Champions Trophy 2013

Australia play out worst nightmare

David Hopps in Cardiff

June 4, 2013

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

George Bailey has his wicket disturbed by Umesh Yadav, India v Australia, Champions Trophy warm-up, Cardiff, June 4, 2013
Australia were destroyed by the two new balls © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: George Bailey | Michael Clarke
Series/Tournaments: ICC Champions Trophy
Teams: Australia | India

Australia took one look at their worst nightmare and discovered that it felt as real as ever.

Michael Clarke could count himself fortunate. He spent much of the match lying face down to the floor as he received treatment on the back injury that threatens to plague the rest of his career. But even from that position, he could not fail to be aware of a familiar story - that of Australian embarrassment whenever they set sight upon India.

Back in March, when Australia lost within three days of the fourth Test in Delhi, they consigned themselves to their worst Test series defeat since Graham Yallop's side, debilitated by desertions to World Series Cricket, went down 5-1 in 1978-79. Their 4-0 whitewash was the worst result by any nation on Indian soil in 70 Test series.

Still, they must have told themselves in Cardiff, this is different. This is the Champions Trophy, this is only a friendly, this is the tournament where we are aiming to go three-peat (an American basketball term - trademarked to retired coach Pat Riley - for a third consecutive victory, so certain to enter the worldwide lexicon you might as well get used to it), this is the tournament where we aim to make a statement ahead of the Ashes, this is the format in which we have won our last five matches. All good, heartwarming stuff.

Then they took one look at India and lost by 243 runs. To do that after having them 28 for 4 was quite something, but they let them escape to 308 and collapsed to 65 all out in reply. It was as if they were so in awe of MS Dhoni that they bowled to all his favourite shots in turn.

Cardiff has been an unhappy ground for Australia. They were beaten by Bangladesh here in 2005 and four years later they failed to finish off England in the first Ashes Test thanks to some last-wicket heroics from Monty Panesar and James Anderson, who clung on for 40 minutes to roars from the crowd.

Not surprisingly, the stand-in captain, George Bailey, preferred to imagine that Clarke would be fit enough to lead out Australia in their opening Champions Trophy tie against England at Edgbaston on Saturday. But Clarke is heading for London on Wednesday to see a specialist, and not the hottest show in town, the Pompeii Exhibition at the British Museum, which would have been more appropriate on account of its own obsession with the Ashes.

"It is just precautionary with him," Bailey said. "His back is always going to be the issue with Pup. He has just had some stiffness there in the past couple of days and with such an important tournament we didn't see fit to risk him in these games, especially with a reasonably big summer coming up as well. It is almost a case of managing him on a day-by-day basis.

"Losing him would be a huge blow. He is our best batsman and captain and we look forward to having him in the side." George Bailey on Michael Clarke

"Losing him would be a huge blow. There is no doubt he is our best batsman and captain and we look forward to having him in the side. As to whether I am ready to captain, I believe so, yeah. I have the belief that Pup is ready to go Saturday but I've enjoyed my time captaining these practice games, we have some good leaders around me."

Umesh Yadav is a skilful practitioner and he gives India hope of fielding a competitive seam attack in English conditions in an era of two new balls. But all he did was have a decent workout and he finished with 5 for 18 in five overs. Bailey was bowled by a good one, but Matthew Wade and Phil Hughes were bowled off the inside edge, pulling, and David Warner slashed at one and registered his second duck in a row. Mitchell March was unfortunate, adjudged caught off the pad.

When Shane Watson became the third batsman to chop on, this time against Ishant Sharma, it all began to look brainless. This was the same pitch on which Australia had made 259 for 6 to beat West Indies and it had not changed complexion all that much, but Watson had made 135 of those and others need to step up.

"I don't think it was doing a great deal," Bailey said. "There was a little bit of swing but nothing unplayable. It was a wicket we played on the other day and I don't think there were any gremlins in it. It was a good wicket, and a warning, I guess, about what two new balls are going to be capable of.

"I think you are going to have good techniques and be more patient than we are used to at the start of the innings in one-day cricket. There was some ordinary shot selection and they bowled quite nicely."

Australia at least deserved recognition for only playing 11, which showed some respect for the game that other nations have abandoned out of convenience, but they must have imagined that India were playing twice that number.

"These warm-up games are down to your attitude individually and a team," Bailey said. "We have tried to take them seriously. Given we have some guys who haven't played much one-day cricket, it's important to start to deal with the pressure of knowing your role, and knowing that you might be in at three for ten, knowing you have to bowl four or five overs because somebody is not going to bowl your 10, but it's not an ideal result knowing that's the side you might come up against in the semi-finals."

In terms of practicing for bad scenarios, Australia could not have prepared better.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Jagger on (June 5, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

@ Taij Chand - 65 all out is a reflection of how well Karthik and Dhoni batted. Agree the win was not an issue, whereas some decent batting practice in the conditions certainly was. Dennis Lillee would find a spot on the pitch and dominate. Starc and Johnson have proven time and time again they are unable to do it. They either lack the ability to home in on an advantage or they don't see it at all. Australia shouldn't be playing two left arm quicks in the F50 team and we are desperately in need of a Michael Bevan type of batsman. You are right, Australia has many passengers and dubious "potential". No excuses, but our Indian friends should try to consider that cricket isn't the number 1 sport in Australia like it is in India, and with one-sixtieth the population in comparison the future of cricket can only be Indian domination; which, incidentally, is not ideal for the future of the game and fuels the appeal of other sports. We are witnessing the effects of that now with soccer

Posted by Slowdeath10 on (June 5, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

@Posted by black_bird on (June 5, 2013, 7:44 GMT) are you out of your senses? Steyn over-rated? and forget being better even comparing umesh with steyn is a crime,literally.When we think of who's the best batsman in the world currently and so many names crop up.Same goes about fielders,wicket-keepers,captains and every category.But the only category that has an "Undisputed" king is the category of the bowlers.When someone's asked the question "who is the best bowler in world cricket currently?" I'm pretty sure 99 out of 100 will answer "Dale Steyn", the hundredth one being you probably.

Posted by skorpien on (June 5, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

Is Bailey kidding? Given the 65 all out result, if I were him, I would worry about the league matches and not worry about facing India in the semis. Is the assumption of an assured spot in the semis the "Australian way" of thinking? Bailey, please get your feet on the ground and think about how to make it to the semis.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

All the predictations from the pundits is failing very badly !!! All the big talks from Australia's supporters are just hopeful thinkers. This is a country with their international cricket teams in deep trouble. It just may be the weakest team right now on England's soil, and will take more than hopeful thinkers and pundits to get them going. Not good news for a country who just a couple of years ago had talents bursting at its' seams. But it failed miserable to court and guide them into champions. This is the results of mismanagement, arrogance, and highly paid amatures.

Posted by Paras.Rishi on (June 5, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

1700 INR for a warm-up game? The ECB is killing the game themselves with such exorbitant rates for warm-up matches!

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

So Captain Bailey says they took these warm-up games seriously. Really, then why didn't he play the final warm-up with our 1st choice side in their settled batting order? Why would you move Watto away from opening where he hit the match-winning ton last game?

Posted by TNAmarkFromIndia on (June 5, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

You can't read too much into this performance by the Aussies. Yes they did poorly, but it was just a warm-up match. Everyone knows they are capable of much more and if they perform well in the matches that matter, everyone will have forgotten this match by next week.

Posted by pratit on (June 5, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

As an Indian fan, it is impossible to ignore that our top order collapsed and that too on pitch with little lateral movement. With two new balls and actual pitches likely to be more lively, I am afraid there is almost an inevitability about these top order failures. But on the brighter side, Look at Australia!

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

Mr. Hopps has misread the score.. India were never 28 for 4 ..Australia were.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (June 5, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

This Indian attack went for 333 only the other day, and in that match 2 opposition batsmen RETIRED. 65 all out: It's to be expected of a team consisting of the weakest and least skillful top 6 in world cricket, a spinner who doesn't turn the ball, a keeper who can't catch and a captain who can't lead. And all we hear from some quarters is how brilliant they apparently are, there in lies the stark contrast between reality and fantasy. These are just not the same standards that the top teams in the world live by.

