots.

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | January 4, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas... The only time you will ever see 4 fast bowlers in a Oz team would be on very fast bouncy trackes - WACA ground & possibly the Gabba... Not many overseas pitches look that inviting... Also need a batter that is a reasonable spinner - aka Viv Richards... Cummins @ 1 Test & Pattinson playing 4th Test have a way to go - especially Cummins... Still there is a good group of SS bowlers coming through atm... I thought Kohli was as comfortable as Sachin & Dhoni in the 1st innings - he'll get runs... More likely another batter needs a spell... The more I read, you sound less & less like an Indian supporter...

  • POSTED BY hb1970 on | January 3, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    I hope Zaheer Khan comes back as bowling coach after he retires.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    What India need to start doing is preparing fair and varying pitches in its first class system so their players can start getting used to playing on bouncy and seaming wickets. On top of that this will also encourage fast bowling and also challenge the batsmen so the best aren't averaging over 60 in first class cricket.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | January 3, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    I'm not sure how much the bowling has been influenced by McDermott (he was always kept to the basics as a bowler, which these guys are doing well), but it's good to see them bowling in a pack. You can't help but point to the absence of Johnson as a huge part of the jigsaw. As much as Mitch had those dizzyingly good spells, he lost it sometime in the last 12-18 months and it's hard to maintain pressure from both ends when you spearhead is spraying them at 145km/h. The future of Australian quick bowling is quite rightly in the hands of Pattinson & Cummins (get fit soon, buddy), supported by Siddle and Hilfenhaus, and a bunch of talented domestic kids.

  • POSTED BY akbarbirbal007 on | January 4, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    @Jordan Frost yes of course i mean like they could have gone for allan donald before NZ got him know he is with his hometeam...if they dont get anyone even Kapil Dev is not a bad option our legendary champion fast bowler

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 4, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    This is great news for Australia! Look at our fast bowling stocks now! Peter Siddle,Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Patrick Cummins,Trent Copeland,Mitchell Starc,Ben Cutting, Josh Hazelwood, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson! Wow! Thank you, Craig McDermott. What a choice!

  • POSTED BY on | January 4, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas.. U r very much biased against SRT which makes ur comments none bt fun.. So, it was "his centuries and huge loads of runs" b4 and now the 30s and 40s have become meaningless.. May b, the scores of Dravid in this series were more meaningful for u.. If every batsman(till Dhoni) could score those meaningless 30s r 40s we will very well end up above 300.. If u can't appreciate some1 who is doing better than others, why don't u move out of his way.??

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | January 4, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster- Kapil Dev was turned off from coaching post his disastrous stint as the Indian coach during 1999-2000. Afterwards, he took up the assignment of promoting cricket via BCCI! Another problem is that Kapil was a natural talent, an athlete who went by instinct. For coaching, the detail oriented, process driven people are possibly better.

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | January 4, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    I went to the Gabba and saw this line-up demolish NZ. I came to the conclusion that Pattinson is a lot like Ian Bishop: tall, quick and able to bowl fast away-swing with the new ball, but short of tricks after the 25 over mark - and he can't get the bounce from a full length that Bishop could. The comments about his top-order swag of wickets could reflect that limited bag of tricks and his toothlessness when the shine is gone. Siddle is similar to Merv Hughes: quick and aggressive, but not especially good at moving the ball. Meanwhile Hilfy is just an into-the-wind support bowler. But Lyon isn't going to take wickets unless Mitchell Johnson or Starc return to create him some rough outside off-stump. Good attack. Scary on a fast wicket with a new ball. Not particularly suited to English or NZ conditions, let alone the sub-continent. It's only 16 months ago we watched the English Tests where Asif / Amir / Gul / Ajmal was the Pakistan attack - each far better than this lot.

  • POSTED BY on | January 4, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    Australia's best quick bowlers of the last 20 years (post McDermott and Hughes?) have been McGrath, Gillespie (before his last 10 tests), S Clarke, and recently R Harris. All of them bowled simple nagging lines and lengths that didn't give batsmen breathers. McGrath bowled a shorter length than McDermott asks but he forced batsmen to play every ball.

