India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day

Won't rush judgment on spinners - Clarke

Brydon Coverdale

February 26, 2013

Comments: 98 | Text size: A | A

Michael Clarke has said Australia's selectors won't rush to judgment about whether a second spinner is required for the second Test in Hyderabad after their eight-wicket loss to India in Chennai. On a pitch that took turn from day one it was not surprising that India's spin attack was one of the most dominant forces of the game, and the three of them - R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja - took all 20 Australian wickets.

But Australia's frontline spinner Nathan Lyon picked up only four victims for the match, while eight came from the fast bowlers - six to James Pattinson and one each to Peter Siddle and Moises Henriques. Lyon was at times threatening, but also leaked far too many easy runs. He was milked for singles by all of India's middle-order batsmen and was especially vulnerable against MS Dhoni, who scored 104 off the 85 balls he faced from Lyon.

The left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty is the other specialist spinner in the squad and Clarke was impressed with the control he displayed in the tour match against India A, when he took 3 for 108 from 24 overs. However, Clarke would not be drawn on whether Australia had made a mistake by choosing a pace-heavy attack for the Test and he said better bowling from those who were picked might have helped Australia to a different outcome.

"Australian spin took three wickets in the first innings, fast bowling took a lot more," Clarke said. "That doesn't mean to say that playing three fast bowlers and a medium-pace allrounder, we got that right. We need to assess, we need to look at conditions again and work out what we think is the best XI [in Hyderabad]. It's not just about selection, it's about how you perform, I don't think we bowled well enough in our first innings and we certainly didn't bat well enough in our second innings.

"You can talk about selection as much as you like but the 11 players you select have got to perform better than we did in this Test. Look at the amount of wickets fast bowling got compared to spin for the Australian team. We are not India. We are a different team, we have different fast bowlers to the Indian fast bowlers and we have different spinners to the Indian spinners."

Traditionally, Australia's spinners have not enjoyed Test cricket in India as much as the conditions suggest they should, partially because of the different style of bowling required and in part because India's batsmen are generally strong against spin. Richie Benaud and Ashley Mallett had fine records in India, although their tours were during the 1950s and '60s, when the Indian team was not the dominant force at home that it has become.

In more recent times, Australia's spinners in India have at best been serviceable in India. Shane Warne, who after the Test met with Clarke, coach Mickey Arthur, Lyon and Doherty for a 20-minute chat on the ground, managed only 34 wickets at 43.11 in his nine Tests in the country. Lyon finished his first Test in India with match figures of 4 for 244 and Clarke said he hoped Lyon would learn from the experience and deliver greater consistency throughout the rest of the trip.

"He's got to stay positive," Clarke said. "He bowled plenty of overs so he has seen the conditions a lot more. He got a couple of really big wickets for us. 'Lyno', like all of our attack, I thought he bowled really well in patches. We've just got to keep working on that consistency. There are plenty of positives out that for Lyno. It's nice to see him get a wicket in the second dig as well."


However, while Pattinson was outstanding in collecting six wickets for the match - the first Australian fast bowler to do that in a Test in India since Jason Gillespie in Nagpur in 2004 - he and Lyon could have used some more wicket-taking support from Siddle and Mitchell Starc. Virtually no deliveries moved off the seam and reverse swing played less of a role than Australia had hoped, but Clarke wanted more patience from his stock bowlers.

"They tried everything," Clarke said. "I think our execution wasn't as disciplined as we need, especially when the wicket's good for batting like that. You need to be really patient and be able to build pressure. We did that at stages but not as consistently as we needed to."

Whatever Australia decide for the Hyderabad Test, which starts on Saturday, they will have at least three pace options after the strong debut from Henriques with the bat made it impossible for him to be dropped. Although Henriques claimed just one wicket, he was the only batsman besides Clarke who looked at ease in the conditions and scored 68 and 81 not out, the best aggregate on debut by an Australian since Clarke in 2004.

"If we don't have a third fast bowler Moises can certainly do that role," Clarke said. "I think it's very exciting the way he has started. He's been a very talented player for a long time back in Australia but it's nice to see that potential come to the forefront in his first Test match. I think he looked very comfortable with both bat and ball. That's exciting for Australian cricket going forward and very exciting for Moises."

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

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Posted by AidanFX on (February 28, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

I agree with some here - don't blame Siddle. He has been the most consistent bowler in Australia for the past few years. Evry bowler has times it does not go their way. Pattinson, however, has the potential to be a world leader and actually I don't think he is far away - exciting given how young he is. Please Australia, PLEASE DO NOT REST HIM!. I am of the view Lyon should be persisted with. But Maybe Aus should bring in either Maxwell or Doherty for Starc - No judgement on Starc who I also think is a real gem. The fact he is strong, can swing the ball both ways as a left armer and bowls quick he is a gem also - but in terms of this series he may need to sit out. I would also like to see the Australian bowlers go for the pitched up line and length. Most of the wickets in the first innings were "bowled" - let's not talk about "back of the length" bowling. Pattinson led the way.

Posted by Aussasinator on (February 27, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

Pattinson is due for a break down next Test. He bent his back a lot more than ever. His pace will be down now.Siddle should make way for another spinner.The pacers dont know how to bowl on these wickets so a left armer Doherty could do the trick. However, the Aussies are shaken in self belief.

Posted by brusselslion on (February 27, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

As a neutral, who in an ideal world would have both teams losing(!), I find the apologists' excuses for Lyon very thin: He took 4 wickets - 2 fairly meaningless in the context of the match - for tons on what was commonly agreed to be an extremely spin friendly ptich. Add in that he has taken 23 wickets@40 odd in his last two series and it would suggest that he is 'ordinary'.

