Australia in India 2012-13

Five lessons from Chennai

Three days between Tests does not give Australia long to digest their eight-wicket loss in Chennai but there are several lessons they can take from that match

Brydon Coverdale

February 27, 2013

Comments: 97 | Text size: A | A

Moises Henriques ensured Australia staved off an innings defeat, India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 4th day, February 25, 2013
Moises Henriques handled spin in his own effective way, often playing deep without getting caught on the crease © BCCI
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A leaking spinner is of little value
Bowling spin successfully in India is about many things: subtle variations, finding the right pace and using the rough to create doubt in the batsman's mind. They are all factors in keeping the pressure up and the runs down, which Nathan Lyon struggled to do in Chennai. Over the course of the Test, Lyon gave up 132 runs in boundaries, the same number as James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc combined. And he did it bowling 33.1 fewer overs than the three fast men. He was also milked for 74 singles, almost as many as the three quicks (83). It may seem incongruous, but Lyon was simultaneously too predictable and too inconsistent. There were too many short balls and low full tosses, and when he hit the right length he lacked flight and variations in pace. Lyon does not need to attempt doosras and other tricks but he does need to find ways to subtly deceive the batsmen. That will not only increase his chances of getting wickets but reduce the likelihood of another unwanted double-century. It is also worth noting that in the tour match against India A, Lyon was more economical than Xavier Doherty.

Quality pace has its place
One of the real positives to come from the Test for Australia was the work of James Pattinson, who finished with match figures of 6 for 109. He was quick - in the 150kph region in the first innings - and accurate and built the pressure from his end. Unfortunately for Australia, Pattinson didn't have the wicket-taking support he needed from the fast men at the other end. Peter Siddle's only wicket of the game came with a slower ball and Mitchell Starc was barely a threat. There was no seam movement on the Chennai pitch and not as much reverse swing as Australia had hoped for, meaning the bowlers had to find other ways of challenging the batsmen. Pattinson did so with his speed and a consistent line just outside off stump. Starc was much more erratic, trying too many things and releasing the pressure on the batsmen. His place might go to Mitchell Johnson, who is on his third Test tour of India. In six Tests in India Johnson has 21 wickets at 37.23, an average that at home would be unacceptable but in these conditions looks pretty decent. Whoever is picked, Pattinson has shown them what can be achieved through speed and consistency on an unhelpful pitch.

A handy 30 is not enough
In the lead-up to the Test, Michael Clarke made a point of saying that batsmen who got a start on the Indian pitches and failed to turn it into a big score would be more accountable than those who fell cheaply. "It is a really difficult place to start, especially against spin or walking in against the reverse-swinging ball," Clarke said at the time. "So the guys who get a start, it's up to them to take the team forward and keep running with that momentum." Fittingly, given his comments, MS Dhoni's 224 from 265 balls was the difference between the two sides. It was notable that after Clarke drove a catch down the throat of long-off on 130 in the first innings, he shook his head and chastised himself as he walked off the field. He knew that an even bigger innings was there for the taking. But really it was the middling scores that cost Australia. Ed Cowan made 29 and 32, Shane Watson made 28 and 17, David Warner scored 59 and 23 - had any of those men capitalised on their starts it could have been a different game.

Moises-like poise is priceless
It's remarkable how often players get promoted based on past successes or potential rather than current form. But the selectors got it right with Moises Henriques in Chennai. This Sheffield Shield season he has made 385 runs at 77.00 and taken 14 wickets at 18.00. In his last Shield game before flying to India he scored 71 and then in the warm-up games he contributed with both bat and ball. A confident Henriques showed supreme poise in making 149 while getting out only once on Test debut. He never looked ruffled and he handled the spin in his own way, often playing deep and watching it off the pitch, but without getting caught on the crease. His concentration was immense but it was not all about defence and he put away the bad balls when they arrived. The rest of Australia's top order can learn from their newest team-mate, who showed how R Ashwin and Co should be handled.

India are beatable
That might sound strange given the eight-wicket defeat Australia suffered. But for the first eight sessions of the match, and then the last two, it was an even contest. But from tea on day three until tea on day four India got away, first through MS Dhoni and then their spinners. Three bad sessions cost Australia the game. Had Australia held a few difficult chances or won a couple of line-ball lbw decisions, the outcome could have been very different. If Australia can learn from their mistakes and stay sharp for the full five days, the remaining three Tests of this series won't be a walk in the park for India.