    This is all that McDermott has gotten the current pacemen to do in recent tests. If you looked at the heat maps of ball placement between last summer and this summer it would be chalk and cheese. And this reflects poorly on both the coaching and captaincy before now.

    In contrast to the above Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson were both 'match winners' who lacked the consistency to maintain their brilliance - their overall records (averages, wickets per test etc.) are poor if you remove the peak 10 test bursts of their careers.

    We can only hope Pattinson, Cummins learn from McGraths consistency and keep hitting the right spots.

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | January 4, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas... The only time you will ever see 4 fast bowlers in a Oz team would be on very fast bouncy trackes - WACA ground & possibly the Gabba... Not many overseas pitches look that inviting... Also need a batter that is a reasonable spinner - aka Viv Richards... Cummins @ 1 Test & Pattinson playing 4th Test have a way to go - especially Cummins... Still there is a good group of SS bowlers coming through atm... I thought Kohli was as comfortable as Sachin & Dhoni in the 1st innings - he'll get runs... More likely another batter needs a spell... The more I read, you sound less & less like an Indian supporter...

  • POSTED BY hb1970 on | January 3, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    I hope Zaheer Khan comes back as bowling coach after he retires.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    What India need to start doing is preparing fair and varying pitches in its first class system so their players can start getting used to playing on bouncy and seaming wickets. On top of that this will also encourage fast bowling and also challenge the batsmen so the best aren't averaging over 60 in first class cricket.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | January 3, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    I'm not sure how much the bowling has been influenced by McDermott (he was always kept to the basics as a bowler, which these guys are doing well), but it's good to see them bowling in a pack. You can't help but point to the absence of Johnson as a huge part of the jigsaw. As much as Mitch had those dizzyingly good spells, he lost it sometime in the last 12-18 months and it's hard to maintain pressure from both ends when you spearhead is spraying them at 145km/h. The future of Australian quick bowling is quite rightly in the hands of Pattinson & Cummins (get fit soon, buddy), supported by Siddle and Hilfenhaus, and a bunch of talented domestic kids.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    where is chateshwar pujara?

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | January 3, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    In India... the problem is patronizing seniors. In other words.. polishing boots for them. In Australia.. that doesn't happen. People listen to sensible things that seniors share BUT not NONSENSE. McDermott himself had been a wonderful servant of Australian cricket for many years; a classy fast bowler if I ever saw one. I think Australia are in the right hands with their fast bowling unit. India will NEVER replicate that because there are no REAL fast bowlers who have played for India. Kapil Dev was the only one but he's taken a backseat and is not interested in shaping up Indian cricket. Other ex-cricketers are mostly spinners and batsmen who know NOTHING about high quality fast bowling. How can Indians think of improving their game when this is the situation in Indian cricket. People who need to take responsibility are shrugging it off. Sadly Indian cricket will NEVER improve until ex-cricketers embrace the responsibility and moral obligation to give something BACK to Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    @akbarbirbal007 Might be a bit difficult to get the great Malcolm Marshall as a bowling coach considering he passed away more than 12 years ago. Perhaps you meant Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose or Joel Garner?

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | January 3, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    There's no question that this is a fearsome pace attack. Don't see a place for Lyon as and when Cummins is fit. It would be lovely to see 4 pacers ala Windies of yore. Way to go Australia. Respects from an Indian. Having said that, that tweeting clown Kohli has to go and Rohit should come in for us. Too bad that Dravid has been rattled and intimidated. Otherwise, I would have suggested him to open and push Gambhir down the order. This relentless attack made sure that the horrible form of Sachin in 2011 with his meaningless 30s and 40s (refer to what Fletcher has to say about meaningful contributions) continues into 2012. VVS is continuing to struggle. And now this attack has brought the tremendously in-form Dravid back to earth. That's double trouble for us. Unless, Dravid gathers his game again, I don't see any fight in this series. Sachin, VVS, Gambhir, Sehwag, Kohli, Dhoni are happily continuing with their horrible form of 2011 and now Dravid is down. What troubles for us!