What happened to Hauritz? At least, he looked like he might bowl the odd good ball?

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (February 27, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

Its really going to be a big challenge for the Australians. England did have quality spinners in Swann and Panesar. And they have Cook and Petersen who can bat for longer hours. In case of Aus, it seems that only clarke is capable of batting for longer hours while they do not have a single quality spinner(forget about including two in the playing squad)... I think, Aus should change the batting order, Warner-watsoon should open the inning , clarke should bat at no4 and henriques should also bat up in the order. If Jhonson is included in the XI, that will boost the Performance as he has good record in sub-continent plus he can score some runs as well!

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

So many people complaining about Siddle, Australia`s best and most consistent, fast bowler over the last 3 years. The young pace attack look up to him for guidance, where Mitchell Johnson, is a one pitch wonder who needs very favourable bowling conditions, or he sook`s. Pattinson bowled superbly, Siddle bowled very well, and accurate without luck, Starc is a young strapping fast bowler on his first trip to India. It was not the Aussie bowlers who let down the team, but the batsmen, Cowan, Watson, and Hughes, were all shocking in this Test Match. Aussie`s had the chance too make 500 plus, in the first innings, but these 3 keep letting Australia down. If 3 of your top 4 batsmen, keep failing, your going too lose most of your matches. Cowan and Hughes average in the low 30`s, and Watson about 35, if Watto`, cannot play as an all-rounder, he is just not good enough as a batsman only. My opinion, is, we need at least 3 more consistent batsmen!, `Don`t Blame The Bowlers`,

Posted by dan1234 on (February 27, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

Bring Johnson into the side and watch him break a few more hands. That'll secure a win for us :)

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 27, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

@ AdoSR. I you do, as you suggest, remove Lyon's figures then you will have to remove his wickets too! That of course would be something you'd reconsider after SRT & co passed about 800!

You simply can't reinvent history. All the ifs and buts and so on are pure conjecture, and have absolutely no relevance. Accept the result, and move on. Your post-mortem is simply making the corpse smell even more rotten.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 27, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

@ Mary_786 I'm a little surprised at your assertion that "But then again we (Australia) prepare the best green tops when other teams come here." It would take an enormous stretch of the imagination to describe as "green tops" the Gabba and Adelaide Oval pitches prepared for South Africa in 2012, unless of course Australia has taken to painting it's roads green? Preparing a true green top, not a painted one, for the Saffa bowlers will certainly get results. Perth is a fine example.

Posted by paps123 on (February 27, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

Australia must play Doherty in Hyderabad in Siddle's place and should take the positives from the 1st Test. It will be another dust bowl for sure, as we know we can only beat a good cricket team on such tracks.Unfortunate but true...

Posted by Rogerunionjack on (February 27, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

So pathetic was the Aussie bowling, Clarke may as well play eleven batsmen. And the one decent bowler - Pattinson - is scarred so bad, the Aussies are contemplating giving him R&R. You may as well give the women's team a go, atleast they won a World Cup two months ago.

Posted by ThumpingWin on (February 27, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

I think Australia do not need another spinner their strength is pace. Just bring Mitchel Johnson into the side in place of Peter Siddle who is worthless on this track. Pattinson and Mitch can rough up the batsman on any pitch. They both together will have the venom and power to take most of the wickets. For Lyon should be restless he is not a skilful bowler bring in Doherty with 6 Right Handers he will be handful.

Posted by Webba84 on (February 27, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

@Fast_Track_Bully Are you imagining some sort of hue and cry here because I can't see any. In fact the biggest howler in this match went in Australia's favor and India would have won significantly easier if DRS was being used so not really sure what you are on about. But if fighting imaginary battles is your thing, go for it mate.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 27, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

The DRS supporters forgot that England won the last test series without any DRS!. Why there is hue and cry over it only when Indian won a match! There wasn't any appeal from OZ bowlers for LBW. They can blame themselves on playing with seamers on turning track - thats all.

Posted by joseyesu on (February 27, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

Watson, Clarke and Henriques batting position has to be changed and bring in Doherty back to the squad.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (February 27, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

Here is one serious problem with the 17-man squad. It should have been obvious from the start.If we had a half decent 2nd spinning option, we'd bring him in now and he may also have played the first test.However, our other two spinning options, Doherty and Maxwell, just aren't test quality spinners. y.Beer is innured and Holland looked promising but is really injured at the wrong time for his career.However, there is a guy with good current form, the best spinner in the Shield, a good first class record for several seasons, experienced, tough, and bats and fields well(i.e Haurtz). And what does Khawaja have to do get a game, if he had half the failures that Cowan has had we would never hear from him again so lets get him in and take Cowan out. If the selectors had picked the right squad, we'd all pretty much agree that the team for the 2nd test should be:

1. Warner 2. Watson, 3. Clarke 4. Hughes 5. Khawaja 6. Moses 7. Wade 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Lyon 11. Doherty

Posted by White_Ox on (February 27, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

Haddin is Done and dusted. Tim Paine is definately a better Wicket-Keeper than Wade. Wade should be sent back to Shield cricket, maybe even grade cricket, to work on his keeping. Khawaja needs to play next test and Either Siddle or Starc need to be dropped for Doherty/Maxwell/Smith. I am assuming Starc will have to go as Siddle is the "leader" of the Fast bowling attack.

Posted by kohomban on (February 27, 2013, 4:35 GMT)

australia should include Johnson ,he is more aggressive than Starc.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

Under no circumstances should Australia play two spinners. Its a proven historical trend that since India became a force @ home in the 1970s - that its team with quality pacers i.e England 76/77 & 84/85, Windies 74/75 & 83/84, S Africa 99/00 & AUS 2004 have won series in India.