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (March 1, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

@Shaggy You are right Khawaja is untested with Spin. However he has a sound technique and good footwork, two very important factors in playing spin. Hughes is a lot more unorthodox which might make him vulnerable. Though i think it's far too quick to jump on hughes, one of his innings was ended by an unplayable ball produced by a clay pitch. Give him a decent run and a chance to prove himself.

Posted by ramli on (March 1, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

Brydon .. if Clarke was adjudged out correctly of bat-pad very early in his innings ... Aus would have been bundled even more cheaply ... so ... India were true winners in Chennai ... accept it

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

There are no mysteries. There are blatant deficiencies in both teams. The team which handles the deficiencies better will be the winner

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 1, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

raulraj - Id like to know what about Khawaja record indicates he is good against spinners. There are no innings on spinning pitches of any note. Its an assumption he can play probably based on his background. The truth is Khawaja is as much an unknown against spin as Hughes, least Hughes has some experience now to learn from. Dont get me wrong Khawaja is going to be a good player however, I very much doubt he will succeed in the environment of India.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

The big lesson Australian batsmen need to learn is the ball pitching on leg stump can straighten and get them out lbw. Too many players, left handers mainly, put their pad in line and tried to hit the ball through midwicket. They need to get their front foot outside the line and hit the ball to midon, like the Indians did. Also Australia benefited from the non-dismissal of Clarke lbw, but Dhoni was lucky to escape Pattinson's slower ball on 93. On balance India got off slightly ahead on that one, but probably not much difference in the result. My theory on winning in India is to take up as much time batting on the wicket when it is at its best (more important on the sub continent than other areas). The best example of this was Steve Waugh enforcing the follow on in 2001. If Australia had batted and India batted fourth, it was game over.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

Australia will definitely make at least two changes. Dropping Hughes and Starc and will bring in Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson. I do not know whether they could earn much bringing a second spinner. However, if they still wants to have another spin option then they could drop Cowan and bring in Maxwell but I doubt that he could do a lot in Indian pitches. Whatever the case may be, the Australians have the will power to bounce back from any condition and am sure the second test will be totally different. You will see Watson and Warner performing. Ofcourse, Michael Clarke is always reliable.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

Aussies were more defensive against the spinners that led india to put in more close fielders ..they shud try and attack the spinners and remove the close in fielders to score freely........

Posted by raulraj on (March 1, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

Australia needs to balance their team...i am a Indian team supporter but my Australian team for next match will be:: 1) Warner 2) Watson 3) Clark 4) Khawaja 5) Moises 6) Wade 7) Maxwell 8) M.Johnson 9) Lyon 10) Starc 11) Pattison. This way they have attacking openers both of them. Khawja Clark and Moises can play spinners, so strong middle order. Wade Maxwell and Johnson Make never ending tail. 4 Fast Bowlers including Moises Medium Pace, Which Australian Management wants anyway. Lyon Clark Maxwell and Warner Make it 4 Spinners Which will Test Indian batting. Some might argue but Johnson has experience of bowling in India and he is better batsman then most bowlers. Maxwell can do what gilcrist use to do for Oz's at 6 or 7. This is best team for indian pitches. Peace

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 1, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

hycIass - you think there is an issue with not blooding Faulkner, COulter-Nile and Cutting in the series against Sri Lanka. My question is who should have missed out to do that. The problem with our quicks being injured is not a huge issue as there is as many as 10 capable of doing the job. They will get a game when they are in the best available but for the moment they are behind Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Johnson, Bird, Hilfenhaus and Harris. Then as well as the three you mentioned there is also Hazlewood, Sayers, Bollinger, Butterworth, Mcdermott. Even the likes of Putland can do a job as well. We have heaps of quicks and it would have done more harm than good promoting players currently not in the best side.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

My points: - For Starc to be useful, he needs to bowl flat-out like he does in one-dayers and to help accommodate that, be used in shorter spells. I understand different balls are used, but there's a tremendous difference in his speeds between one dayers (145-150km) and tests (135-140km or so). - Clarke should bat at 3. Since India are really only using spinners, he won't have to worry about early swing like he seems to and this should correct our current problem of having four openers for a top order. - I don't rate Doherty's selection given his first-class career and current shield form, but perhaps he would prove handy to simply tie up one end and allow another bowler to attack. Half of bowling is in partnerships after all. - Oh and don't let a guy come in and basically hit boundaries every single ball.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (March 1, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

Cowan and Warner had the easiest batting morning day one. For Cowan to squander it trying to smash his second 6 in a row, that really was a terrible waste, again. Steve O'Keefe has been the best spinner in Australia for a few seasons but where is he? 17 wickets at 26 with economy of 2.2, that's certainly better than Doherty. They should tell Wade to not worry about batting so much and focus on 'keeping, he's wasted too many simple chances against Lyon making everone's head drop.

