Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 2nd day December 10, 2011

Australia must learn to handle challenging pitches

Once is unlucky, twice a coincidence, three times a pattern. Five times in two years makes Australia's first-innings fiascos a fully-fledged habit
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The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Australia's inability to handle the swinging and seaming ball has become an embarrassment. They need to own up to it, find a solution, and make amends to those they have wronged: their fans.

Their weakness has caused them to surrender Tests to England, South Africa and Pakistan over the past two years. Perhaps it will take the humiliation of a first Test loss to New Zealand in nearly two decades for the Australians to realise the severity of the situation. After two days in Hobart, there was a genuine danger of that happening as New Zealand's lead expanded to worrying levels.

For Australia it was another day of challenging conditions and another batting breakdown. This time Michael Clarke's men winkled their way to 136, only through some tail-end resistance from Peter Siddle and James Pattinson. They were lucky to get there, having been 7 for 75 when the last recognised batsman departed.

Since the start of last year, Australia have suffered major batting fiascos five times in 20 Tests. Once is unlucky, twice a coincidence, three times a pattern. Five times is a fully-fledged habit. Never has the pitch been so dreadful that the best batsmen in the country should fail so emphatically. It is to be expected that Test tracks will test batsmen. Australia cannot be anything but a middling Test nation while the collapses remain part of their game.

Last January, they made 127 against Pakistan in Sydney. Later that year it was 88 at Headingley, also against Pakistan. On Boxing Day, they stumbled to 98 against England. Last month in Cape Town the alarm bells rang when they were skittled for 47. And now, 136 against New Zealand. Three times in the past 18 months, the Australians have been dismissed for less than 100 in a Test innings.

Last time that happened, WG Grace was part of the opposition. The year was 1888. Australia was not yet an independent nation. It was only 20 years since the last boatload of British convicts had sailed down under. The Wisden Almanack referred to the Australian side as "the Colonials". Test pitches were uncovered and the players were amateurs.

Australia's leading cricketers now earn millions of dollars. There is no excuse for them not to work on their techniques. Perhaps part of the problem is that, for some, their biggest paycheques come from Twenty20 contracts. The shortest form of the game does not encourage diligence.

Not that the majority of Australia's batsmen got out to overly-aggressive strokeplay in Hobart. Brad Haddin did, at 5 for 69 imprudently driving Doug Bracewell to mid-off. Haddin was the major culprit in the Cape Town capitulation, when he backed away and tried to force over the off side when Australia were 5 for 18.

For the rest, it was a combination of poor judgment and good bowling. When the ball is moving the key is to play late and straight. Reaching forward is unwise. David Warner came forward to drive and edged a ball that seamed away. Usman Khawaja also tickled behind, a frustrating end to a patient innings of 7 from 51 balls.

Three times in the past 18 months, the Australians have been dismissed for less than 100 in a Test innings. Last time that happened, WG Grace was part of the opposition. The year was 1888. Australia was not yet an independent nation.

Ricky Ponting walked across his stumps and was caught in at least two minds. Should he play or leave? In the end, he didn't really do either. Clarke is the most in-form batsman in the side, and he seemed ready to lead the recovery, as he had in the first innings in Cape Town with a wonderful century. Instead, he left a ball on line - it nipped back and confiscated his off stump.

Michael Hussey, so immovable in Sri Lanka, has now scored 1, 0, 20, 39, 15 and 8 since that tour. Like Clarke, he tried to leave, but did not get his bat out of the way in time and feathered a catch behind. And of course, Phillip Hughes, now almost certain to be axed for Boxing Day, had prodded forward and across unnecessarily, and edged to slip on the first afternoon.

Perhaps by virtue of being less confident batsmen, Siddle and Pattinson did play late and straight early in their innings. It was the best thing for the situation.

It is tempting to think that the players have been spoiled by flat pitches. For some, that might be true. But Sheffield Shield cricket has been played on some tough tracks in the past couple of seasons. Since the start of last summer, Shield sides have collapsed for sub-100 scores seven times, and a further six have been out from 100 to 130. It is a high ratio.

Some state players find ways to cope. Tasmania's Alex Doolan seems to survive longer than most in the tricky conditions at Bellerive Oval. Queensland's Wade Townsend, whose job requires him to open at the Gabba on a regular basis, has piled on the runs this year. Not that these men are pushing for Test selection, but their work shows, as Dean Brownlie proved on the first day of the Test, that difficult pitches can be negotiated.

But not even going back to state cricket will help Australia's players during the upcoming Test series against India. The Big Bash League has monopolised the domestic calendar in late December and January. The BBL is no place to work on Test form.

Whatever the case, Australia's batsmen need to find a way to handle challenging pitches. They will see more of them in the future. And if they can't admit they have a problem, somebody must confront them with reality.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • muski on December 11, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Thats music to the ears of a die hard Indian Cricket fan. Sad that Irfan will not be there to test them with the current form he is in. Come on Yadav please get injured or feign injury like Bhajji did recently for a Ranji game and dont go to Australia so that Irfan can go. Your chance will definitely come later. If anything, its only the so called mental strength of the Aussies which will stand out against the Indians. The English tour has shown that the Indian team can crumble under pressure and there is hardly any mental strength in any except the wall.

  • Tumbarumbar on December 11, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    This article mentions both swinging and seaming balls as a problem for Australian batsmen. I would suggest that the seaming ball, ie the ball that moves off the pitch, hasn't been that much of a problem it has been swing and more specifically late out swing from a well pitched up delivery that causes the problem. The great Garry Sobers has often commented that modern batting coaches are a blight on the game because they start with the feet and finish with the head instead of telling batsmen to move their head forward toward the ball and their feet have no choice but to follow. Otherwise you get Ricky Pontings situation where his head falls across the ball.

  • eshwarmv on December 11, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Both India and Australia are weak against swing and seam. Even SA for that matter. They have been BOWLED OUT for low scores by INDIA, AUS, WI in the recent past. But, this time though India might lose the series, will definitely put up a better batting performance. The team which fields 100 per cent fit bowling unit will win the series. As for DRAVID and PONTING, there is absolutely no comparison. Dravid wins hands down.

  • vxttemp on December 11, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    @kaze, You thinking looks to be similar to aussies selectors or maybe aussies in general. Instead of worrying about your lowest totals you are happy about others defeats. All the best.

  • vxttemp on December 11, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    @Kaze,Yeah, of late it is India which is chasing down record low level test scores. oops! no it is so called born n brought up on bouncy track aussies. And you all guys jump on one disappointing series of India. Your ponting can neither play on flat tracks nor bouncy tracks... He just scored runs in the shade of McGrath, warne and under the cover of fellow opening batters. Ishant with couple of tests under his belt tamed him last time. I wonder how he fares aganist McGrath. Maybe it will be a machine language 1,0,0,1...