  • POSTED BY Ravishankara on | January 3, 2012, 16:19 GMT

    Can't our bowlers adopt the same tactics ? What is wrong with them ? Ishant & Umesh have been so expensive.

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | January 3, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    @ramesh Soundararajan- You answered your own question- that really was 10 years ago! He is 38 and fading. Older players should wait for one final burst and call it a day immediately afterwards. Just notice the farewell of Warne or Mcgraw- they all left on a high. Sachin, Dravid and Laxman- they all had already enjoyed such a late career burst at different times during 2007-early 2011. Now they would be remembered as has-beens who were disgraced by much younger players and forced to quit.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Matt (Re-Langer), wouldn't matter who coached the batters mate doubt any of them have Langers work ethic and that's the problem if your not a natural you have to work hard and with rubbish competition's like the ipl who needs to you can still earn a $ for doing nothing except playing a game in a country that no one outside of it watches

  • POSTED BY Suri_1982 on | January 3, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    I dont about how much McDermott's coaching has clicked, or how better these guys are bowling. But I know one thing, they are playing against Indian Batsmen, who have long back closed down their Test game preparation factories. None of the young players seems to have the patience to atleast watch this games in TV all 5 days. How can you expect them to compete in an International game against a good team on their home ground. No analysis needed Indian teams test games are long gone. Much Hyped for a ordinary dead rubber series(on 1st day's Indian bowling itself has the message thats its a pure one sided game)

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    India need to a be two established technicians as their bowling coach and batting coach to restrict their further downfall.Hope good sense prevail with BCCI sooner than its too late.

  • POSTED BY 68704 on | January 3, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    I think mcDermott has been a revelation and also demonstrates the admiration for Troy Cooley has been largely misplaced. Reverse swing, we now know is not half as important as bowling in the right place. It is not about beating the bat as Ishant Sharma has been doing consistently but without the wickets to show for it. It is not only here that McDermott has delivered. Australia bowled really well in both Sri Lanka and South Africa. In fact all the tests they have won recently have been built on a strong bowling effort, Significantly it is continuing consistently. Today was another professional example of sustained accuracy that is not letting India off the hook. I think Australia seem better prepared so far and McDermott has been key to this. Maybe Langer should be changed too and who knows what can happen to Australia if both the batting and bowling deliver !! sridhar

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    according to people that i know who play grade cricket none of the youngsters should even be in the team

    They think Ponting Haddin Hussey and Clarke should stay

    they want these players to come back: Lee Clark Bollinger David Hussey Hodge North Johnson Klinger Katich

  • POSTED BY Seers on | January 3, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Agree McDermott's approach is working and so great not to have to watch the rubbish that Johnson, Hifenhaus and Siddle have been serving up for past few years. Also great to see emergence of Pattinson and Cummins. However, the bottom line is that the past few tests have been played on bowler friendly pitches. I'm concerned that the form of the bowlers will decline significantly in more batting friendly conditions (eg Adelaide) as Hilfenhaus and Siddle have failed in such conditions in the past and Pattinson is untested. That's why I'd prefer more consistently accurate bowlers such as Harris, Copeland and Bollinger back in the mix. In addition, Australia have been "trialling" several batsmen with short first class careers (eg. Warner, Khawaja) or those with longer, average first class careers (e.g. Marsh, Cowan, both with averages below 40). To blame Langer for their failures is ridiculous.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | January 3, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    Oh & I nearly forgot, since batsmen get detention/boot camp & a batting coach, fielders have a coach, the bowlers have a fast bowling coach, what about getting say Ashley Mallet or Bruce Yardley or Peter Taylor (assuming Tim May is busy) to help Lyon, Hauritz, O'Keefe & Boyce (& Beer too, but he's hopeless!)?????????????

  • POSTED BY Meety on | January 3, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    Ever since the infamous 9/21 scoreline, Langar has been a dead man walking IMO. Yet he is showing a great ability like the former head coach to dodge the bullet. Persons I'd like to see be given a shot at the Batting coach role are (assuming interested/available) 1. Mark Waugh, 2. Martin Love, 3. Jamie Siddons. (Darren Lehman is doing such a good job with QLD, that I'd see him as a replacement for Mickey Arthurs down the track)!