Posted by kdevil3 on (June 5, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

Umesh & Steyn ... Ha ha ..No comparison for now

Posted by Greatest_Game on (June 5, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Australia should not feel hopeless after this match. 65 is a strong improvement on 47 all out!

Posted by aby__prasad on (June 5, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

I have a gut feeling that the pitches given to us were not good enough to give us exposure to really fast green tracks (not complaining, India did the same when England toured us). Somehow this could be a nightmare (if true) during the real matches. But then again, Aus folding for 65 makes me more confused as well. Are we bettering our performances on good tracks (batting) or was it really a green track. Have to wait and see!

Posted by srikarkav on (June 5, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

@black-board I am an indian too. But i am baffled by your view that Umesh is better than Steyn.Please don't get carried away like this. Umesh has a long way to go before being compared to anyone.

Posted by TenDonebyaShooter on (June 5, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

Have to disagree with this headline. As the article briefly mentions, Australia suffered a far worse nightmare during an ODI, which was no warm-up game but actually part of a tournament, played on this very ground eight years ago. However, the individual actually playing out his "worst nightmare" at this very moment is no Australian, but actually Australia's chief tormentor on that very occasion eight years ago. Australia have only lost a fairly meaningless match: Ashraful may lose an entire career.

Posted by KK37male on (June 5, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

The body language of the Aussies in the field was pathetic! Never seen an aussie team so lethargic in the field. Bailey doesn't seem to have any respect from the team and didn't bother much as a captain. If Clarke can't make it, it's Bye Bye Aussies !!

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

I would say this is some kind of bait or injecting the Indian team with a dose of over confidence. This is not going to happen in the tournament for sure. With 2 bouncers in an over, the Indian team is definitely going to have some tough time. I hope the Indian team doesn't get carried away with the 2 victories in the warm up match. All the best Indian team. - an Indian team fan.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

aussie performance was aweful the fact that both india and australia are in the same position on there own mid innings means 5 down both very quickly....but luckly india have MS Dhoni....but if M Clarke would come in, may be they are in a better positiion, also if they open the innings with watson, it will be the different don't underestimate the aussie, it is just a warm up match....they will bounce back strongly in the main event....thats for sure....

Posted by sensible-indian-fan on (June 5, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

@black_bird - I find you calling Umesh better than Steyn offending. NO true Indian fan will agree with you on this.

Posted by sasi_trueindian on (June 5, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

black_bird: To say Umesh bowled well is one thing..but saying he is better than Steyn is a bit over the top..Steyn did what Umesh did today for years together..he has the consistency that Umesh aims/idolizes in terms of control over line and length..he will get better and might one day be as good as steyn or may be better..but as of now..he is a prospect and not a proven talent..lets not jump the guns..I am from India by the way..and love seeing Umesh in action..

Posted by ScottStevo on (June 5, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

not sure why everyone keeps saying how after this performance Aus are completely awful, yet we hammered WI only a few days beforehand... Nonetheless, we shuffled our top order around to give some guys time in the middle and Aus doesn't have a batting line up established at the moment, so we should be fielding our strongest line up in every match - even in warm up matches. The sooner we get rid of our coach, the better. He's been at the helm of our most awful performances. Also, the selections are ridiculous too. Why is Wade anywhere near this Australian set up???? Then sending him out to open in any match is just plain stupidity. India are talking it up after this match, but once again their top order was crushed - the middle order won't always save them, as good as Dhoni is. Also, yadav was made to look a heck of a lot better yesterday with some pretty ordinary batting, Wade, Warner and Hughes's shots come to mind.

Posted by latecut_04 on (June 5, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

I think Irfan's inability or lack of efficiency with anything other than the new ball should act as a blessing in disguise for India.We should play DK and Irfan and hand the ball to Irfan after 35th over.Bhuvi and Umesh should take care of first 10-15 overs(Bhuvi can bowl more since Irfan will do most of his bowling AFTER overno:35).that way we can play Jadeja aswell and will have insurance if not depth in bowling AND batting since top orders(of all teams) will struggle under these conditions.DK and Dhawan should open and the XI should be Dhawan,DK,Kohli,Raina/Rohit,Dhoni,Irfan,Jadeja,Ishant,Aswin,Umesh,Bhuvi.Any takers????