What Swann/Panesar did was the first time in India's strong home period history that two spinners have spun India out in home conditions. Its a rare unique occurrence that would be similar to India winning a series in Australia with a 4-man pace attack.

People seem to forget this, along with the fact that Anderson was the only seamer who bowled well while the likes of Broad & Bresnan were crap. If Finn was fit & Broad was in better form - Panesar would not have played. AUS currently don't have spinners of the calibre of Swann/Panesar & it would be foolish for them to play two spinners @ any point in this series.

To date in this test only Pattinson has bowled to potential. Starc & Siddle have been noticeabl

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 27, 2013, 3:15 GMT)

I think that the 3 worst performers were Hughes, Siddle and Lyon, and would drop all 3 in favour of Maxwell, Johnson and Doherty. I would have preferred Bird to Doherty but with him being sent home there aren't many other options. Some are going to criticise Starc but the reality is that Starc has a magnificent record in India in recent years and was simply a victim of poor strategising by Clarke, who for some reason felt that Starc was best utilised at low pace lobbing it in from around the wicket. If Starc is used in the same way as Pattinson, expect the same results. Johnson is a must while I felt that Maxwell was unlucky in the first place not to be included - primarily as a batsman but also with that extra bowling option to allow Starc and Pattinson to bang it in. Doherty is clearly Australia's best spinner in thest conditions so isn't a bad option - just hope he doesn't bowl as much as Lyon had to. Stats say spinners in India don't perform so lets stick with 1 plus an all rounder

Posted by gzawilliam on (February 27, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

There needs to be a big change in selection this next test if the pitch is prepared the same way..

We should also be sending over haddin and steven okeefe to the squad as they are needed right now. Cowan,Warner,Watson,Clarke,henriques,haddin(replace wade),o'keefe,johnson,pattinson,Lyon,Doherty. Use Pattinson ,Johnson and henriques are your pace bowlers. And O'keefe to play if the same kind of wicket otherwise put Siddle in if the wicket is better for pace.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 2:49 GMT)

Ashwin had the support of Jadeja and Singh at the other end. Lyon didnt have enough support at the other end to tie down the batsmen. Jadeja deserves a lot of credit for Ashwin's success. Clarke needs to play Lyon and Doherty for the 2nd test.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 27, 2013, 2:13 GMT)

@disco_bob on (February 26, 2013, 15:19 GMT), your comment seems to imply that Australia would have won if not for Dhoni's innings, which is 50/50 at best. Also, it's very convenient to put all the responsibility into that one innings and assume that all you have to do is make sure that Dhoni doesn't do it again and everything will be hunkydory. It's not uncommon for a game to be heavily influenced by a contribution by a single player but that doesn't mean that that's the only reason that that team won. Take out Clarke's runs after his let-off and Australia's first innings looks fairly anaemic and you can't rely on the umpires every time. Just ask Alistair Cook what can happen with no DRS in India. This series is far from a lost cause for Australia but they have far more to worry about than one innings from Dhoni.

Posted by crh8971 on (February 27, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

I think Lyon is a talented bowler & capable of taking wickets. That all his wickets were top 5 batsmen in this test attests to that. I do think however that he is either not receiving or listening to quality coaching, he doesn't seem to have a plan B when batsmen get on top of him & he is forced to bowl through those periods in a test like this one as there is no realistic back up. In terms of the coaching I don't understand why we have a wicket keeper as spin bowling coach when it is an area obviously in need of development & all other areas have genuine specialists. Can we bring in Ashley Mallet ASAP? There are some basics that many people seem to call out on Lyon's bowling that he hasn't changed all summer. He bowls too wide of the stumps, he bowls too fast and doesn't vary his pace enough and he rushes his overs too much. He is 25 and will get a lot better but it would be nice to see him make some significant steps on this tour.

Posted by crh8971 on (February 27, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

@Tony May - I think you are significantly over reacting in your comments on the pitch. Yes it did appear dry and sandy but it actually played OK. There was around 1,200 runs scored for the loss of 32 wickets. The balls that got Clarke and Hughes definitely were certainly assisted by the pitch but that is what happens when the pitch deteriorates. I will concede that on day 4 it was playing like a late day 5 pitch. The other things to consider are that Australia had first use of the pitch and posted a decent score, had Australia held a catch from Dohni and been able to knock over a number 10 batsmen in less than 160+ balls they would have had India chasing 200 to 300 on that day 4/5 pitch, and Australia knew that this is exactly the sort of pitch that we would be playing on.

Posted by Jayzuz on (February 27, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

@AKS286, I've never met a single Australian anywhere, any time who said that Lyon was the best spinner in the world, or even close to it. And I know far more Australians than you do. So please do name them.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

@front foot lunge, maybe Australia needs to follow England's thinking and pick a team full of international players...

Posted by cricbranthan on (February 27, 2013, 1:19 GMT)

I am really worried about the ashes now.I think lyon is a good bowler but not aggressive and bullying as like krejza and hauritz.get maxwell and doherty to assist him

Posted by hmmmmm... on (February 27, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

Maybe we need to all chip some money in and buy SOK a ticket to India, if I count the number of comments calling for his addition to the team that would be about 10c each for a first class ticket...maybe if he is already there he will get picked even if clarke doesn't like him!

Also, not taking anything away from India who played well or the pitch which was a very competitive test wicket (despite what some sour grapes are saying), but australia lost the test the moment we forgot to pick 6 batsmen - how did they think we would do if 4/... is already into the tail? The second issue was when we picked siddle and starc on what was surely going to be a spin friendly track. Johnson, like him or not, would be a better option as pace through the air is what will get wickets when you don't have any assistance from the pitch...not to mention a second spin option but not doherty. Next test: warner, cowan (?), watson, clarke, khawajia, henriques, smith, wade, johnson, pattinson, lyon.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 0:40 GMT)

I think dropping Starc for Maxwell could be a good bet. Siddle will be a more useful paceman for bowling longer spells, and is a more technically sound batsman. Adding Maxwell would lengthen the batting lineup, give us another spin option and let us still keep a 3 man pace attack. Shame Watto can't bowl...

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (February 26, 2013, 23:45 GMT)

I have a novel idea - the Australian management should wait to see what the pitch is like before announcing the XI. If it's like Chennai - two spinners and drop either Siddle or Starc.

Posted by blink182alex on (February 26, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

We should stick with Lyon, since Warne retired we have gone through so many spinners, even those who have shown promise in Krejza and Hauritz have been tossed away. They selected Lyon when he was 23 years old with very little experience and have backed him. He's not a world beater but has contributed with 65 wickets at 33 and shown promise. The more he plays the more he will learn and in the long term he could be a good spin bowler for Australia.

For this match he didn't go great but still got Tendulkar, Ashwin, Kohli, Sehwag out whilst having Pujara dropped twice. Dhoni batted superb fair play to him, until someone clearly better comes along i would stick with Lyon.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 23:13 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge. The best spinner in Australia is Stephen O'Keefe but they won't pick him (according to yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald) because he is a brash, chatty type who speaks his mind and they don't want that in a newcomer apparently. Yet he is the NSW captain so that doesn't make sense at all. O'Keefe's stats are continually good, averaging below 30 with the ball and above it with the bat for season after season. Having said that I have seen Adam Zampa who is a greatyoung leg-spinner and Ashton Agar's performances are eye catching. I would leave both to develop for a year or two. Both can bat also - particularly Agar.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

The problem on this pitch for the Aussies was the spiiners out of the rough for the left handed bats. Frankly if Patterson is rested then we have no hope winning the test and are best off picking a team that may draw. On that basis my team would be: Cowan Warner Watson Clarke Smith Enriques Wade Mawell Johnson Siddle Doherty. It's a stronger batting line up with less lefties and Doherty, Maxwell and Smith give some variety and options to the bowling. The selectors on the other hand will make 1 or 2 changes only, because it's hard to admit you are wrong.

Posted by Clive_Dunn on (February 26, 2013, 22:34 GMT)

Siddle is a decent bowler against hapless batsmen but significantly less effective against even half decent opposition. The problem for the Aussies is that they've only really played ( SA apart ) below average teams since the last Ashes series. The sad truth is that this is the worst Aussie team since the mid 80's, with only Clarke standing out as a world class performer. How many of them would get into either England or South Africa's first XI ?

Posted by wellrounded87 on (February 26, 2013, 22:34 GMT)

I hope this talk of rotating Pattinson isn't true. By far our best bowler and we're 1-0 down. Take him out and take away our chances of drawing/winning the series and probably a test match with it.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 22:33 GMT)

My attack for the next test would be Patto, Lyon, X, Johnson and Moises. Batsman do not like facing Johnson and in combo with Pattinson could be deadly.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 22:25 GMT)

Australia doesn't need 3 front line quicks. After India's resounding win, you can bet every track from here on in will be just like the last. Siddle and Starc didn't provide the necessary support and have to be stood down. Johnson should come in for Siddle, and either Doherty or Steve Smith for Starc - not Maxwell. Indians cut their teeth on off spin but have a lot more trouble with leg spin. Hughes deserves another chance. I'd go with Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Wade, Henriques, Johnson, Pattinson, Lyon.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 26, 2013, 21:51 GMT)

Any talk of including 2 spinners for Australia is ignoring the fact that in the first test, and in India over the past 20 years, Australian spinners have done a lot worse than Australian pacemen. While you can perhaps justify a spinner for the variety, you certainly cannot justify 2. Instead, they need to use the bowlers better, using more bowlers, and having not just 1 spearhead in Pattinson who gets short sharp spells, but also have a 2nd, probably Starc. OUT: Siddle, Lyon, Hughes IN: Johnson, Doherty, Maxwell. With this combination used properly Australia could win the 2nd test.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 26, 2013, 21:48 GMT)

@hhillbumper: LOL at "Lyon is a great spinner and possibly world class. Now say it out loud and see how many cricket fans look at you funny." ;) ... Certain folk have waffled as such and for a good few months. Quite unbelivebly, it's still being said even today.

Posted by Moppa on (February 26, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

@SevereCritic, anyone who's been following the Australian Test team since his debut would know that Pattinson is now Australia's first-picked paceman if fit. Siddle has been the most reliable so would also get picked in a two man pace attack. I'm not sure what form of Starc you are talking about - surely not his consecutive 5 fors with a white ball on a hard WACA wicket with a favourable wind for swing - you couldn't find more foreign conditions to a Test match in Chennai. He bowled poorly in his previous Test, in Sydney v Sri Lanka. Having said that, Inverarity and co have made so many mistakes lately, you could be right.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 26, 2013, 20:53 GMT)

No spinner. No spinners waiting in the wings. This is just one story in a saga that is the current state of Australian cricket. Their academies have clearly failed, either that or there is just not one spinner capable of reaching test standard. Their management is doing it's best, but what can a manager do when they don't have the players: Did Inverity really think Lyon would succeed in India bowling his 90 kph darts?