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | January 3, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    McDermott really doing wonder.. He did wonder to Siddle and Hilfy who were considered to be mere bowlers by the Aussie fans before the series.. He should take the whole credit for the renewed Aussie bowling.. Australia, England and Pakistan has the best bowling attacks in the order..

  • POSTED BY AidanFX on | January 3, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    With so many players on the fringe - Stark - Cummins - Harris - Copeland - George - Couter-nile - Hazelwood (I think there a couple young spinners emerging too) - this is where 50 over especially - and 20/20 cricket can be useful is fast tracking talent and discovering the talent pool and further increasing the depth of bowlers.

  • POSTED BY AidanFX on | January 3, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    @ baskar_guha - True - but the Bowling unit showed signs of increased potency since SL - and in SA they also showed good signs in the two test series.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    Now that Aus have Pattinson, Harris, Siddle, Hilfy, Cummins all bowling well, Is there a way back for Mitchel Johnson? Not to mention the likes of cutting, Hazelwood, copeland all waiting to get a chance.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    @ultimatewarrior. I don't understand why ppl like u r calling for the place of best 3..?? Simple question to u.. Hv u found a proper replacement for Ganguly..?? Do u knw whn he retired..??

  • POSTED BY ThirdRenegade on | January 3, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    I find it quite unnerving that Craig McDermott should be passing information or even gesticulating from the sidelines of the pitch. Is that really allowed because in soccer a coach can't leave his technical area for any reason whatsoever. It puts a lot of pressure on the opposition & isn't in the spirit of the game. You might as well give these guys chair at either square leg or point so that bowlers can consult at every change of ends. Surely, there are laws in cricket on what cricket coaches can & cannot do. It's very unfair to India because they choose not to heed such on field advice

  • POSTED BY Matt. on | January 3, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    I've thought for a while that Langer seem like dead weight when it comes to coaching. Come on Pat, drop the axe!

  • POSTED BY RoJayao on | January 3, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 that's what happens when the same players that scored so well, at times, overseas get older and neither retire nor are replaced. Reap the whirlwind India, this has been some time coming!

  • POSTED BY Chris101 on | January 3, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    Another Dodgy Bouncy "Rubberrack" Australian wicket.These bowlers are getting arrogant on these disgraceful dodgy aussie wickets. We need to make them work on tougher wickets and then see the snarls on their faces.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    McD was one of the all time best for Aussies.. Aussies have very sophisticated methods, they have process (Argus etc). Indian prime fast bowler Kapil or Srinath are not the coaches yet. India got skills and if the process incorporated, it will be a world power and invincible than Aussies were once...

  • POSTED BY ListenToMe on | January 3, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    @ultimatewarrior, I completely agree with you. We need different teams for ODIs and Tests and also depending on the pitches. Players like Kohli are getting many many chances to prove their value, but players like Badrnath get only 2 tests to prove! Why this politics, selectors?!

  • POSTED BY nat._ on | January 3, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    This is the same method that won Australia the series in India in 2004. I've never seen a more consistent line & length attacking the stumps across a series than McGrath, Gillespie and Kasprowicz maintained. My enduring memory is Kasprowicz bowling Dravid at Chennai - almost identical to his two dismissals in Melbourne.

  • POSTED BY baskar_guha on | January 3, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    There is no question that Australians have bowled very well and to a plan against the Indian batting but lets not forget that they are playing at home on very familiar tracks on which they have grown up. It is not like that they are doing this at the Kotla.

    Indian fans have to be calm and patient before judging the individuals and the team especially on an away tour in decidedly alien conditions. A good time to analyze the performance is after the test series, not in the heat of battle. Chopping and changing between tests may feel good but it never really works. All it does is make players feel more insecure, play less for the team and more for their own places. While it isn't easy for us fans to absorb defeat and the accompanying barbs from ill-wishers of Indian cricket, it is part and parcel of modern sport.

  • POSTED BY Clyde on | January 3, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Mervo is right about the need for another opener. What happens to the young possible who almost at will can stay in for two or three sessions? Does he get overloooked for someone who flashes in shorter forms?