  • The_Wog on December 11, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    We have bowling machines now - there's no excuse for not being prepared. These guys go to the nets and face each other at 3/4 pace followed by some club bowlers. Then they go indoors and smash half volleys from the machine. But what's wrong with having a session where the machine is set on "Dale Steyn" - bowling big swingers at 150km/h? Or even 160? If you acclimatise to THAT then wouldn't your confidence be high as well? In 1974 there was no way to rehearse for Thompson other than maybe have bowlers coming in from 16 yards. Now you can practice it all day.

    Also, the Shield bowlers are always back of a length - McDermott needed to teach them how to bowl full outswing from scratch which is pathetic. When they start facing quality bowling in the Shield they will come in better prepared.

  • mondotv on December 11, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    Well as Ed Cowan is really the only shield batsman sticking up his hand and demanding to be picked and with the current injury lineup I'm not surprised. The truth is that if Ponting, Hughes and Husssey continue to fail that Australia's top 6 look shaky and they'll continue to post such scores, technique or no technique.

  • Rahul_78 on December 11, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    Why all the noise about Khwaja's and Hughes? Just check the recent records of Ponting, Hussey and Haddin, the senior pros in the team. When the goings get tough it must be Men who should guide the boys and show by examples how the tough gets going.

  • AidanFX on December 11, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Aus have admitted they have a problem ... its called "Argus"

  • Barnesy4444 on December 11, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Let's see if these two young talented opening batsmen who are great to watch can have a 241 run unbeaten partnership...........

  • muski on December 11, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Thats music to the ears of a die hard Indian Cricket fan. Sad that Irfan will not be there to test them with the current form he is in. Come on Yadav please get injured or feign injury like Bhajji did recently for a Ranji game and dont go to Australia so that Irfan can go. Your chance will definitely come later. If anything, its only the so called mental strength of the Aussies which will stand out against the Indians. The English tour has shown that the Indian team can crumble under pressure and there is hardly any mental strength in any except the wall.

  • Tumbarumbar on December 11, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    This article mentions both swinging and seaming balls as a problem for Australian batsmen. I would suggest that the seaming ball, ie the ball that moves off the pitch, hasn't been that much of a problem it has been swing and more specifically late out swing from a well pitched up delivery that causes the problem. The great Garry Sobers has often commented that modern batting coaches are a blight on the game because they start with the feet and finish with the head instead of telling batsmen to move their head forward toward the ball and their feet have no choice but to follow. Otherwise you get Ricky Pontings situation where his head falls across the ball.

  • eshwarmv on December 11, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Both India and Australia are weak against swing and seam. Even SA for that matter. They have been BOWLED OUT for low scores by INDIA, AUS, WI in the recent past. But, this time though India might lose the series, will definitely put up a better batting performance. The team which fields 100 per cent fit bowling unit will win the series. As for DRAVID and PONTING, there is absolutely no comparison. Dravid wins hands down.

  • vxttemp on December 11, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    @kaze, You thinking looks to be similar to aussies selectors or maybe aussies in general. Instead of worrying about your lowest totals you are happy about others defeats. All the best.

  • vxttemp on December 11, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    @Kaze,Yeah, of late it is India which is chasing down record low level test scores. oops! no it is so called born n brought up on bouncy track aussies. And you all guys jump on one disappointing series of India. Your ponting can neither play on flat tracks nor bouncy tracks... He just scored runs in the shade of McGrath, warne and under the cover of fellow opening batters. Ishant with couple of tests under his belt tamed him last time. I wonder how he fares aganist McGrath. Maybe it will be a machine language 1,0,0,1...

  • The_Wog on December 11, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    We have bowling machines now - there's no excuse for not being prepared. These guys go to the nets and face each other at 3/4 pace followed by some club bowlers. Then they go indoors and smash half volleys from the machine. But what's wrong with having a session where the machine is set on "Dale Steyn" - bowling big swingers at 150km/h? Or even 160? If you acclimatise to THAT then wouldn't your confidence be high as well? In 1974 there was no way to rehearse for Thompson other than maybe have bowlers coming in from 16 yards. Now you can practice it all day.

    Also, the Shield bowlers are always back of a length - McDermott needed to teach them how to bowl full outswing from scratch which is pathetic. When they start facing quality bowling in the Shield they will come in better prepared.

  • mondotv on December 11, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    Well as Ed Cowan is really the only shield batsman sticking up his hand and demanding to be picked and with the current injury lineup I'm not surprised. The truth is that if Ponting, Hughes and Husssey continue to fail that Australia's top 6 look shaky and they'll continue to post such scores, technique or no technique.

  • Rahul_78 on December 11, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    Why all the noise about Khwaja's and Hughes? Just check the recent records of Ponting, Hussey and Haddin, the senior pros in the team. When the goings get tough it must be Men who should guide the boys and show by examples how the tough gets going.

  • AidanFX on December 11, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Aus have admitted they have a problem ... its called "Argus"

  • Barnesy4444 on December 11, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Let's see if these two young talented opening batsmen who are great to watch can have a 241 run unbeaten partnership...........

  • on December 11, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    Oh well, we'll still beat India - they can't bowl.

  • Coastaltown on December 11, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    how exactly has this comment thread devolved into having a go at england, getting old guys

  • RandyOZ on December 11, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    I really want to thank all the English and Indians for commenting on our articles, you are really revealing how worried you are about this brilliant attack. And to make matters worse for you we are still missing Cummins! Haha!

  • RandyOZ on December 11, 2011, 2:49 GMT

    Our bowling line-up is clearly the best in the world and shows up any popgun attacks from the North. But our batting is terrible. Hughes and Ponting have just done their dash with me. Even still we'll chase done this 241 with ease.

  • crikey on December 11, 2011, 2:49 GMT

    Most batsmen have trouble in these kind of conditions. Cricket has an unfortunate side affect of being heavily influenced by weather and pitch conditions. As an australian supporter I whole heartedly admit that during our heydays we had more than our share of luck as far as that was concerned. Things have evened itself out considerably in the last 5 or so years. As they say , "that's cricket". Therefor you must consider all aspects of players careers when you judge them when they have finished their careers.