Posted by thebrownie on (February 26, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

Tony May, Dhoni (av 38) scored a double hundred and the Aus debutant scored twin 50s. And you call the pitch a disgrace? Hughes and Clarke got those deliveries on the 4th day. If this pitch was a disgrace, what about Adelaide when teams consistently score 500 in the first and second innings? Australia doesnt have a half decent spinner to use the conditions.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

Plenty of talk about whether Australia needs a second spinner. They need a first spinner for a start. Australia has no hope of winning a test in India with Lyon serving up 50 overs of cannon fodder. Every ball is the same except the far too many full tosses. Clarke should bowl himself more. Didn't he once take 6/6 in a test in India. I would bring in Maxwell - at least a bolster to the feeble batting may force a draw rather than a defeat. On another matter the ICC should intervene on the matter of Indian test wickets. That sand pit at Chennai was an absolute disgrace. As good as the Indian spinners are, the dismissals of Hughes and Clarke in the 2nd innings had nothing to do with good bowling. It seems India is the self appointed voice in world cricket these days and no one wants to stand up against them, the ICC included.

Posted by Nampally on (February 26, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

Clarke has alternate seamer in Johnson, who has a lot of Indian experience. He can repalce Starc. Doherty is the other spinner that can fill the void. Lyon is a very under estimated bowler. He can turn the ball & be accurate. It was Dhoni's batting that negated Lyon. Hyderabad is a good batting wkt. - certainly not as spin friendly as the Chennai Wkt. Both teams will need their batsmen contributing because it will be a high scoring match. Spinners will only see some turn from 4th day onwards. So accuracy & bowling to the field is absolutely needed. Pattinson with his speed thru' the air will still be effective. India needs to watch his opening spell.Johnson may be the right choice because of his accuracy & consistency. He has also played on this wkt. before. India cannot afford to be charitable in playing Harbhajan - completed his 100th Test. Ojha should replace him for sure. But Dhoni has his own favourites - Jadeja, Harbhajan & Vijay. Dhoni's biggest error will be an Unchanged team!

Posted by AKS286 on (February 26, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

@Posted by Subhash Venugopalan on (February 26, 2013, 18:46 GMT) your comments on LYon will get my support BUT since lyon's debut Oz fans continue telling me that He is the best Spinner in the World. and also they told me that He is better than Warne, Macgill, hogg, Murli, Lance gibbs, Ajmal, Swann.

Posted by hhillbumper on (February 26, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

Lyon is a great spinner and possibly world class.Now say it out loud and see how many cricket fans look at you funny. It makes me laught that the land of OReilly ,Beanud and Warne can't find a decent spinner

Posted by TrueFactors on (February 26, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

Mr Clarke, You do not need extra spinner in team. You need really a fast bowler like M Johnson or even faster bowler like Cummins to replace Siddle who can clock 145+ consistently.. If this is there, then you can use pace in proper way at one end and bring Team India in real trouble. Say bye to Huges, bring Maxwell at 5 and Henriques at 6. Set proper batting sequence. Cowen, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Maxwell, Henriques, Wade, Johnson, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon

Posted by AKS286 on (February 26, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

What Lyon had done1- No Wickets, 2- Not even to put any pressure on batsmen (not to b.kumar also).3- No maidens, 4- He is the most expensive bowler (Paradise of Spin pitch). Now on the above article clarke says- "he hoped Lyon would learn from the experience and deliver greater consistency throughout the rest of the trip. "He's got to stay positive," Clarke said. "He bowled plenty of overs so he has seen the conditions a lot more". Mr. Captain he bowled more than 50 overs and still don't learn how to bowl on spin paradise. Sure Sehwag & SRT can take 5 wickets combined. Warne, Mcgill, hogg, Murli, Gibbs criticizes on his bowling and said good bowler in school campus.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

I think all this argument of having a second spinner is pure balderdash. Look at who the second spinner is - Xavier Doherty -:)) c'mon boy, give me a break !! I think 380 on this wicket was a good score and the difference between the two sides was that innings from Dhoni and taking no credit away from MSD, that innings was possible thanks to Nathan Lyon whom Dhoni milked for more than half of his runs. I think Australia have the worst spin attack in the world and the sooner the realisation comes into them, the better for them. I am sure even Zimbabwe has a better spin attack than the Aussies as I am fairly certain that Utseya and Price would have done a better containing job atleast.

Posted by AKS286 on (February 26, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

In test cricket technique is required but without temperament all skills not applied at a right time. Shaun Marsh is the good player of sub- continent not selected, Voges good tecnique, temperament & foot work not selected. Aus always come up with excuses for Lyon. Oz fans always telling lyon's strike rate is better than lyon, Go play on paper cricket. what monty had done is FACT not visible on paper stats. Indian batsmen never forget monty & swann. Indian batsmen were not comfortable against MJ not selected. Haddin, Paine is better than Mathew Waste. warner is not ideal for test. Cowan/Klinger, Watson, Marsh, Clarke, Voges/Forrest/ferguson, Haddin/Paine, Henriques, Kreja, Boyce/Bird/Coulter Nile, MJ, Pattinson.

Posted by SevereCritic on (February 26, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

Ironically enough, if Clarke had decided to pick Doherty as the second spinner in Chennai like so many of the Aussie fans seems to want, it would have been at the cost of Pattinson. Nobody knew that Pattinson, coming back from a huge injury layoff, would be the dominant pacer in the match. On current form, Siddle and Starc (based on matches leading to the Chennai test) pretty much picked themselves.

Posted by SevereCritic on (February 26, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

Pace bowlers can be successful in India. Pakistan pacers have always done well in India. As did people like Steyn, Gillespie, McGrath and now Pattinson. Anderson did fairly well in the last series as well. Pace bowling in India is very different than bowling in green tops. Just like batsmen need to learn to conquer new alien conditions, pacers need to understand the pitch as well. Playing 3 world class pacers is always better than playing 2 mediocre spinners. Indians play spin better than most teams. And they will destroy mediocre spin bowling if their batsmen is in any kind of form. Also, unlike the England visit, the Indians are now deeper into their home season. Which makes it a bigger challenge for a visiting team who are mostly unfamiliar with the conditions. Clarke is right. You should play your best bowlers, spin or pace. However, your best bowlers need to deliver upto their reputation.

Posted by PPD123 on (February 26, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

I am sitting on the fence with this Doherty selection. I dont know whether Doherty would have made any difference to this given the way Dhoni and Kohli played. Yes, Monty and Swann were successful, but Doherty and Lyon have a long way to go to emulate them as far as skill and experience goes. There is no point to just add both the spinners, just to make up the numbers. However the counter argument is given the pitches that Aus will face for the remainder of the series, would doherty be a better option than starc - I would probably say "yes". And given the fact that they now have Henriques as a 3rd seaming option, it more looks like Clarke will go for a 3-2 combination for the next match in Hyd. Finally, it was an awesome test match. Loved watching Dhoni, Kohli and Sachin's batting. Here in the US it was late in the night - but hey who cares - I loved every moment of it.

Posted by Arrow011 on (February 26, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

Only God can save the Australian team else they will be whacked black & blue to a 4-0 loss in India. If Australia play 2nd spinner it is even better for India as he too will leak 4/244 (Lyon's figures in Madras test) spell that means we can milk the 2 spinners 8/488, that is a good score in tests, LOL.

All these without Ojha who is in superb form, when Ojha plays Australia will lose by an innings in Hyderabad.

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 26, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

it must be remembered that this current indian team is nothing like the the team from the last 15 years. but as pace bowlers starc and siddle took 1 wicket and the indians nil so i cannot understand his thinking. you came with 3 spinners so 2 out of those must be selected. if the wicket is as talked about by laxman then its going to be similar. then its a non brainer i would have thought.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 26, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

The difference between winning and losing this match in spite of Lyon's expensive, overs, in spite of, our other quicks not making a mark, in spite of Ashwin... was simply one outstanding and brutal innings by Dhoni.

Posted by Vnott on (February 26, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

Steven Smith for Phil Hughes and Xavier Doherty for Siddle wud add strength to the aussie team. While Dhoni claims a well settled side, he shd bring in Ojha for Harbhajan and Rahane for Vijay to have the best side. Aussies will only improve from here. Am certain the rest of the tests will be closer than the first and India better put their test team on the field....

Posted by First_Drop on (February 26, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

@gsingh7 - very silly stuff mate - your comments look vindictive. This Aussie side is good - took the best side in the world (SA) right to the brink in Australia, and drew against them in SA. 380 against this India side in India with little preparation, is not bad at all. All of the batsmen (except) Hughes) got starts. The real problem is not playing a second spinner in the team. And before you have a pop at Lyon, lets remember that Warne average around 40 in India himself, and he is generally considered to be the best spin bowler of all time. The Aussies were always going to struggle in India - outside of India they will do very well indeed. Pattinson looks world class, and Henriques is a find. Warner and Cowan currently have the best opening patnersip record in the world over the last 18 months, and Clarke is fast becoming an all-time great. Wade has a test average of 37 and is keeping well. And by the way, ther ausies have greatest fast bowling depth in the world. Not bad.

Posted by gsingh7 on (February 26, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

THERE WAS a time when aus talked of india as final frontier and they did well to win in 2004 by showing grit. the current team and fans are full of excuses. if u dont like spinning pitches in india then tell acb to either abort the tour or arrange series with zimbabwe(on fast bouncy pitches which support bowling for 2 days then turns flat for batting on day 3 and 4 and spin on 5th day). if u come to india and have no talent to win in india and back up ur claims of arising to top of test rankings then u r in a lot of trouble here.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

He will make a great mistake if he doen't pick Doherty in squad for next match. Keeping in mind that Indian batting is still not good against good spin bowling as we have seen they have struggled against Monty and Swan. Picking 3 fast bowlers is worthless in these conditions.

Posted by cricketcricket1987 on (February 26, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Australia are in for a tough series. Even if they bring in Xavier Doherty for the remainder of the series, he and Lyon do not have the consistency to create any form of pressure against the Indian batsmen. England were successful in recent series thanks to 1.Swann and Panesars ability to bowl lots of maidens and create pressure 2. The Patience of Cook, Trott, Pietersen and Root to bat long periods of time. Unfortunately, apart from Clarke, Australia do not have these qualities.

Posted by gsingh7 on (February 26, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

if u dont judge lyon on his 200 + score and watching from other end how indian spinners got 20 wickets then u might be in lot of trouble. considering that best indian spinner , ojha, sat out for outdated bhajji , things cud only get worse for australia. we test fans want good contest not another whitewash like how india lost in aus ,pak lost in sa ,sl lost in aus, england lost in uae.

Posted by Webba84 on (February 26, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

@mk49_van Does it then annoy and anger you if I congratulate India on a well deserved win and express satisfaction with the effort the Aussie team put in if not their ability or the result. The Aussie team now isnt even the same people as those mighty ones you seem so happy to see fallen, they are just young men trying to do a very difficult job with everyone watching them. Frankly your delight at their failure is repulsive.

Posted by Chamithg on (February 26, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

10 right handed batsmen but no Xavier Doherty. Better to play him for next match. Aussies got nothing to loose here, so why not try something new.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

This is going to be very difficult for Australia to manage because with their constant shuffling of the (usually) single spinner, no spinner going around has enough experience. Krejza's one Test in India was more than 4 years ago, it would be a massive gamble to bring him back. He bowled well in that game and was probably unfairly blamed for Aus losing (Lee and MJ between tham took 2 wickets off 70+ overs).

