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'Michael Clarke was the biggest disappointment' - Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell on Australia's 0-2 series defeat, what went wrong, Ponting's batting and captaincy and what the defeat means for the Ashes (06:27)
October 13, 2010
Related Links » News: Pujara sets up seven-wicket triumph for India | Warne blasts Ponting's fields for Hauritz Players/Officials: Michael Clarke | Nathan Hauritz | Ben Hilfenhaus | Mitchell Johnson | Ricky Ponting Matches: India v Australia at Bangalore Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India [Sep-Oct 2010] Teams: Australia | India
India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 5th day
'Michael Clarke was the biggest disappointment' - Ian ChappellOctober 13, 2010
Ian Chappell: Hi this is Ian Chappell for Cricinfo. Australia lost this series and I suppose at first glance you look at it and think it was the batting in the second innings of each Test that caused them some problems, particularly after batting so well in the first innings of each game. But the bowlers have also got to take some of the blame. They went very close to winning the first Test in Mohali, but in the second game the bowling, I think, would have disappointed Ricky Ponting. I think he would have expected to get a lot closer in the second match.
The second-innings batting for Australia basically revealed that they are vulnerable to spin bowling. Spin didn't take a lot of the wickets but it caused some problems and basically, in each of the second innings, the spinners got them started. The quicks then came along to finish things off. Australia's vulnerability, particularly some of their middle-order players when batting against spin in the early part of their innings, became more obvious in the second innings rather than the first.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment was Michael Clarke, who is generally a very good player of spin bowling. But he had real problems with the spinners in this Test series. That would have been a disappointment for Australia, and probably contributed to them having some problems with that middle order.
The pick of the Australian bowlers was Ben Hilfenhaus. His figures don't reflect how well he bowled. He troubled all of the batsmen, and he was able to do it in both innings. Mitchell Johnson bowled some wayward stuff but suddenly he'd get on line and get a couple of quick wickets. That's what you've got to live with as a captain with Johnson. You understand that he's going to bowl a bit of wayward stuff but when he gets it right, he not only gets one breakthrough but two or three, and that's why he's so important to the Australian side. Doug Bollinger was a big loss to Australians. Thet couldn't use him in that second innings in Mohali and in the second Test.
|Even though he didn't make a century, it was probably the best he's played in India. His footwork was sharp and he looked really ready to go right from the start of the series. That's good news for Australia, because he is far and away still the best batsman in the side Ian Chappell on Ricky Ponting's batting|
Nathan Hauritz was basically ineffective against the Indian batsmen, which is to a degree no great surprise. There have been far better spinners than Hauritz who've struggled against Indian batsmen, who play spin so well. A couple of other things got him into a bit of a struggle. The field placements, particularly the ones on the off side - he must have obviously agreed to them - made it virtually impossible for him to bowl to the Indian batsmen. The other thing is, he is more a curver of the ball rather than somebody who drops the ball on the batsman. That makes it harder for Hauritz to beat the batsman in flight and by the curving the ball away it tends to have him bowling wide of the off stump at times and the Indian batsmen really took advantage of that. I don't think there is such a problem for the Ashes series because the England batsmen, apart from Kevin Pietersen, won't use their feet much to Hauritz. He is a better bowler against batsmen who aren't really using their feet. He troubled a couple of left-handers, particularly Andrew Strauss, in the Ashes in 2009.
Ponting, as a batsman, played extremely well. Even though he didn't make a century, it was probably the best he's played in India. His footwork was sharp and he looked really ready to go right from the start of the series. That's good news for Australia, because he is far and away still the best batsman in the side.
Ponting's captaincy was hampered a bit by the fact that the Indian bowlers were able to get some swing on a lot of occasions, particularly in Bangalore, and the Australians weren't. He was also handicapped by the fact that Hauritz was ineffective. He does tend to be a bit conservative in his field placements, and for my liking he gives away too many easy singles. But that's been his mode of operation and it's been very successful. So, it's doubtful if that's going to change too much.
What does this loss mean for Australia? Well, it doesn't look so good on the rankings table but I don't think too many cricketers worry about the rankings and if they do, they shouldn't. I don't think it'll be too devastating for Australia as far as the Ashes series is concerned. Once they get back to Australia and feel comfortable under Australian conditions, they're still going to be extremely competitive against England. Before the Indian series started, I had Australia as slight favourites to win the Ashes series. Maybe it's more line-ball now. But the Australians will only need to play well in the first Test in Brisbane, and all that's gone wrong in India will be forgotten.
But India definitely outplayed Australia and the Australians will go home disappointed, having lost both Test matches. This is Ian Chappell for Cricinfo.
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