Posted by hycIass on (March 1, 2013, 2:02 GMT)

Edward Anderson you are on the mark champ. Our continual problems with our fast bowlers being injured is just crazy. It's been over 2 seasons and nothing has been done except the controversial rotation policy. Change something ! Do something! Do anything!This coupled with our strange selections (i.e, Cowan continual selection) and our ignorance of trying to blood Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile in Test situations against lowly Sri Lanka means we are on a hiding to nothing against the Poms .One positive is that Ryan Harris had a blinder in the Ryobi cup yesterday. He would do some damage over in England . If he is fit and healthy and we DON'T pick him, I swear I will never watch a cricket match again.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 28, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

Seriously Nahush, if what Brydon said actually happened would Australia have been in the game - the answer is Yes so how can he be wrong. He wrote it from an Australian perspective appealing to AUstralian fans of course its biased in that favour so really what is wrong with it. Do you think he should have wrote Australian fans go home dont watch this series as your team has no hope, how is that going to help the promotion of the next test. Why would any Australian ever follow this series on cricinfo if that is what he has written. You are right in what you say but your perspective is one of always the victim, try and look at the bigger picture.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 28, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

Is this really the only 5 lessons to be learnt? How about: (1) You need a proper wicket-keeper in your team, and runs off his bat are only a beautiful bonus. There can't be that many Gilchrist's around! (2) Pace obsession in cricket, especially in Asian/Sydney conditions, is never going to win many games. Fitness, accuracy and patience is key, along with at least two specialist (preferably wrist-) spinners for countries like India. (3) Specialist short-format players do not automatically make good test players. Certain Aus. top-order batsmen are unjustifiably maintained in tests on promise of short-format stats alone. Where is Usman Khawaja!? How many more chances is Phil Hughes going to squander?

Posted by real_gone_gadd on (February 28, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

If I was picking the Aussie side for the next Test:

Cowan Warner Hughes Clarke Maxwell Watson Wade Henriques Pattinson Lyon Starc

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

i do not agree with the last....yes india is beatable but the reasons mentioned were biased only in aus favor...had dharmasena called clarke out on 39 (the main missing reason)....the match would have ended on day 4 before tea.And certainly wud have been a heavy innigs defeat !

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (February 28, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

Australia were very fortunate to have a lot of decisions going there way when they batted. Nevertheless, it was a brilliant test match, made special by one MS Dhoni.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

Agree with all the five points. Very valid points. It's not a must that aussies should take 2 spinners. They can definitely think of Jhonson. (I don't think Pattinson will make all four tests, if he has to bowl like this in all of them!) There can be lessons for both teams. India can bring in Prgyan Ojha for Harbhajan and Shikhar Dhavan for Murali Vijay.

Apart from anticipations and preparations, there is a guy who can topple all the plans of the opposition. that's the one and only Virendar SEHWAG! If he fires, all calculations will go wrong for any opposition. He has scored only one century in his last 39 innings. So, Aussies beware!

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

there's the difference - when Dhoni took a run to get to 100 in one of the Tests against England he was run out (it was at the end of the day, which had been very hot to). Australia had an easy run out at the same time and missed it by miles!! Is that a lack of fitness or not being switched on enough? If the latter what the hell are those players doing in a Test?

Posted by cricjaffa on (February 28, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

AUS need to play 2 spinners in India. Indian batting is not self-assured and looks fragile(especially the openers). Aus just have to get their bowling combinations right. Mitchell Johnson has the ability to reverse swing the ball. He should be picked in place of Starc. Hope the Hyderabad pitch offers some pace & bounce for the fast bowlers. India, on the other hand need to replace Ishant and Murali Vijay. Get Dhawan & try Dinda maybe !.

Posted by SL_rockz on (February 28, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

No excuses from umpiring errors should be given to aussie.It is a common scenario for every team which has equal probability for both sides. No excuses for aussies they had known long before this test match this pitch is turning and spin will be the test for aussies. So they should prepare as a team for that.But at the ultimate test it showed that they were not upto the challenge as a team.Next pitch will play no different than chennai.So aussies know that and they should prepare and come.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

If the Aussies need to rely on Mitchell Johnson to come and save them, then they are in right trouble.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

@Santhosh I completely agree!!! If we had Johnson and Pattinson peppering Dhoni with chin music I don't think he'd have been quite as comfortable as he was smashing full tosses and half volleys for boundaries and maximums

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

Lesson to be learnt is learn lessons from earlier trips !!! Lyon story looks similar isnt it ?