  • POSTED BY DeathKnell on | January 3, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    @ultimatewarrior - why dont u suggest suitable names as well for their replacement...did u follow today's game... I hope all players are younger than Sachin... but none seemed to have any idea of what was happening around them..if u can say that one person was in total controlthen that was Sachin.. wickets fell in heaps..if he did not take the steam off Aussie pace attack, India wud have been finished for around 90-100...it is time to rethink abt Sehwag/Gauti/Lax...atleast for this series..

  • POSTED BY akbarbirbal007 on | January 3, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    india also need a good fast bowling coach maybe andy roberts,or malcom marshall not who can train and encourage them to bowl fast.We don't need bowling coaches like prasad who was not even a fast bowler clocking between 125-130 kph.... he was an ineffective bowling coach under him ishant started bowling slow ...time to move on

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    India is in real gallows. Indian selectors seriously need to look beyond Laxman, Dravid and Sachin. To be honest Dravid should have called for retirement right after the Australian series. At least he would have had retired in a grand fashion and would have had made a statement to aging players that when you retire you retire with your own wish. Not by the pressure of selectors. Now Dravid will have to wait for next season in India when England will come to India.

  • POSTED BY Mitcher on | January 3, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    A confession: I was one of those to pan McDermott's appoinmemt. My apology has nothing to do with results, and everything to do with execution. Great length and line have turned me. Just as the green attack has a lot to prove, so do McDermott's methods. But, so far so good. Happy to be proven wrong! P.S: @Gupta.Ankur: Where art thou?

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    10 years back, Laxman made 160 against an attack of McGrath, Gillespie,Lee and Shane Warne. Present attack is putting more pressure on him? Or he is at the twilight of his career? There will be a 2nd knock in this test as well

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | January 3, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    There is no doubt that the three incumbent fast bowlers started the season as the second string choices and are now the best choices, so those coming in under rotation (probably Ryan Harris in Perth) have a high standard to meet. Not so with the batters. Langers tenure as bat coach has produced the worst batting results in Oz cricket history and he got a mates job. Better off without one as the head coach and other players are pretty handy when required.

  • POSTED BY Raju_Iyer on | January 3, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    For India, the sad truth is that their batting stalwarts seem to have reserved their worst performances for the last stages of their careers. The only saving grace is that their bowlers will keep bringing them back into the game since Austalia's batting is equally fragile.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | January 3, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    McDermott should get a bonus for his attacks' performance. Langer should be sacked ASAP, or we face more time in the doldrums.

  • POSTED BY ultimatewarrior on | January 3, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    I suggests our batting trio (Sachin/Dravid/Laxman) should immediately declare the retirement gracefully or at least offer 2 vacant places on rotation basis (only one should play in any given future series on rotational basis)........I will favor a totally different team for India from its team at sub-continent as Sehwag/Gambhir/Dhoni/Kohli are proven batsman in subcontinent....I am more interested in Indian batsman who had proved themselves against QUALITY BOWLING on FAST BOWLER FRIENDLY pitches ......We should not allow the players to play for themselves enjoyment and indian cricket fan's embarrassment......

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | January 3, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    ONCE THERE WAS A TIME WHEN INDIAN PLAYERS SCORED RUN EASILY AT OVERSEAS ( CHECK THE TOURS OF AUS IN 2004 , 2008 , ENG TOUR OF 2002 , 2007 ) . NOW THEY CAN'T EVEN GET 200 - 300 RUNS . HOW TIMES HAD CHANGED ? INDIA HAS GONE 10 STEP BACKWARDS .

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | January 3, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    I love the sniggering about McDermott's appointment. he came from Queensland of course coaches always some from the southern region, don't they? After all fast bowlers are all geniuses and need a genius of a coach. Simple is best. Now for the batting. Can we please have a 'real' Test opener? Not a 20/20 specialist. When is Katich going to be (re-)appointed? We will never break 400 without proper openers. Cowan may make it but the rest will make a score once in 10 games and that is not enough. We can't rely on Ponting and Hussey forever.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 3, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    Stuart Broad benefited from the same advice before the last India series in England. I've watched so many England matches in the past where the bowlers seem like lemmings, banging it in short for the batsmen to bang the ball to the boundary over and over. It seems so simple and, given the evidence, there's really no excuse for any bowler not to at least try to follow the formula, at least in conditions that offer some assistance to the bowlers. If everyone does it then it will be those with the most skill who do it more with the most control and therefore get the best results.