  • Kaze on December 11, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta You lost the point entirely in your eagerness to say something to defend India. The writer of this article is trying to make it look like Australia are the only ones collapsing on seaming tracks. Might I point out the obvious, Australia have lost many old players and are trying to make do with a lesser side, so yes they have problems. But what is India's excuse, they carried "Dad's Army" and got whitewashed, they certainly won't get any better, it will be downhill anyway you look at it. I can also ask what exactly is SA's problem, 90 odd all out to Australia isn't exactly brilliant batting is it ? There is a general problem with batting around the world on seaming pitches, it is all mediocre. Even the English don't look too good on those tracks. A good accurate attack will pull them down a peg or two.

  • on December 11, 2011, 2:37 GMT

    So happy that ponting was out cheaply...ponting-THE most over rated batsman of all times!!!!

  • Clyde on December 11, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    Yes. Let's get back to Ian Redpath and Peter May's Book of Cricket. Much more interesting.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 11, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    All Ponting bashers, watch out for Ponting's masterclass in the second inning. Go Ponting go.....

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 11, 2011, 1:34 GMT

    @Kaze, you are right on the mark about our team on your seaming tracks. But let's see how your Englishmen play on our spinning tracks. The result is already out in ODIs - 5-0. Let's wait for the TEST in Test Matches. Dhoni and his spinners are waiting for your team. We'll see what your batsmen are made of. If you guys win or draw the series against us in India, I will take my hats off to your team.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 11, 2011, 1:22 GMT

    @davidpk, a batsman doesn't become great just because he played well on grazing fields. He should play well on the challenging spinning tracks as well. Dravid has done that plenty on both these surfaces. Of course on roads everybody does well. Same can be said about Lara, Kallis and Sachin. Only Ponting falls behind a touch. I would love Australia to tour India so that Ponting can set it straight before he calls it a day.

  • on December 11, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    @davidpk. Dravid has batted and scored well on green top tracks, dirt tracks, and highway tracks. unlike most of the Englishmen. That is why he is a class act.

  • on December 11, 2011, 0:55 GMT

    @Kaze. Your tongue-in cheek sarcasm directed towards India, happens to be correct. Many of the flaws Coverdale pointed out about Oz players are equally applicable to the Indian batsmen too. Thanks for complimenting India for their "brilliant" handling of the English bowling. You might have seen that the English players believed in giving return gifts. They , equally "brilliantly" handled Indian bowling during the 5 ODI series recently.

  • N_Bali on December 11, 2011, 0:29 GMT

    I hope for the sake of cricket and test cricket fans, Australia realize that they are not a force in test cricket anymore. One cannot keep their ODI performances in mind while ranking them test wise. Test cricket scenario is the same now as it was in mid 1990s. West indies was a fading force, australia emerging as new champion, south africa and pakistan were strong but unpredictable, india and west indies were still strong at home turf, it was the best time for test cricket. Now, England and South africa have the chance to dominant test cricket for another 6 years if they are consistent enough. India will need bowlers to win tests outside home. Batsmen can only set up wins or secure draws, but test cricket is won by the side which takes 20 wickets faster than the opposition. The bowlers have started to make comeback after the batting dark ages of 2000s.

  • LesGrossman on December 11, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    Its pretty simple people. The way batting has been coached in this country for the last 5 years or so is the reason why we struggle. No one keeps there head still at ball release (ponting is the worst at the moment), no one picks up the bat with a firm wrist (see phil hughes). If you break your wrist in the pick up, you lose control of the bat and cannot adjust to the moving ball. But thats how they coach the kids these days from the (so called) centre of excellence to state development officers running coaching courses for mums and dads. Argus review said our batsmen lack technique, but said nothing on how to fix it, how does that help? The only brightspot for aussie cricket has been craig mcdermott telling the bowlers to pitch up more, but our batting will struggle and continue to struggle until a change in coaching theory at the top starts.

  • Kaze on December 11, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    Funny article, I think it should be better directed at India. Their tour of England was brilliant, they handled seaming pitches brilliantly.

  • Tigg on December 10, 2011, 23:52 GMT

    @rahulcricket Have you really just used the term green track bully? Green seamers are nothing but trouble for batsmen, particularly when it hoops around as much as it does in English conditions. the fact is england are the only side who consistantly play well in swinging seaming conditions that trouble batsmen. Admittedly they don't play spin particularly well in limited overs cricket but I'd back the likes of Cook, Trott, KP and Bell against spin in Test matches.

    I also wouldn't be too impressed with a 140kph bowler in aussie conditions. Pace is one thing that doesn't make Aussies nervous. Bounce they can deal with. It's swing the struggle with and Zaheerand Praveen are the only class swing bowlers in the Indian side.

  • Mooky on December 10, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    T20 is deffinately to blame for Australia not being able to knuckle down an build an innings Test players, especially top order batsman must be willing to give T20 away if they want to be considered for test ctricket. Every T20 game they play, more faults start to creep into there game. Selectors should give batsman a choice, T20 or Test, not both

  • Harmony111 on December 10, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge:-

    Eng were 120/8 in the 2nd test. Did they not win that match because of that? It was because that India did not take a good lead in the first innings because of Broad's hat trick that they came back. Remember that they were 70/5 in the 1st test too. In both cases, India's bowling was woefully inadequate and esp Bhajji. If this was your plight then stop saying that Eng have mastered these kind of conditions. A team only needs 3 good med fast bowlers to take 10 wickets in helpful conditions, Eng are no exception. The empirical evidence does not suggest so.

  • on December 10, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Australia should have rolled the Kiwi's for 80 odd which should have given them a lead. The batting wasn't the best but the kiwi's bowled well, but i think the Australian bowlers showed there inexperience in both innings and i think that will make this a closer match than it should be. I can remember England getting rolled for about 57 not long by the west indies so it does happen. I do think finncam is right the batting coach has alot to answer for as well as the ease of being retained in the national team.

  • finncam on December 10, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    I notice that noone ever suggest Justin Langer, the batting coach, may play some part in this problem. How ling has it been going on? Well, it's got worse since Langer became batting coach

  • Nerk on December 10, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    I would like to make the point that this Hobart pitch is not typical of Aussie wickets, which tend to be harder and faster. But that is no excuse. This is test cricket, emphasis on 'test', and a good player should adapt to the situation. Play late, soft hands, take the shine off the ball and then you should be able to score runs. The Aussies have not done that. To be fair, Martin bowled extremly well, as he does from time to time. Did he not bowl like this on a dead pitch one time and pick up five Indian wickets. Huh, Australia is not the only team to collapse like England from the 90s.

  • mak102480 on December 10, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    RandyOz, who said the following yesterday when nz were bowled out for 150: "This is the best side in the world at the moment. I want everyone to keep underestimating us. We will keep destroying sides like this. India - you are next! The United XI must be getting sweaty palms, will they slip against Pakistan?!"................one question for you: Where art thou?

