Hussey sets sights on levelling series
After a heady Test match and a day of rest, Australia returned to training in "buoyant mood" in Bangalore. Michael Hussey said that though there was a feeling of having been part of a great Test, it was difficult to get over the disappointment of Mohali.
"We were part of something special, but we are disappointed with the result," Hussey said. "We have played some amazing Tests over the years, but being on the winning side makes a hell of a difference. In Adelaide against England we were on the winning side, and it was an amazing feeling. After the Test match, the dressing room was very quiet but we are proud of giving such a good performance."
Hussey said they were yet to discuss the Mohali Test in a detailed team meeting. "We will get a debriefing this afternoon at the hotel," he said. "We sort of spoke after each day's play and talked about things that are good and what we can improve on. I think in general we did a lot of things really well. We had our opportunities to win, but we couldn't do the job and get over the line. From a positive point of view, we did a lot of things right."
Hussey said the team was in good spirits. They had an optional nets session today, which was not attended by Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Peter George and the fast bowlers who played the Mohali Test. "Mood was pretty buoyant at the training. The boys are in good spirits. Some of the guys, particularly the fast bowlers, are trying to recover as best as they can because it was a gruelling Test match. After a tough match in Mohali, the focus is on recovery but we have to keep our skills in good shape as well."
Except for Doug Bollinger, struggling with abdominal pain, those who missed the nets session worked in the gym at the team hotel. "He went for a scan yesterday," Hussey said. "I believe it is just a minor strain. We are hopeful he is going to be okay. But he'll have to bowl tomorrow and we'll see how he pulls up on the morning of the match. If he doesn't, then we have three other young guys who would love to have the opportunity."
Two of those young guys, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc, had a long bowl in the nets. "We like to have guys who are trying to get into the Test side," Hussey said. "They are charging at you. The intensity of a net session is as good as a match situation. We are trying to create the same intensity and pressure of a match during the net session so that you don't feel that you are far away from the middle. I had not faced them before - Starc and Pattinson - and I am very impressed. Pattinson reminds me of [Peter] Siddle."
One of the aspects of the game Australia could work on is not letting the Indian spinners settle. "We could have been more positive in the first innings but they bowled really well," Hussey said. "In the last session [on the first day] we could have been more positive and taken a couple of more risks."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo