India A v Australians, Chennai, 2nd day February 17, 2013

'Australia's technique found wanting' - Tiwary

ESPNcricinfo staff

Manoj Tiwary sounded the first unofficial salvo of an otherwise far 'kinder, gentler' run-up to an India-Australia series in a long time when he said that a good number of Australian batsmen had been "wanting" in their technique against the India A spinners on day two of their three-day practice match at the ICL Guru Nanak College Ground in Chennai.

Tiwary, a free-spirited batsman, became the second centurion in the India A innings, scoring 129 as his team was all out for 451 just before tea on a rain-affected day. After the day's play, with Australia scoring 131 for 4 and losing all four batsmen to the spinners Rakesh Dhurv and Jalaj Saxena, Tiwary didn't hold back, either on opinion or prediction.

"They haven't played the spinners as well as they could have - because I think the technique was [found] wanting," he said. Australia were tootling along at a good clip against the four India A medium pacers before spin was introduced in the 21st over. Left-arm spinner Dhurv had Ed Cowan leg before in the 23rd over and Australia lost three more wickets before stumps. Off-spinner Saxena had Phil Hughes stumped and Usman Khawaja bowled, both scoring 1. Of all the batsmen, it was only Shane Watson who looked completely in control.

Tiwary said of the bulk of the Australian top order, "They were not sure of their defence to be honest. That's why they were not stretching enough to play the spin and not going back enough to play their shots." Australia are without captain Michael Clarke and opener David Warner and Tiwary was not without his assessment. "If this is the way they are going to bat, it's going to be difficult for them to be honest… to face quality spinners like Bhajjupa (Harbhajan Singh) and Ashwin and Ojha. The way they are bowling, it will be very difficult for them."

Should the wicket in Chepauk, where the first Test begins on February 22, be like what it was at the Guru Nanak College ground - slow, low, with very little pace and minor turn - Tiwary predicted more worries for "all their bowlers."

Watson though said there was, "absolutely no doubt about what India is going to hit us with." The start of the tour, he said, was proving to be a "big learning curve for a lot of the guys" and that the best approach to playing spin in India had to be "proactive." Spinners he said must "certainly" be attacked. "You can't just allow them to settle in a certain line and length and allow them to be able to bowl that ball over and over again. At some stage that ball is going to turn and bounce and do something. As individual batsmen, we have to find a game plan to have as much success as we can."

Australia's lesser-experienced batsmen, he said, were however, "very talented guys."

"They have scored a lot of first-class runs in different conditions and it won't take a very long time to find a game plan and a technique that will work here."

Lost in the assessment of Australia's response to the two rather unheralded Indian spinners was Tiwary's own performance; every time he has been given an opportunity against touring sides, he has scored runs this season, getting 93 against England A before his century in Chennai. "I came out to play this match, not to impress anyone but just to make myself happy after scoring runs. I was very conscious about getting big runs here to prove myself that I can score runs against quality opposition as well," he said.

One of the shadow men for spots in the Indian Test middle order, Tiwary more talked about for his one-day game said, "My dream has always been to play Test cricket. It depends on the selectors what they think about me and whether they can show some faith in me. My job was to score runs and I will do that as long as I play first-class cricket and four-day cricket."

The push for an India spot, he said, demanded a high degree of determination because of the competition. "You know the competition is so high you can't miss out in an innings because you will go back few months of selection." When asked whether he considered his game good enough to handle fast bowling adequately, he said that he was not concerned what his game "looked" like. "What I can do is I can score runs and if you can only look ugly and score runs, I will still go for runs. It doesn't matter if I look odd or ugly in facing quick bowlers. I know my game and I know how to score runs. That's how I have been able to score more than 5000 runs in seven or eight years of first-class cricket."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Par on February 18, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    He did redeem himself by saying that Australian youngsters will get better as they gain experience in these conditions and bat better. Atleast he is allowed to speak his mind, he has scored runs whenever given chance in A side. Not much can be said about his illustrious colleagues who have failed time and again and given excuses for 10-0 drubbing. So as long as sachin/ dhoni/ sehwag and now deposed gambhir dont make these statements its ok. I do feel though,theIndia A batsmen should have taken second chance to bat and grind the bowlers confidence further than enforcing follow-on.

  • Sarangarajan on February 18, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    It is so immature of Tewary to have commented on Austarlian cricketers technique against spin.What about your colleaguse Tewary ? Against Swann and Monty Paneesar not long time ago, Indians were proved novice in tackling quality spin..It was pathetic and we give sermons on playing against spin.Ashwin and Harbhajan are no world class spinners any more as they have been exposed recently by Cook and Co.With Shewag reinstated on reputation only and not on form, Gambhir dropped, Sachin on re-search of his form , no Dravid and Laxman to rescue Indians, are we in for another white wash by the Australians.Austarlians are fighters when the odds are against them. Whereas we are pups when the odds area against us.Some semons by Tewary

  • MODASSIR on February 18, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    Murli vijay had got alot of opportunity however he didnt make it...i agree that he is good in IPL but the test match is totally differnent..i dnt think it will be a good decision...Wasim Jaffar is a deserving candidate..he is a most consistant batsman in first class cricket..and technically sound too..WAKE UP SELECTOR!!!!!WAKE UP....

  • g on February 18, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    hmm...big mouth, i must say! If he says all this while still struggling to get in to a Test side, wonder what he would have said if he had played 50 tests! The kind of words he has used shows immaturity for this level. Never had any impression about him (+ve or -ve) in the past, but it's certainly -ve now!!

  • Anit on February 18, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    Clarke is an excellent spin player. If Clarke and Watto performs, India will find difficult to contain Aussie. Both sides lack quality spinners. This will be an advantage for Indian batting line up. We have seen in the recent performances that Indian batsmen can't handle any quality bowling - spinning or seaming conditions. However, given that Aussies don't have quality spinners, India has a chance of putting up good fight. Lets see how long the selectors persist with their golden boy Nohit Sharma. Even in the last ODI his performance was good only in one match.

  • MODASSIR on February 18, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Now the Indian team looks mentally very strong as the lost Vs England really suffered them badly and to prepared would be surely a different ball game with Austrailian.If Indian would have wanted the Win then they should have to play with the Killer instinct.Dhoni had already showed how dangerous he is....and surely is n form too...and the bowling depart is a bit of concern however the yougster show that they have the caliber to demolish the Austrilian Batters...

  • dinesh on February 18, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    yes aus are a weak side and doesnt seem to be winning this series, but tiwary is going too far in his predictions. come on boy this is just a practice game and nothin else..the same happen during eng's practice of spinners in that practice match said eng batsman dont know how to play spin...i dont remember his name and where he's lost now...tiwary though made a funny comment though callin bhajji and aswin quality spinners....

  • David on February 18, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    For some reason, Australia are expected to now do well in India, just because England did. Whenever England beat someone, everyone (including the English media) then conclude the opposition must have been rubbish anyway. When we beat Australia in 2005, everyone was then saying "well, the Aussies are a shadow of the side they once were". Australia then won their next 16 test matches, hammering anyone and everyone. India are now fair game at home, goes the thinking, just because England won a test series there. English supporters also think like this, and it is a self-defeating mindset. It is partly why the national team is never consistently successful.

  • James on February 18, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Well, they did manage to claim two second innings wickets while Australia climbed to 195. I make that to be 97.5 runs per bowler's wicket, given that Watson was run out. Maybe Tiwary should think again.

  • imran on February 18, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    "ashwin n harbhajan quality spinners"...not sure about that, india only has 1 decent spinner (ojha) n that's it...i am afraid that tiwary will have to eat his words just like his mates raina n kohli had to after the recent 'revenge' series against eng.

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