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  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | January 3, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    Stuart Broad benefited from the same advice before the last India series in England. I've watched so many England matches in the past where the bowlers seem like lemmings, banging it in short for the batsmen to bang the ball to the boundary over and over. It seems so simple and, given the evidence, there's really no excuse for any bowler not to at least try to follow the formula, at least in conditions that offer some assistance to the bowlers. If everyone does it then it will be those with the most skill who do it more with the most control and therefore get the best results.

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | January 3, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    I love the sniggering about McDermott's appointment. he came from Queensland of course coaches always some from the southern region, don't they? After all fast bowlers are all geniuses and need a genius of a coach. Simple is best. Now for the batting. Can we please have a 'real' Test opener? Not a 20/20 specialist. When is Katich going to be (re-)appointed? We will never break 400 without proper openers. Cowan may make it but the rest will make a score once in 10 games and that is not enough. We can't rely on Ponting and Hussey forever.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | January 3, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    ONCE THERE WAS A TIME WHEN INDIAN PLAYERS SCORED RUN EASILY AT OVERSEAS ( CHECK THE TOURS OF AUS IN 2004 , 2008 , ENG TOUR OF 2002 , 2007 ) . NOW THEY CAN'T EVEN GET 200 - 300 RUNS . HOW TIMES HAD CHANGED ? INDIA HAS GONE 10 STEP BACKWARDS .

  • POSTED BY ultimatewarrior on | January 3, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    I suggests our batting trio (Sachin/Dravid/Laxman) should immediately declare the retirement gracefully or at least offer 2 vacant places on rotation basis (only one should play in any given future series on rotational basis)........I will favor a totally different team for India from its team at sub-continent as Sehwag/Gambhir/Dhoni/Kohli are proven batsman in subcontinent....I am more interested in Indian batsman who had proved themselves against QUALITY BOWLING on FAST BOWLER FRIENDLY pitches ......We should not allow the players to play for themselves enjoyment and indian cricket fan's embarrassment......

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | January 3, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    McDermott should get a bonus for his attacks' performance. Langer should be sacked ASAP, or we face more time in the doldrums.

  • POSTED BY Raju_Iyer on | January 3, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    For India, the sad truth is that their batting stalwarts seem to have reserved their worst performances for the last stages of their careers. The only saving grace is that their bowlers will keep bringing them back into the game since Austalia's batting is equally fragile.

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | January 3, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    There is no doubt that the three incumbent fast bowlers started the season as the second string choices and are now the best choices, so those coming in under rotation (probably Ryan Harris in Perth) have a high standard to meet. Not so with the batters. Langers tenure as bat coach has produced the worst batting results in Oz cricket history and he got a mates job. Better off without one as the head coach and other players are pretty handy when required.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    10 years back, Laxman made 160 against an attack of McGrath, Gillespie,Lee and Shane Warne. Present attack is putting more pressure on him? Or he is at the twilight of his career? There will be a 2nd knock in this test as well

  • POSTED BY Mitcher on | January 3, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    A confession: I was one of those to pan McDermott's appoinmemt. My apology has nothing to do with results, and everything to do with execution. Great length and line have turned me. Just as the green attack has a lot to prove, so do McDermott's methods. But, so far so good. Happy to be proven wrong! P.S: @Gupta.Ankur: Where art thou?

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    India is in real gallows. Indian selectors seriously need to look beyond Laxman, Dravid and Sachin. To be honest Dravid should have called for retirement right after the Australian series. At least he would have had retired in a grand fashion and would have had made a statement to aging players that when you retire you retire with your own wish. Not by the pressure of selectors. Now Dravid will have to wait for next season in India when England will come to India.