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

probable aussies squad for 2nd test must be 1.WARNER,2.WATSON,3.ED COWAN,4.HENRIQUES,5.MJ CLARKE,6.Maxwell,7.Johnson,8.Pattinson,9.Lyon,10.Wade,11.Doherty....Wade doesn't seem as a good wicket keeper. maybe hughes or warner should use as keeper. an add extra batsman.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (February 28, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

"Couple of line-ball LBW decisions" Hahahahaha :o)

I think the umpiring in the match was pretty much spot on apart from Clake being given not out when the ball came off the FACE of his bat - that was the mostly costly umpiring mistake on either side!!!!

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

The 'reluctance' to bump/bounce Dhoni - should also be investigated. What's the use of 15 coaches, 20 high performance managers and a legion of cricket experts from down under? Of course, the skipper is supposed to be the brightest bulb in flannels to play for Australia...

Posted by salim on (February 28, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

India are beatable...sure but talking about a couple of line LBW calls is plain ridiculous and shows lack of effort on your part Mr. Coverdale!! If Clarke was given out in the first innings when he was, then there would have been no match.

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (February 28, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Australia needs to really buck up..Clarke refrain from dancing and be more assured while captaining...Cricket This playing XI is much better 1. Warner 2. Watson 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Khawaja(give him a chance) 6. Wade 7. Henriques 8. Johnson 9. Pattinson 10.Siddle 11. Doherty

Since India is right handed heavy batting line up playing Doherty will be much better than Lyon..Somebody else can sing the team song...Avoid unnecessary sweep shots....play with a straight bat...hope Aussies win the toss and put 450 on the board.Win the next test square the series...All the Best..Go Aussie Go..!!!!!

Posted by dinom on (February 28, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

@venkatesh018: almost agreed with your XI, except that it is too light on batsmen. instead rest pattinson so that he will be fit for mohali test, and play glenn maxwell at seven, providing clarke with 2 fast (johnson and siddle), 1 medium (henriques) and 3 spin options (lyon, doherty and maxwell).

Posted by SasiGladi on (February 28, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

Come on, this article shows aussy has lessons to learn from the mistakes committed by them but it lacks points about how to counter the strengths of Indians.....apart from first day last session and initial break through while india batting first rest all the sessions where with Indians I cant understand how come Aussy had three bad sessions it should be in other way....Point to understand Aussy is facing a team which is very eager to regain strength after losing to Eng in home Ashwin's contorlled smart bowling by giving up innovative bowling variations is one example........

Posted by RahulHariharan on (February 28, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

Only chnage in the Aussie XI needs to be Starc out and Johnson in.. Most important thing! Batsmen need to carry on the starts and play positve cricket and score with every opportunities. If we take a close look at Henriques inns or Captain Clarke's or from Indian side- Sachin, Dhoni , Kohli all scored runs at every opportunity. All the best..learn from mistakes quickly and Series up for grabs Aussies..

Posted by MrKricket on (February 28, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

As ARad says the Australian preparation for this series was terrible. A couple of meaningless short games to get used to the conditions? Whatever happened to a decent round of first class games? The same will happen in England. They will arrive, play two short games against 3rd XI teams and then go straight into the First Test. In the good old days when money didn't totally rule they played a series of games to acclimatise. No wonder the tour results are always so bad nowadays.

India should do the same touring Australia next time.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (February 28, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

Next game they need to include the pakistan born lad & move the portugese lad up the order

Posted by SamRoy on (February 28, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

@Dashgar picking tailender's wickets and taking 3 wickets per match and not getting top order batsman doesn't mean you are better bowler. Records are sometimes misleading. Lyon doesn't have to bowl much at top-order batsman, the pace attack shares that burden. If Ashwin was bowling most of the time to tailenders like Lyon does in Australia his average would have been less than 20! Anyway, my point is Ashwin has won 5 matches for India in his 13 match career (5 superlative performances), only once he was not the main reason for an Indian win, it was Ojha against England in first test in Ahmedabad. How many has Lyon won for Australia? About 1 in Sri Lanka in his first test. He has failed against SA in Adelaide and against India in Chennai in very helpful conditions. Having said that, Ashwin should not be India's lead spinner in tests; it should Ojha as he is the better bowler. Ojha-Ashwin combo is the right way for Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

