Australia v India 2007-08 / News

Former coach says era not yet over

Buchanan believes Australia were distracted

Cricinfo staff

January 21, 2008

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John Buchanan says without Glenn McGrath and Australia's other retired stars the side will face tougher competition from opposition teams © Getty Images
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John Buchanan says Australia will head into the Adelaide Test with "clearer minds" after their record-equalling winning streak ended at the hands of India in Perth. Buchanan coached Australia to 12 of their 16 consecutive Test wins before handing over to Tim Nielsen and he was also in charge when the previous run of 16 finished under Steve Waugh.

He said the Perth defeat did not necessarily mean the end of an era of Australian dominance, although without champions like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath they were losing their aura of invincibility. "It has already happened, when McGrath and Warne left," Buchanan told the Age.

"It is not so much how it affects Australia, because it gives some very good players an opportunity to come in, but it makes other teams believe they are a bit closer and they walk on the field with a bit more confidence. Australia is not invincible but over the movie length they are an incredible side, so let's not get caught up in the snapshot of 16 wins or anything like that."

Buchanan said there were similarities to when Australia last lost a Test at home, also against India, at Adelaide Oval in 2003-04. During that match the players were distracted by "deal-making, sponsors, Tug's farewell to Adelaide, helmets, what the media is saying about you," Buchanan said.

He said the Perth defeat brought back memories of Kolkata in 2000-01, when Waugh's record winning streak was halted by an India team inspired by VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. "It took me back to Kolkata, when after India's first innings we were expected to win," Buchanan said. "In that situation sometimes the way forward is not as clear as it should be.

"Having been involved when there are records on, and with all the distractions occurring between the second and third Tests, that's all part of it. It [the record] is what everybody expected. People were talking up the wicket, that it was likely to be over in three days. All of those things can play a part in the end."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Players/Officials: John Buchanan
Series/Tournaments: India tour of Australia
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