  • bumsonseats on December 10, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    thats a new 1 greentop bullies never heard that, iv heard it used on indian wickets as flat top bullies . mind im pleased england are and most batters round the world i guess would think so to. dravid is a green top bully as he scored 3 100s in england thats why he can be classed as 1 of the great test cricketers. dpk

  • on December 10, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    Can't agree more. Australia need to accept their weakness if they're to challenge other teams in future.

  • InnocentGuy on December 10, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    Australia has probably had more 'embarrassing collapses' than even Bangladesh!

  • mehulmatrix on December 10, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    Very insightful article. Its in such conditions that the true class of batsmen is shown. There are not many i can think of off that can pass the acid test. Dravid, Kallis, come to mind instantly. Their weakness has been exposed many times. This is real test cricket!

  • rahulcricket007 on December 10, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    @FRONT FOOT LONGUE . AGAINST THAT CLUB LEVEL ATTACK EVERYBODY CAN CSORE RUNS .AS WE SEE IN SA TOUR ON FIRST TEST WHICH ZAK DIDN;T PLAY SA MADE 600+ .ALSO TO REMIND YOU THAT YOUR KP , COOK , TROTT , BELL , STRAUSS ALL ARE GREEN TRACK BULLIES . WHAT HAPPENS TO COOK , KP , TROOTT IN ODI SERIES IN INDIA . HMMM CAN PLAY ON ANY FAST PITCH BUT NOT IN INDIAN FLAT TRACKS . THE BIGGEST EXAMPLE OF ENGLISH BATSMEN 'S FAILURE TO PLAY SPIN WAS THE FIFTH ODI IN WHICH ENG WERE 126/0 AT ONE TIME BUT AFTER ARRIVAL OF SPINNERS THEY BOWLED OUT FOR 176.

  • SnowSnake on December 10, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Rather than Australia, I would say Test Cricket has a problem with batting. In recent times, opening batmen are chosen to be irresponsible bunch. Sehwag, Dilshan, McCallum, and Warner all are selected for hitting the ball as opposed to their batting skills. Gone are the days when test opening pair used to be one of the best batmen. Hayden-Langer, Haynes-? etc. era is long gone. The attitude of test cricket today is entirely different. The good point of all this is that tests now-a-days lead to more results than draws. Often in 4 days or less.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 10, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    It was an underprepared dodgy pitch to say the least. Stop castigating the batsmen on either side and please leave Ponting alone. I don't know if ICC is watching these substandard pitches closely where there is no contest between bat and ball. The curator should be suspended and or dismissed for good for not only preparing such a grazing field but also for underpreparing it with such ridiculous inconsistent bounce at one end. I've always thought England, Australia and South Africa prepare dodgy underprepared grazing surfaces; we have one more example of it at Hobart.

  • Samu on December 10, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    Dont count eggs before they are hatched...someone believes in it? who says Aussies are going to lose this test? Yes there might be a problem, but i see Australia scarping through again with 3-4 wickets to spare...

  • TruthPrevails on December 10, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    "Their weakness has caused them to surrender Tests to England, South Africa and Pakistan" - did you conveniently forget humiliation at India's hands in Perth after infamous Sydney test?

  • on December 10, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    Time for draconic measures perhaps? A Test batsman should be able to play a long innings and a Test bowler bowl a lengthy and testing spell even if the pitch doesn't favour them, so hand out Baggy Greens only to those who excel in the Sheffield Shield and show the mental characteristics desirable in a Test player. Also, past merits are just that, past. For the good of Australia, this means saying goodbye to Warner, Hughes, Ponting, Hussey and Haddin after Hobart.

  • RAshutoshT on December 10, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;event=1;filter=advanced;orderby=team;runsmax1=150;runsval1=runs;spanmax2=10+Dec+2011;spanmin2=10+Dec+2008;spanval2=span;template=results;type=team;view=innings;wicketsmin1=10;wicketsval1=wickets look at this link to understand the problems australia are having in last 3 years... it is there batting that is failing them... it is the same period where ponting has failed to score big... replace him and let young guns enjoy the game and grow big like him...

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 10, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    I think Indians have a REALISTIC chance to beat Australia this time. Aussies are an average team now. At the same time, this is a swan song to all senior Indian players. If the 'old' Indians fail this time, they will be shown the gate by the BCCI. If Ricky Ponting fails this series, he will be thrown out of the Aussie setup and many players including Lyon, Pattinson etc could find themselves in danger of getting axed from the team. So this is a BUTCHER'S STAND series according to me. I can't wait to watch it. There will be blood at the end but whose blood will it be ? let's wait n see.

  • hhillbumper on December 10, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    lets play aus vis india on green seaming pitches and see who can get the lowest score.India can't bolw and Aus seemingly can't bat.So how high do you think the series avge will be.Sehwag about 10.Tendulkar about 34 and ponting to get more ducks than a pond.

  • naeemhussain on December 10, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    Posted by RiscoGrande on (December 10 2011, 10:37 AM GMT) why cant it just be that nz is playing well, according to the press australia was doing well and we (nz) are not up to standard prior to today and now everyone is saying that australia is just playing poorly. is it incomprehensible that the blackcaps are actually doing well???!!!!! if the allblacks were defeated by say england then it would be an epic performance by the english wouldn't. Believe it or not NZ is a nation of sportsman just like Auz ( and we are only a quarter the population)and we are capable of being world class in more than just one sport, just look at sailing, hockey, softball, league, the list keeps going

    Either way Australians do not want to give credit to NZ team. NZ team record shows that they are always tough competent to Australia.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 10, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    One reason why England are, and have been for the last two years, head-and-shoulders above the rest of the world is their ability to negotiate conditions such as those seen in this test match: Who can forget that in the recent 4-0 thrashing of India, England were put into bat by India on the worst possible conditions for batting during the first two tests: and showed the necessary application and strength to overcome and win the match. Now of course the current Australian and New Zealand sides are no where as good as England, but that's no excuse for a lack of discipline.

