November 6, 2008

Australia in India 2008-09

Australia's attack splitting at the seams

Brydon Coverdale

Robert Craddock writes in the Daily Telegraph that the struggles of Brett Lee and Stuart Clark on the India tour could have more long-term consequences than some people anticipate.

It was assumed Stuart Clark and Brett Lee would be around to carry Australia's attack into the 2009 Ashes tour and beyond. They were earmarked as anchormen of the next generation. But life can change quickly when your team fades at the seams. Days become longer, the workload more taxing. The body feels five years older than it is.

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Jason Gillespie went from being a rampaging force in India in October, 2004, to cannon fodder in England 10 months later. Gillespie was gone at 31. Paul Reiffel went at 32, as did Merv Hughes. Craig McDermott was gone, through injury, at 31. Australia's expectations about the longevity of their quicks may have been unduly inflated by the stunning durability of Glenn McGrath, who left at 37. But he was a one-off.

In the Age, Peter Roebuck looks at how Jason Krejza fought back from an early pasting on his first day of Test cricket.

To his credit, Ponting kept his spinner going. Although it was not much of a consolation, at least the batsmen were hitting the ball in the air. Nevertheless, the new man's breakers seemed too gentle to worry established batsmen. Spinners need to have as much snap, crackle and pop as Rice Bubbles. Krejza does not so much rip his off breaks as release them, does not so much flight them as float them. But he persisted, and had the sense to change his line so that the ball turned back towards the off bail. Also, he pushed the ball through a little faster so that opponents could not so confidently step out or back.

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Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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