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

I don't take these practice matches as the ultimate index of what is likely to happen in the "real thing". Baily summed up the match very well, though. To quote him: "There was some ordinary shot selection (by Oz) and they (India) bowled quite nicely."

The top order of both teams displayed mediocre judgement. The Karthik-Dhoni partnership was the ONLY differentiator!

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Result of mish mash aussie theories. Need to get back to cricketing logic and basics

Posted by black_bird on (June 5, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

india is the champion without a doubt. keep it up guys. destroy everyone like this. umesh is far more better than overrated steyn.

Posted by Harlequin. on (June 5, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

The margins are so fine when you are batting that if you aren't completely focused on the job in hand then things like this can happen. It's just a practice match so no need to read too much into it, but I'm sure the Aussies would have liked to feel the ball coming out of the middle a little more before the tournament starts.

Posted by ygkd on (June 5, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

It was only a practice match. However, it was short-form and that is exactly the diet that Australian bats grow up on these days. So it wasn't only a practice match. It was the continuation of a pattern of not batting out overs. Only T20 looks secure as a form where an Australian batting line-up, devoid of Clarke and the usual over-looked experienced players such as Rogers, can make it to the end of play in one piece. I don't wish to sound like a broken record but it is high time to revamp the pathway junior programs and, with batting, focus on temperament, concentration, shot selection and building an innings. Hitting ability should be optional. The ability to rotate the strike must be essential. And defence. Why is a decent defence so out-dated? The game hasn't changed that much. I just think Aus cricket has reckoned itself ahead of the game for so long that it now finds itself well behind. Now even Dinesh Karthik can more than double Australia's score off his bat. Congrats to him.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (June 5, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

Lets not get carried away. This is just a practice match. Lets also not forget that Aussies were not attacking seriously when India were 60/5 (probably felt their batsmen too needed some practice and allowed the batsmen to settle down) Clarke did not bat and his absence is a serious concern for them.Watson batted down the order.

Aussies are still a decent side in shorter formats.Their bowling is still on par with great teams and A rapid 60/70 from watson/warner could change the fate of the fame. I would rather prefer to loose the practice games and keep my foot firm on actual games.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

Mickey Arthur!!! Aussies need a string character and a coach who understands the Australian cricket culture. For me it is a culture of dominance and aggresiveness.

Posted by blue_kings on (June 5, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Bad day for Australia which they will try to forget soon. India looking good but Gmabhir must have added to experience which Vijay lacks. Shikher yet to prove on foreign soil. VK DK & MSD in batting with bowling dept handled by Yadav (Pace), BK (Swing) & Ashwin (Carrom). India should be a team to watch out for.

RSA heavily relies on Steyn who is doubtful to play his first match in a tournament where each match is crucial.

WI, Gayle would have announced it if he was winning the Champion's trophy. SL, agreed, they don't have the killer instinct.

PAK, can give a competition but still not good enough to capture the cup.

I believe either of India WI ENG will fight their way to finals. Shall be a good competition and a real time payback (series loss in England) for on the high Indian team with performance but not with moral support with political issues creeping management's mind.

All in all, grt competition on it's way. BEST LUCK DHONI. We support you unconditionally.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 6:21 GMT)

This is only a practice match. Still, I think the good thing that happened for India in the last two matches is - Rohit Sharma failed. Again. When he was batting nicely in the IPL, I was getting worried about how long Indian team will be cursed by his presence. His innings in the last two matches gives me hope ...

Posted by AKS286 on (June 5, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

Australia score 74 against SL & 65 against India (practice but 65 not acceptable). So, two sub-continents teams shows that they can destroy Aus in pace bowling too; now its a pressure on Pak team to all out Aus in two figures.

Posted by MasterMindGupta on (June 5, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

1) Australia's poor show should not be seen as a trailer of the things to come. Even India was poorly placed at about 60/5. Recoveries like that done by MSD-DK are very rare. Pitch was such that it was not easy to face the new ball. As MSD mentioned it was two-paced.

2) Once the real competition begins, the real face of all teams would be visible.

3) In the opener, Ind face SA. Steyn's sore back concern is a big key. If he doesn't play, its advantage India straight away.

4) India will definitely go with the following team: Vijay, Dhwan, Kohli, Karthik, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Ishant, Umesh

5) Duminy could be a key batsman in the SA line up given conditions in Cardiff.

Posted by KingofRedLions on (June 5, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

Can't say I'm particularly bothered by a practice match. Certainly not nightmare material.

Posted by CoolCharlie on (June 5, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

Pretty exciting times for world cricket.For me top contenders are SA, IND, and NZ. Lets see what happens. People are considering Pak a strong contender but not me. They will give good performances but not consistent. Eng are never there when it comes to ODI. Aus -they are way below par- mainly due to confidence . Win and Sri will give good competition but they do not have that killer instinct.

Posted by dmqi on (June 5, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

What is happening with the mighty Australia and South Africa in the warm up matches? Both were beaten by the bowlers so badly. Are they playing tricks, or really in bad shape? We will find out soon. Another India-Pakistan final? Possibly not with a poor Pak batting line up. India looks really strong. Good chance to go for the final match.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (June 5, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

The Australian batting is lacking in class, ability and temperament to deal with these conditions against decent bowlers. Only Clarke and Watson are the two batsmen who will endure some confidence in a team where you have to negotiate two new balls from both ends. The shot selection of Aussie openers Wade and Warner were embarrassing to say the least. They showed scant disregard for the bowling and paid the prize. With Warner terribly out of form and a fragile middle order that follows will put hell lot of pressure on Watson in English conditions as Clarke looks doubtful to play. Whatever happened to the old fashioned hard grit of the Australians.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

I can now see why Rogers and Haddin are an absolute necessity in the squad announced for the ashes... !! Lets Admit it, Australia has long stopped producing menacing and magnanimous batsmen. Clarke is the last of that breed and once he hangs his boots, God help Australia. The future looks very uncertain and lets hope Australia does not go the West Indies way. In a way the situation is not so worse, since Australia has one of the best domestic cricket set ups in the world but since the advent of T20 leagues, batsmen have begun to lose the temperament that is required to survive in such situations. Even the most prolific scorers back there are finding it tough to adjust to conditions else where. Phil Hughes would be a good example. So emphasis has to be laid in developing batsmen who can play long innings in both ODIs and Tests. India are fortunate that they still have quality batsmen coming up through their domestic structure who can be good replacements for the fab five !!

Posted by avis1001 on (June 5, 2013, 3:35 GMT)

Wish this is a real match - from an Indian Fan.

Posted by popcorn on (June 5, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

Once again,the undependable,flashy,David Warner, who plays airy-fairy shots scored a zero. Sic. And the much-praised, hailed as the future of Australian Cricket,Phil Hughes,who has been resurrected TWICE into the Team,was no great shakes either. Does the Argus Report - select based on performance - mean anything at all?

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

This doesn't count it is only a practice match. But it could be an indication concerning the quality of opposition they have to face. The only way from here for Australia is up.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2013, 3:06 GMT)

SOS to Mike Hussey for Champions Trophy.

Posted by skkh on (June 5, 2013, 2:13 GMT)

Do any of my fellow Aussies still expect this bunch to bring back the Ashes? They can very well burn their kit and bring home it's ashes.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (June 5, 2013, 1:59 GMT)

Clarke is a good batsman but he has been a poor captain people-person wise. It seems the Australian players are always on edge since Clarke too over and even though Bailey was captaining this match, the ghost of Clarke would lurk on the team.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (June 5, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

I think that the 10 test ashes series will be Michael Clarkes final series. He back has always been a niggling problem but its getting worse and very soon he will have to make a decision: Continue playing for Australia and be crippled for life by the time he is 35 (3 yrs time) or Retire from international cricket whilst still a great player before his 33rd Birthday. I think at best Clarke has two more years in him, which would give him the 2015 World Cup as a send-off. Clarke could become the first Australian permanent ODI captain to be given the role and leave the role without being captain in a world cup. Ponting, Waugh, Taylor, Border, Hughes and earlier were all captains at, at least one world cup. Whilst Clarke should be our captain, he may not be able to stand up in 2016 if he waits too long!

Posted by AvidCricFan on (June 5, 2013, 1:28 GMT)

Aussies can only get better from this low. They will bounce back. Aussies are fighters and would refuse to fade without giving their best. However, their best may not be enough to carry them through.

Posted by Mitty2 on (June 5, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

It's all looking so nice and easy for the Ashes isn't it Hopps? Permitting that every test has rain, still would you say... 7-0 England? I reckon easily! After listening to the likes of Botham and Hussain commentating for the NZ series, I was surprised they were only tipping 5-0, I mean c'mon, this is england's greatest ever side and australia's worst? Should be 7-0 at the least!

But in all seriousness, worst batting performance by Australia that I have seen for a looooong time. Absolutely disgraceful. Complete batters paradise. No seam. No swing. All out for 60 odd, at least when we got all out for 70 something against SL at the 'G there was prominent swing and seam!

However, out of all those batters, you'd say at the most, two batsmen would be in the first ashes XI, and it is only a practice match, so not all doom and gloom... But still, ominous signs.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2013, 23:05 GMT)

I wonder how RandyOz will justify another cracking performance by his team this time??

Posted by   on (June 4, 2013, 22:59 GMT)

It is time for Aus to start performing!!!!!

Posted by Jaffa79 on (June 4, 2013, 22:56 GMT)

It is not all bad; when the ODIs are over, Cowan comes back in. That'll shore things up.

Posted by PPD123 on (June 4, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

Awesome Satarical article! But I think Aus will be better off with this result in the warm up matches. they should do well once the actual tournament starts.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

Both us (England) and Australia are struggling in cricket in general. The match between the two sides might be exciting for this very reason...a close encounter between sides that are finding their feet might not provide the best-quality cricket but get the pulses pumping nonetheless. How's the new boy Faulkner doing? He looked quite useful in the IPL.

Posted by pholpin on (June 4, 2013, 21:50 GMT)

"In terms of practicing for bad scenarios, Australia could not have prepared better." Now there is an Australian optimist!!

Posted by   on (June 4, 2013, 21:43 GMT)

Let's not get carried away really. No doubt, India did a fabulous job of recovering from 5 down for 55 to a 300 plus score and then beat Australia comprehensively, but to suggest Australians might have a mental block against Dhoni's men is a bit far fetched. Australis have had better of India since cricket began and it would take more than a couple of wins to confirm that the tide has really shifted. Aussies were lucky that this was a practice match but I have seen too many matches involving Australia to believe they would crumble like this again soon.

Posted by Erebus26 on (June 4, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

A bit of a horror show for the Aussies and that pleases me immensely as an England fan but this was just a warm-up match. If they were ever going to have a nightmare batting performance they might as well get it over and done with in a meaningless game like this. I certainly won't be underestimating this team when they play us at the weekend.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

So Mr. Hopps just yesterday, you did a piece on PAK V SA game and you went on and on about the meaninglessness of these warm ups and failed to do an actual thorough report on the match itself. But here you are analyzing this game to tiny pieces, including statements from the Aus captain and trying to build a hysteria as if this match meant everything to Australia's ashes campaign and their face saving from their drubbing in India.As an active cricinfo reader, I respectfully state that I find your writings very biased (not just related to this article only) and I hope to see consistency in your future pieces. Regarding this game, I really admire the way DK and MS Dhoni batted in tough conditions and then Yadav cleaning the Aus top order with ease. I am sure we will see a much improved performance from Aus come the CT. Indians look to be in fine form so it bids for a very tough and open tournament with no clear favorites and we might get to see many surprises in this tournament.

Posted by oze13 on (June 4, 2013, 21:25 GMT)

Australians need to learn to bat straight. Who is the batting coach?

Posted by   on (June 4, 2013, 21:25 GMT)

It was just a warm up game fellas, Aussies will bounce back and India will find it a struggle I think.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

This is just the beginning of a long long summer for the Aussies.. India series was just an appetizer. What do you say, Aussie fans? Doctored pitches in Cardiff? Dustbowls?

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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