Of other Aussie slow bowlers who've gone to India, Greg Matthews had an ok record, but even he only played 3 Tests there.

This is going to be a long tour if Australia can't manage 20 wickets in a game. Maybe they can play for run-outs.

Posted by CricketMaan on (February 26, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

380 and 241 in testing conditions. Aus are in good space. But for Dhoni anything could have happened on that wicket. Aus can only get better from here, just like England did. Its for India to push win rather than Aus to loose!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 26, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

This is what happens when you choose a 'struggling batsman' as your wicket-keeper; an opener and a number 3 who are only suited for the shorter formats; pace-obsessed bowlers instead of accurate, hard-working, durable, penetrative ones like McKay; and ex-star wrist-spinners like Warne and MacGill only ever criticise instead of helping develop urgently-needed wrist-spinners.

Posted by mateyman on (February 26, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

@Mary. Do you even watch test cricket in Australia. We hardly ever produce green tops, the only fast and "green"ish pitches are Hobart and Perth

Posted by here2rock on (February 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

Good to see that Michael Clarke has not lost his sense of humour, it is just a game.

Posted by gnat9 on (February 26, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Clarke is right. The Aussie batsmen underperformed in both the innings. If Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson and Matthew Wade had shown even half the character and strength that Moises Henriques did, Australia could have drawn the match at the very least. It may be an idea to drop Hughes in favour of Khwaja for the Hyderabad test with Watson batting one place higher in the order.

Posted by Harvey on (February 26, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

Too early to be writing the Aussies off completely, but it's really not looking good for them, is it? England went 1-0 down in the first Test before comprehensively outplaying India for the remainder of the series once they sorted out their selection issues. For some reason the Australian selectors learned nothing from that series (didn't they watch it?), and made exactly the same mistake as England did in only playing one spinner for the first Test. I think there is a difference in that England already had one quality spinner (Swann) in their team for the first Test, and they were able to call on a second (Monty) for the remainder of the series. I'm not sure that Australia even has one quality spinner to call upon though, let alone 2, so they really are facing an uphill task.

Posted by BHASKARBHARATWAJ on (February 26, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

i agree with mano.mcse about the keeper wade worst haddin best

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

Some from the DRS-basher-camp are now ruing their win being delayed by 2 days! Well, with the current form of DRS, where Erasmus and his like, instead of the batters, get help, it could be true. However in a better scenario where they are restricted from spoiling the game, it could have been delayed even further, if not realized at all.

Posted by mk49_van on (February 26, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

How wonderful to see all these Aussie complaints and recriminations. From the days of the 'final frontier' talk to this - how the mighty have fallen.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

to adoSR - if you take out lyons wickets, then tendulkar and kohli would still be in. who know's what the score would've been..

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 26, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

Australia went into this test believing that pace was their strength in bowling. Has this result changed that? I doubt it. As Clarke says, people just need to perform better. If they were going to play on this same pitch again then they might consider a second spinner but the next pitch may not be so conducive to spin so that may not be a step they need to take. Also, with regards to Lyon, it's important to remember that this is his first tour of India. Swann and Panesar both have previous experience so they had a better idea of what to expect. As has been said, most Australian spinners haven't done especially well in India so don't expect Lyon, who is still quite inexperienced, to buck the trend. Doherty probably isn't any more likely to either.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 26, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

Clarke is a hapless captain in charge of a sub-standard team of players. Lyon's got to go, but there's no one to replace as Australia's cupboard is completely empty.

Posted by Mary_786 on (February 26, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

Well the reality is, if Wade had taken his chances, some of which were quite regulation, Lyon's summer would have been vastly better. He'd have averaged about 25 with the ball and we'd all be singing his praises. It may be an excuse, but it's very valid and certainly worth considering. An average of 32 isn't world beating, but it isn't terrible either, give him the India series before we pass judgement and same goes for X. Cowan has to go, his performance after 14 tests is not good enough, Hughes needs to watch the ball out of the hand and Khawaja deserves a real go and not just 1-2 games like he always copes. And the biggest challenge the Aussie team has right now is that the Indian's will prepare the best spinning tracks we've ever seen. But then again we prepare the best green tops when other teams come here so take a bucket load of cement Aussie's, and harden up. Tough times coming.

Posted by Jayzuz on (February 26, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

@Simoc. "For Siddle its a farewell gig". My God, you cannot be serious! The guy's has consistently been our best bowler for the last two years, and you want to get rid of him after one poor showing on the world's flattest, driest pitch? He had a better average and strike rate than Anderson in 2012! How well did the Indian pacers do in comparison to Australia's? Oh, you can't calculate bowling averages and strike rates with ZERO wickets! A little perspective, please!

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

I like Clarke's approach of looking at the next pitch in isolation and totally reassessing. In Hindsight at Chennai; Doherty and Johnson might of been better inclusions than Siddle and Starc. Johnson, like Pattinson has brute strength which can push through the soft surface of Chennai but It would of been thought idiocy to not include Siddle before hand because of his consistent performances on Australian pitches. I think we will definitely need two spinners which means one of Siddle or starc will have to be rested in Hydrabad. If that pitch is as slow as Chennai then maybe both should be rested for Johnson and Doherty.

Posted by mano.mcse on (February 26, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

I think it's a great team, they need to show their power...and wicket keeper wade is worst keeping as well batting..haddin is the best choice for aussies so consider him in the test side..

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (February 26, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

Our real problem is that spinners aren't having enough of a chance to develop their own games before they're thrown into the deep end of test cricket. Young players need the opportunity to learn on the run, which the Sheffield Shield supplies the perfect canvas for. You can't expect them to be learning their game in the test arena. Boyce and Agar need to be left alone in the Shield. They need to have the time to perfect their own games. That way, when and if they get the chance to play test cricket, they know their games and know how to best use their abilities. As for our batting we need a few changes, Watson should open with Warner, Clarke should come in at 3 or 4 with Hughes and Usman to follow. Usman is made for test cricket so lets give him a solid run.

Posted by AdoSR on (February 26, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

If we remove Lyon's figures, then the Indian first innings is 7 for 357 vs Australia's 380. You'd say that was pretty even, especially with India having to bat last. If we take all Australian spinners out then it's 7 for 313. We would consider ourselves clearly in front. These pitches don't suit seam bowling BUT we should still be able to bowl India out quite comfortably provided we DON'T rely on spin. The thought of adding another spinner that India can take for 5 an over seems rediculous. Australia can win this series if we stop trying to play India's game and play ours.

Posted by satishchandar on (February 26, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

Clarke is a different kind of captain. Certainly he is smart enough to know what went wrong and he will work on the things background than revealing it in front. No captain will play the same 11 which Australia played last game twice in a row. Even in midst of all these things, Lyon in the best spin option Australia have(atleast in the current squad) with good experience with the team.. I won't rate Doherty better than Lyon.

Posted by soumyas on (February 26, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

why don't aussies select HOGGY he is still better option than Siddle at 40 age on indian conditions...

Posted by AKS286 on (February 26, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

This Pitch is the Blank cheque , Money in the bank for spinner every rookie spinner wants to bowls in chennai pitch. This Pitch is the great fortune pitch for spinners, This pitch can change the whole life of Lyon. buts instead of cashing lyon is bankrupt on ths pitch. Lyon did't do all 3 things in The paradise of spin pitch 1- No Wickets, 2- Not able to pressurize any batsmen even B.Kumar also.3- Can't stop the runs. Can anyone tell me what else a bowler can do. He fails in everything. he must retire from international cricket.

Posted by bipulkumar on (February 26, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

Indians themselves have lot of holes to plug. Openers were a complete failure. Must replace Murali with Ajinkya and hope Sehwag to perform. Bhajji was also not upto the mark and must be replaced by Ojha.

Posted by PrasadRaoGali on (February 26, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Need to be careful about hyd test...Openers has to score runs otherwise it will be difficult in HYD.

Posted by Nerk on (February 26, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

I'm not too concerned about having four pace bowlers in the team, particularly if one of them can bat. But I think Clarke's use of them was wasteful. He should have used Lyon as the strike bowler, bowling five over spells, and let the pacemen choke an end up. Henriques, Siddle and to some extent Starc did that. But at the other end Lyon was being massacred. The fact is Lyon is too inaccurate, and inexperienced, to bowl defensively on these wickets, as such you need to use him as the strike bowlerr, rather than as the workhorse.

Posted by AKS286 on (February 26, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

Cowan/Klinger, Watson, Marsh, Clarke, Voges, Haddin/Paine, Henriques, Kreja, MJ, Pattin, Bird/Boyce.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

Your spinner is supposed too keep the pressure on in India, and build partnerships, with your quick`s, Lyon failed dismally at this. I thought Pattinson, bowled exceptionally well, on a pitch, that lacked pace, Siddle bowled tight lines and lengths, Starc is still learning his trade, but bowled better than his match figures suggest. Henriques bowled well, and batted exceptionally well, Clarke is covering for Lyons` poor performance. Any slow Bowler, who leaks 215 runs, in a score of 570, bowled poorly, not to his fields, and got carried away with the spin in the wicket, he bowled too straight, and got milked or punished. Mind you, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, batted awesomely, what a fantastic Captains` knock, his batting was the difference, in this Test Match. What a majestic, fantastic, Double-Ton, by the Captain, he also kept wicket for a day and a half, before this innings. I hope this silences his detractors, the Aussie players, acknowledged how well he batted.

Posted by FazleAbed on (February 26, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

I just dont understand y strac bowl round the wicket? Australia have two option i guess. 1. moses, maxwell, patinsson, siddle and lyon or 2. khawaza, moses, patinson, xivier and lyon. rest six should play as we dont have baily, voges and hussy in the side.

Posted by Simoc on (February 26, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

The attidude of the players isn't right. Lyon is lacking some confidence. They are going after him because they like spin and be is our only one. That is the test. Saying the quicks got 7 wickets when Pattinson got 5 is a bit rich. Even so it equates to less than two per bowler so they were outperformed by the lone spinner. for Starc it's experience, for Siddle it's a farewell gig. But neither belong in the test team in India.

Posted by Jayzuz on (February 26, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

It must be remembered that many of these players are very inexperienced. It would be foolish to just drop a stack of players after one loss. Lyon bowled well in patches, badly in patches. Let's give him another shot. Give them time to get the experience and build their skills. I predicted India would win the first test before the game started, but also said AUS will win games by the end. I stand by that prediction. The players will learn and grow - precisely what most Indian players didn't do on the last tour of Australia, with the exception of Kohli. They were equally as bad at the end as at the beginning.

Posted by baskar_guha on (February 26, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

The best mix for the Aussies bowling attack in Hyderabad is Pattinson, Starc, Lyon, Doherty, Henriques. There will be life for pacers in the pitch but the spinners have to bowl tightly to be a factor early on with turn and variability showing up later in the match.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 26, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

Funny to see that Clarke is not learning from mistakes. Thats a good sign for India. Very good chance to win at Hyderabad too.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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India v Australia at Delhi - Mar 22-24, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Mohali - Mar 14-18, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Mar 2-5, 2013
India won by an innings and 135 runs
India v Australia at Chennai - Feb 22-26, 2013
India won by 8 wickets
India A v Australians at Chennai - Feb 16-18, 2013
Match drawn
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