  • dariuscorny on December 10, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    why the world cries if the Asian teams skittle like this wen they travel abroad?i mean Aus,Eng,Sa,Nz they hv folded under 140 a number of times at their own den,there is always no fuss about it.coz these teams dont know how to play in their own conditions.English fans are beating their chest seeing this and claiming they have the best players of seaming conditions as if England was piling on loads of runs all these years.they hv made runs nt bcoz of their skills but due to their opponent's adverseries be it India or Aus.this is truth

  • dsig3 on December 10, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    I think we admitted to having a problem after the 47 in SA Brydon. Its not completely unexpected. Seems to have been happening for about 5 years now. Not sure what to do about it. Its a very young team and the older guys are all at the end of their careers. Anyway, I think they will bat a bit better in the second dig so lets wait and see.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 10, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    We only have two players in their primes, Clarke and Siddle. The others are either young and inexperienced or obviously past their best. This presents problems with consistency. When we eventually get a core group of players having 20-30 tests under their belts these type of poor performances will become rare.

  • samincolumbia on December 10, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    When Ponting said expect a century in Tasmania, we did not realize he was talking about the entire Australian batting getting to three figures!! With team totals of 88 and 58, it makes perfect sense. LOL.

    Australian batsmen including Ponting cannot handle swing and seam. but their fans only keep finding faults with other countries players.

    Pattinson and their new crop of bowlers are overrated. It's these kind of pitches that help them get wickets and make them look good.

  • landl47 on December 10, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    The worrying thing for Aus is there doesn't seem to be much they can do. It is to be expected that Ponting and Hussey will decline further. It's the (lack of) quality of the replacements that's the problem. Hughes is inconsistent, Kahawaja has one 50 in ten test innings, Warner confirms what most people whose names aren't jonesy2 expected, that he has no defence. Marsh has played well but he has a history of injury and he's injured again. The fact that every time a career journeyman with an average in the 30s, like Cowan and Christian, gets a couple of Shield hundreds there is a call for their inclusion shows how empty the larder has become. Australia has some good bowling prospects, but the batting is another story. @rahulcricket0007, check out the bowling figures of India's spinners against England in the last test series. England have a problem scoring fast against spinners, but in a test series it's another matter. Where are Bhaji and Mishra now? Out of test cricket.

  • nickydude on December 10, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    It was comin since long time for yesterday. Till now, they were saved cuz even the marginal decisions were always in their favour, even in the last series against India in 07-08, remember the atrocious umpiring & 3 lives for Symonds, else, the series was in Ind favour, 2-1. No such luck anymore with DRS, inshort, bleak future for Aus cricket.

  • mensan on December 10, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    NZ should win this test. I hope they do so. Australia should drop Ponting and Hughes. Rest OK.

  • on December 10, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    However all hope is not lost despite this spate of subpar performances. In Cummins Starc, Pattinson, et al there's a serious chance of forming a terrific bowling attack. But serious action needs to be taken. Injury management has to be looked @. Maybe cutting back on the 1 day cricket & rotating them for the test matches will help. It s quite obvious Haddin, Ponting & Hussey are over the hill. They have done well & had their time. Its best they retire after this series so that the rebuilding can start vs West Indies in March/ April. I doubt there is an easier place to start their careers except maybe Zimbabwe. For the Love of progress in cricket though I really hope you guys get whipped so that Sachin, Laxman & Dravid can walk off happily into the sunset with a 1st series win down under. They have been around long enough. I was hoping for that last year but Dhoni let the chance slip with that partnership between Kallis & Boucher @ Cape Town in South Africa

  • on December 10, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Too stupid to bring in the 20/20 as cause. The picthes in the past are to blame. Austrlian pitches were not for swinging it is just for speed and bounce which aussies are good at. Just like england are weak in spin, aussies are at swing.Its not new. Its been like this from 2005.

  • jplterrors on December 10, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    lol @ crichorizon so u would hv hussey as yr keeper? and @ ns_krishnan am officially writing off Aussie and India for the 2015 WC. Aussie will cling on 2 the veterans for 2 long and not make the hard calls if Arthur was gona do it he wd have by now. A year before the cup they will all go and leave them in the lurch. India only just got there in their conditons, home ground etc so wont be anywhere near it downunder where they hv a poor record. And England are no good in ODIs. The bet for mind is the kiwis a youthful team who will all be peaking by then with the added bonus of home ground advantage till the semis and Aussie will be out by then.

  • on December 10, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    As a West Indian who enjoy seeing Lara, Chanderpaul, Bishop Ambrose & Walsh giving it to the Aussies I really am enjoying these batting collapses. From the Game @ Sabina Park in 2008 where we had u guys 18/5 I saw the signs of the writing beginning to be on the wall. South Africa did well to win down under in the summer of 08/09. I also saw how it was a struggle to beat West Indies & Pakistan back in the 09/10 season. Ponting getting roughed up by Kemar Roach, Gayle making back to back centuries, Bowled out for 150 @ Perth, Amir & Asif running through the batting lineup. If both series were merged & the best 11 played the 6 test matches Australia would have probably lost 4-1 . injuries to key players & Kamran Akmal keeping + poor captaincy ( by M Yousuf) made that Australian summer the success it should not have been. The Ashes last Summer was just fabulous . 3 innings defeats in a series. who would have thought eh?

  • spiritwithin on December 10, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    @TommyJay..u wrote that indian batsman r utterly incapable of applying themselves in seamer friendly conditions but u r grossly wrong in ur assessment,india though lost 0-4 in Eng but they were still consistently scoring 250+ against a far better Engislh Bowling Attack in a far tougher condition,only once they were allout for under 200 when they scored 153 and in SA apart from scoring 125 in one innings they regularly scored 300+ and 400+ there in all the other innings unlike Aus batting line up who cant cope with seam and swing,47 all out,88 allout last year against pak,now 136 against NZ and few more under 200 scores shows aussie batting inability far more than India...

  • ozwriter on December 10, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    lol @ hhillbumper "20/20 is just baseball in pads". isnt that amazing? despite the craze about T20, nothing can match a test series.

    the batting collapses are getting concerning, you will note that world number 1 england has only this happen once <160 over the last two years.

    new team should read: warner, khawaja, marsh, ponting, clarke, watson, hussey, siddle, pattinson, cummins, lyon (in that order). Hughes bye bye.

  • CricketingStargazer on December 10, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    dms1972, you mean that only Pakistan have a worse record for collapses and that Australia collapse more often than Bangladesh, New Zealand AND West Indies? That they have as many small totals as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe combined? You have just highlighted, starkly, how bad things are!

  • bumsonseats on December 10, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    some of nz need to get a grip, this is test cricket not a build up to the next wc. will you win this test i hope so. but iv seen nothing yet to say you will win anything. the wicket produced for this test match is a shocker. not in the way a spinners wicket is bad, spinning from 1st ball. if the aussies wanted to prepare a wicket to suit not only their plethora of great fast bowlers, but also the dimble dobblie bowlers nz have. the last time i saw a wicket as green as the 1st day was the early 80s in england when nottingham had clive rice and richard hadlee, mike hendrick bowling for them. dpk

  • potter22in on December 10, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    The basic problem is openers.Any successful test side will have /would have a good,if not a great opening pair. After Langer/Hayden, there has been a problem ,.Katich was solid and has had many partners P.Jacques (where is he?) ,C.Rogers? , Hughes , Watson and now Warner!.Getting Warner into Test cricket is not right.He is yet to come with an solid/match winning ODI Innings.P.Hughes was not considered O.K against Flintoff and Watson had to be promoted as opener and why again go back to him?Australia will have to find a right opening combination to do well, especially bowler friendly pitches.

  • meursault on December 10, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    Nice article. I don't think this is a recent phenomenon though. The Australian batting line-up has looked spineless against good bowling in difficult conditions at least since the many collapses under cloud cover in England in 2009. Before that, in tough conditions it always seemed to be Steve Waugh and someone, now it's maybe Michael Clarke and pretty much no one else. They need to pick the most disciplined, technical players who are prepared to guts it out (like S Marsh has done since his debut and Khawaja too to a less successful extent), not the Warners, Haddins and Hugheses.

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Mr. Coverdale... you forgot to mention they were bold out on 93.. on a "Flat track" of india..lol...

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    what happened aussie mates... going green backfired... a so called legend falls to a pathetic shot.. going across the line on a seaming pitch... his homeground.... lol.... wow.... Please prepare same pitches for india ... we will see how your "great" batsmen cope up with our line up.....zak must be licking his fingers after watching this great batting performance .. .lol

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 10, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    This performance not only, once again, questions the ability of Australian batsmen to handle any sort of seam movement......

    But it also begs the question, as to how many times will Ponting be allowed continue playing "below par" cricket, wherein he keeps missing the straight bowl on middle-stump?

    Ponting is surely playing for personal reasons and not for his team....

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    In bowler friendly conditions batsman will, by definition, struggle and because modern cricketers play mostly in very batsman friendly conditions they play/don't play shots like Hussey, Pointing and Clarke yesterday. If it had been England's bowling attack on this wicket, Australia would have been all out for about 12.

  • intcamd on December 10, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    Australia's batting does present alarms, but ot to worry, India will be worse. We just collapsed umpteen times in England, and we will be probably be worse in Australia, with our veteran batsmen being 6 months older.

  • couchpundit on December 10, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Dude It started with Last year tour of India where they lost test series 2-0.

    My Point is its Just not Swing and Seam, or may be so because they lost wickets in india regularly to swing of Praveen with new ball.

    From what i see its more than that.

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    @TommyJay you are not a real cricket fan, your knowledge about India is a BIG ZERO.INDIA HAS THE BEST TEST RECORD IN AUS,SA,WI THAN ANY ASIAN TEAM,PAK HAS ALSO LOST MORE TESTS THERE AND are only BETTER IN NZ. @jplterrors Tendulkar is the only 'veteran' in odi team, Zaheer doesn't play most of those either. really they can field mostly the similar team they played in 2011, only more pacers will be added.

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    @RandyOz, where are you? Would like to hear from you. Your insightful comments will be very interesting to read. All of us who blog regularly at Cricinfo would enjoy. Please... I said, please!

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Australian batsman would be so waiting for Indian bowlers now. Especially Ponting who loves to bat against India. Both India and Australia suffer in trying conditions for batting and if the pitches remain like this in that series, expect test match to end in 2-3 days.

    I am backing Kiwis for upset win here.

  • pranavcrazyguy on December 10, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    @TommyJay

    really? Were you watching a different game than I was? Dravid scored 3 hundreds in England this summer. Sachin was out several times not by pace or swing but due to his own urge to score.

    You mean to say Dravid, Sachin and Laxman are stupid abroad? Check their records. In fact Dravid averages more outside the subcontinent than in, and Sachin averages close to his overall average of 56. Shall I cite a few innings of these men on seaming wickets? Sachin - 114 in Perth, 1992; 169 in Bloemfontein - 1996-7, 116 in Melbourne - 1999, 193 in Headingley - 2002, 146 in Cape Town, 2011. There are more, these are top of mind.

    Dravid - 148 in Headingley, 2002. 81 and 68 in Jamaica, 2006. The England hundreds in 2011. All were on seaming tracks against good bowling.

    That series was a disaster no doubt. England were absolutely relentless. This is the same team that beat the Aussies 3-1 in their own backyard last year, so India's 4-0 loss isn't THAT terrible.

    Think before you speak.

  • SnowSnake on December 10, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    Ponting's batting has been reduced down to two shots. One on the front foot where he walks across diagonally (as shown in the picture) and one on back foot where he pulls. This precommittment is restricting and limiting his batting skills. Ironically, Ponting must play for Australia because there are not better batsmen available. Katich was retired too soon.

  • SamRoy on December 10, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    @Sudhey In 2015, India would have lost only Sachin (who in any case doesn't perform under pressure. His 80-odd vs Pakistan in the semi final this year was the worst ODI innings of his life) and Zaheer, unless Sehwag prematurely retires from ODIs. Laxman and Dravid don't play tests and Yuvraj, Dhoni, Virat and Rohit are much better ODI batsmen than Laxman, Dravid or even Ganguly (strike rates...). Raina is a wonderful ODI cricketer (yes he has problems against the short ball but in ODIs there is the one bouncer rule). Yes, India may not be the favourite like this time (as a result of its weak bowling) but they certainly won't be easybeats like they were down under in '92.

  • rahulcricket007 on December 10, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    @OHMATTY MATTY . U R RIGHT MAN ENGLISH BATSMEN HAVE THE ABILITY TO PLAY SWINGING BALL BUT I WOULD LIKE TO ADD ON MORE LINE TO YOU COMMENT THAT AMONG TOP 5 TEAMS AT THE MOMENT ENG IS THE ONLY TEAM WHICH CAN'T PLAY SPINNERS .

  • rahulcricket007 on December 10, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    @TOMMY JAY . INDIA WOULD NEVER BE RATED OUTSIDE SUBCONTINENT . REALLY? YOU SHOULD ALSO NOTED THAT BEFORE ENG TOUR INDIA ALSO TOUR SA AND GIVE THEM TOUGH TIME ( MOST IMPORTANTLY NEVER BOWLED OUT FOR 47 ) IN SA . WE MAKE 460 IN SECOND INNIGS OF CENTURION & 362 IN FIRST INNINGS OF CAPETOWN AGAINST THE SAME BOWLING ATTACK . AUS 'S HIGHEST SCORE IN SA WAS 310/8 . ALSO WE NEVER CROSS 300 IN ENGLAND BUT WE NEVER BOWLED OUT FOR 98 BY ENGLAND . ALSO LET ME REMIND YOU DID AUS HAVE THE BOWLER OF SAME CALIBRE & POTENTIAL THAT OF ENGLAND 'S . THEIR MOST PROMISING BOWLER CUMMINS IS OUT FOR THE WHOLE TEST SERIES . WHO IS GOING TO TROUBLE INDIAN BATSMEN ? THAT TOO WHEN WE HAVE FIT SEHWAG , DRAVID , INFORM DHONI , LAXMAN , SACHIN ( WILL GET OUT IN 80 S & 90S ) . ALSO INDIA HAVE FIND A YOUNG BOWLER UMESH YADAV WHO CAN BOWL 140+ KPH AND IS ABLE TO MOVE THE BOWL BOTH SIDES .

  • ns_krishnan on December 10, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    @jplterrors Oh Oh! .. Oh!The Indian Test side might be ageing, but the ODI side is not. Everyone who played this World Cup barring Sachin can play the next one ( form and fitness permitting of course ). Also, Australia in spite all their struggles in Test cricket are currently No:1 in ODIs by a country mile . They are maintaining a win/loss ratio of more than 2 in the last 2 years. Never count the Aussies out in an ODI tournament.

  • on December 10, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    Who thinks India has missed a trick by not taking a swing bowler like Irfan Pathan to exploit the Aussie batsman's weakness?

  • on December 10, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    @ TOMMY JAY and all the aussies out there ........aussie team is as susceptible to seam and swing as any other team is including india......btw its the same club level bowling attack including ishant and zaheer which troubld ricky ponting and the ilk durin 2007/8 series so to underestimate the indian attack wud b @ its own peril.....btw indian batting on seaming pitches is better than the aussies off late so b prepared for a better show than england!!!

  • on December 10, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Just wondering how come noone is crying out the pitches are substandard? Guess people would start cribbin and complaining only about spinning tracks

  • Grutness on December 10, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    Ever noticed that when the Aussies bowl a side out for a small score it's because they have bowled well, when if the Aussies are bowled out for a low score it means their batsmen are to blame? No suggestion in the article that the situation is true in reverse and the Aussies might just have been out quickly because the other team bowled to the conditions - which all four Kiwi bowlers did (in Martin's case, at times unplayably).

  • jplterrors on December 10, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Gota agree with RiscoGrande on this one. NZ are a team on the rise and must be firming as favorites for the 2015 world cup, by then India would have lost their veterans as too Aussie, and SA. Sri Lanka lack in bowling and Pakistan is inconsistent. A first world cup won at home would be sweet and a great parting gift for Vettori.

  • Sudhey on December 10, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    The situation does indeed seem grim for the oz batters, but I wouldn't go as far as calling it a habit just yet. These are difficult conditions, against an attack tailormade to exploit them, and most of the aussie batsmen have been short of runs and hence confidence recently. I'd wait for the India series to get over before passing a judgement. Theirs is a mediocre bowling unit, and I expect many an aussie batsmen, ponting included, to come roaring back to form. If that doesn't happen, then it is indeed all doom and gloom for the baggy greens.

  • PACERONE on December 10, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    In an era where batsmen have it made easy for them,we find that they are really not as good as their records suggests.They now do not have to play on uncovered pitches.They are allowed to face only one bouncer per over.Pitches are usually dead slow.Batsmen wear so much equipment.Compare this to playing on a pitch in Jamaica with big cracks,on a green top in Australia and Barbados.Watching Chappell,Oniell,Sobers,Kanhai,Cowdrey Graveney,Haniff and others of that era,,,they must of been better batsmen than the present crop. We do have a few that can play well on helpfull wickets...Dravid Laxman,Chanderpaul.DeVielliers and Sangakara.We have some who will play entertaining cricket on any type of wicket like Sehwag,Gayle Amla,Petersen...but these players are prone to making mistakes due to taking chances.

  • eyballfallenout on December 10, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    @ Risco, yep you are right, NZ are bowling really well. The conditions are there but you still have to put the ball in the right spot, we where a bit short and let you guys get a good total. Now i am going to blame the pitch for our batting.... But not this one! Australian wickets have lost all character over the last 5+ years, melbourne drop in pitch is slow and low, you can chase 500 in perth and gabba in the 4th innings, sydney hardly spins now. So with all our batsman playing on flat wickets as soon as it spices up a bit they can't take it. So CA bring back the sporting wickets like this one and make a competition between bat and ball again. start the series in Perth on a fast bouncy wacca wicket, just like the good old days.

  • Okakaboka on December 10, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    Yeah, and @RandyOZ wanted Siddle dropped..... For all his lack of technique and skill he has managed to be Australia's top or second top scorer in a couple of tests lately. What does it say about the rest of them. Time to drop the NSW team from the Australian team as well as Hussey and Ponting!

  • TommyJay on December 10, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    NZ are used to bowling on greentops. So why should Australia be worried about India? They won't face conditions like these in any of the India tests, and even if they did, India have a club-level medium pace attack, and a batting lineup utterly incapable of applying themselves in seamer-friendly conditions. At least they're getting their reality check now, but they'll still win this match by 6 wickets. India, meanwhile, seem to have forgotten how badly they were exposed a mere 4 or 5 months ago in England. But by about December 27 we'll be reminded AGAIN why India are never to be rated outside the subcontinent.

  • MinusZero on December 10, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    All of a sudden Hughes getting out cheaply doesnt seem so bad, since every other batsman failed too

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on December 10, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    A new era of bowlers is emerging and the old batting legends are now mere mortals and easily embarrassed. Only England's batting can survive the swinging ball!

  • dms1972 on December 10, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    Australia aren't the only ones to struggles against swing and seam bowling. Since 1st Jan 2010, scores under 160; Pakistan 6 times, India 2, South Africa 2, Sri Lanka 2, Bangladesh 2, England 1, West Indies 4, New Zealand 4, Zimbabwe 1, Australia 5.

  • partha132 on December 10, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    If Australia loses this test it wud be absolutely fantastic for the Indians. Plus m I listening to the end of Ricky if he fails to score in the 2nd innings......

  • Okakaboka on December 10, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Watch how many bloggers will come out and blame our bowling attack for not getting NZ out for less than the piddly little score Australia made. Face facts.....the only 2 cricketers in the Australian team to contribute this match are Siddle and Pattinson. Lyon is excused....he has had no opportunity. Don't blame the pitch...if Siddle can bat 86 minutes on it..then you can bat on it...maybe he gutsed it out but even Pattinson looked the second best batsman in our team. Time for some genuine rebuilding..... Hughes, Haddin, Warner, Haddin, Ponting, Haddin, Hussey, Haddin, Kahwaja, and Haddin should all be dropped. Um, did I mention Hughes......HE MUST BE DROPPED!!!! Not negotiable. Players for inclusion could be Watson, Marsh, (Back from injury), Wade, Cowan, Wade, Rogers, Wade, Finch, Wade, Bailey, Wade, Katich, Wade....AND NOT SOME OBSCURE NSW PLAYER YET TO PLAY A SHIELD GAME!!!

  • on December 10, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    The 47 all out in Capetown was in the second innings, but anyway 4 sub 150 1st innings totals and a 47 all out in a second dig in the last 2 years is indeed a problem. Shows how much the Aussies miss the likes of Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist. They could be 70-4 or 100-5 with those two in the side and still end up making 350.

  • hhillbumper on December 10, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Tracks that do something always cause issues for batsman and this is why test cricket is the ultimate.20/20 is just baseball in pads and while interesting in a slightly child like manner test cricket is still the ultimate and shows where the real skill lies.

  • on December 10, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    You do have to give credit to NZ - especially Chris Martin. It was quite visibly obvious to anyone who watched the match that he was swinging and moving the ball away from the lefties perilously and Aus were just unfortunate their top 3 are all lefties! As you probably saw, Martin didn't quite trouble the right-handers. The rain ensured supportive conditions for bowling and full credit to Martin who made use of it. He did bowl some unplayables btw. This coming from an Aussie.

  • sankar8000 on December 10, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    I Wish aussies prepare sporting pitches rather than over spicy pitches which favors unduly seamers! If they do again, Zaheer, Ishant and Yadav may rip thru aussie batting order....

  • on December 10, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Good to see Ricky's learning to walk now. That was a hilarious sight seeing him realize how plumb of an LBW that was and him halfway back to the pavilion in the time the umpire gave it out. Great bowling by the Kiwis. The Indians will be heartened by their peformance in the field today.

  • on December 10, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    @ RandyOZ If you are here....look what's happening with your world class batters against minnow bowlers...if there is a bit of swing or seem......dead ducks....poor guyz

  • on December 10, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    When you get bowled out for 136 by NZ, do you blame the batsmen or the pitch or was it just great bowling by NZ? You have to give credit to NZ cos no one gave them a hope of a fightback, let alone take a lead. Now the hard work of batting begins.

  • RiscoGrande on December 10, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    why cant it just be that nz is playing well, according to the press australia was doing well and we (nz) are not up to standard prior to today and now everyone is saying that australia is just playing poorly. is it incomprehensible that the blackcaps are actually doing well???!!!!! if the allblacks were defeated by say england then it would be an epic performance by the english wouldn't. Believe it or not NZ is a nation of sportsman just like Auz ( and we are only a quarter the population)and we are capable of being world class in more than just one sport, just look at sailing, hockey, softball, league, the list keeps going

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  • RiscoGrande on December 10, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    why cant it just be that nz is playing well, according to the press australia was doing well and we (nz) are not up to standard prior to today and now everyone is saying that australia is just playing poorly. is it incomprehensible that the blackcaps are actually doing well???!!!!! if the allblacks were defeated by say england then it would be an epic performance by the english wouldn't. Believe it or not NZ is a nation of sportsman just like Auz ( and we are only a quarter the population)and we are capable of being world class in more than just one sport, just look at sailing, hockey, softball, league, the list keeps going

  • on December 10, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    When you get bowled out for 136 by NZ, do you blame the batsmen or the pitch or was it just great bowling by NZ? You have to give credit to NZ cos no one gave them a hope of a fightback, let alone take a lead. Now the hard work of batting begins.

  • on December 10, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    @ RandyOZ If you are here....look what's happening with your world class batters against minnow bowlers...if there is a bit of swing or seem......dead ducks....poor guyz

  • on December 10, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Good to see Ricky's learning to walk now. That was a hilarious sight seeing him realize how plumb of an LBW that was and him halfway back to the pavilion in the time the umpire gave it out. Great bowling by the Kiwis. The Indians will be heartened by their peformance in the field today.

  • sankar8000 on December 10, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    I Wish aussies prepare sporting pitches rather than over spicy pitches which favors unduly seamers! If they do again, Zaheer, Ishant and Yadav may rip thru aussie batting order....

  • on December 10, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    You do have to give credit to NZ - especially Chris Martin. It was quite visibly obvious to anyone who watched the match that he was swinging and moving the ball away from the lefties perilously and Aus were just unfortunate their top 3 are all lefties! As you probably saw, Martin didn't quite trouble the right-handers. The rain ensured supportive conditions for bowling and full credit to Martin who made use of it. He did bowl some unplayables btw. This coming from an Aussie.

  • hhillbumper on December 10, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Tracks that do something always cause issues for batsman and this is why test cricket is the ultimate.20/20 is just baseball in pads and while interesting in a slightly child like manner test cricket is still the ultimate and shows where the real skill lies.

  • on December 10, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    The 47 all out in Capetown was in the second innings, but anyway 4 sub 150 1st innings totals and a 47 all out in a second dig in the last 2 years is indeed a problem. Shows how much the Aussies miss the likes of Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist. They could be 70-4 or 100-5 with those two in the side and still end up making 350.

  • Okakaboka on December 10, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Watch how many bloggers will come out and blame our bowling attack for not getting NZ out for less than the piddly little score Australia made. Face facts.....the only 2 cricketers in the Australian team to contribute this match are Siddle and Pattinson. Lyon is excused....he has had no opportunity. Don't blame the pitch...if Siddle can bat 86 minutes on it..then you can bat on it...maybe he gutsed it out but even Pattinson looked the second best batsman in our team. Time for some genuine rebuilding..... Hughes, Haddin, Warner, Haddin, Ponting, Haddin, Hussey, Haddin, Kahwaja, and Haddin should all be dropped. Um, did I mention Hughes......HE MUST BE DROPPED!!!! Not negotiable. Players for inclusion could be Watson, Marsh, (Back from injury), Wade, Cowan, Wade, Rogers, Wade, Finch, Wade, Bailey, Wade, Katich, Wade....AND NOT SOME OBSCURE NSW PLAYER YET TO PLAY A SHIELD GAME!!!

  • partha132 on December 10, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    If Australia loses this test it wud be absolutely fantastic for the Indians. Plus m I listening to the end of Ricky if he fails to score in the 2nd innings......