" Clean up the Tail Soon" should be on the top of things to do for Australia in this series. They have lost two back to back tests in India for the lack of ability to clean up the tail faster. Going back to the Mohali test in 2010 where VVS partnership with Ishant ensured a succesful chase and the chennai test where the 9th wkt partnership took the match away from them. The problems are strikingly similar, remember they had India @ 400/8 at one stage with a lead of just 20 runs. The problem isn't easier to solve on Indian tracks if it were AUS/SA you could easily rough up the tailenders with bouncers and force to fend off their gloves. on Indian tracks the seamers can't do it easily you need good spinners who can run through the tail ( remember Saeed Ajmal wiping through our tail in the just concluded one day series) if the spinners dont have the skills the tailenders can block them all day untill they are lured into a false stroke for this reason alone Aus will struggle this series

Posted by venkatesh018 on (February 28, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

Australia losing the toss and bowling first at Hyderabad with a bowling line up of Siddle, Johnson, Lyon, Doherty and Henriques (if Pattinson is injured/rested or both) will be Clarke's worst nightmare. So my XI will be: Warner,Cowan,Watson,Clarke,Henriques,Wade,Johnson,Pattinson, Siddle,Lyon, Doherty. Most will call this XI "suicidal" with 4 specialist batsman plus Henriques & 3 pacemen (which is a cover for a probable Pattinson breakdown mid-test). But look who I have dropped-Philip Hughes who despite that brute from Jadeja doesn't look like scoring a run to save his life & Mitchell Starc who looked jaded and clueless in the Chennai heat.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

I find the first point a little absurd. Lyon was always going to leak runs when his captain puts five men on the fence before he even bowls a ball. That was Clarke´s worst piece of captaincy by FAR. After that it was like Lyon was bowling the middle overs of an ODI. Fair enough if he´d gone for 50 off his first six overs, but not before he bowls. Added to that, Lyon has no experience in India and he was bowling to a strong middle order in their home conditions, of course he was going to get milked, when you put the field back even some of your good balls are going to get hit for ones and twos. He clearly got a lot better as the match went on, but again was not supported by his fielders.

I think the takeaway point from the last part is that the Aussies dropped their heads during the Dhoni Kumar partnership. Kumar should have been easily ran out as Dhoni ran through for his 200 after guiding the ball straight to gully. The throw went about 3 meters wide of Wade though!

Posted by karthik_raja on (February 28, 2013, 7:53 GMT)

Though I agree that India is beatable, the reasons given for the same are just stupid. Forget about Umpiring decisions, esp the marginal ones. They are part of the game. My advice to Aus, infact to any team is - Just play better cricket and you can definitely win. Have a plan and act accordingly. Just keeping simple will help any team to win over other. The reason Eng won here is that, they kept it simple. Played their best XI. Batted, Bowled, Fielded, Captained well. Ind lost the series coz, they complicated themselves. Though Dhoni is right in every aspect to ask for spinning pitch, bt he overdid it. They put pressure on themselves by preparing spinning pitch and picking 3 spinners for the match(thy have to win by big margin given the situation, anything less wud hv considered as "just ok"). Eng, on other hand picked perfect combo and played simple cricket pressure free. Same "pitch drama" in Kolkata and the series is lost. So, guyz just keep it simple and u will definitely succeed.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

2-days out from Hyderabad and the Australian Selectors haven't announced the team!!! At least they have learned one thing!!!

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (February 28, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

Good article by Coverdale. Our spinners need to improve. Often spinners are advantaged by the new ball as much as fast bowlers are. It's harder, gets higher bounce, has a better seam to grip and spin. Also it's a change, one the batsmen are accustomed to the old ball. That Chennai pitch has its bounce as a more difficult aspect than its turn, so I thought it was a good move to try the new ball and see if some would take off. In any case, it softens up again pretty quickly in those conditions. As for the batting Usman should be bought in sooner rather then later, he is a better pace player then spin but he has improved his spin playing alot under boof. @SG642 You're right that cricket is a funny game because before at least the first two (2) innings have occured (which to the uninitiated can be a long time!), it is difficult to say who is winning, compared with a game of football where it is just whoever is front.

Posted by ARad on (February 28, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

The author says that speed and consistency would work in India but then suggests Johnson should replace Starc. The unfortunate thing is, a. MJ is into his 30s now so I am not sure how consistent his speed will be given the Indian climate and b. consistency and Johnson are words that shd never be in the same sentence. I agree that Starc tried too many things but, given how early in the innings he started it (and Clarke's other shenanigans), this could be a team decision. He may have been given that role but sometimes you have to just play and stick to your strengths rather than try to be too cute... India is beatable indeed but among the ifs and buts, don't forget the reprieve gifted to Clarke by Dharmasena. The truth is, this is an underprepared Aussie team with not much experience AND a jaw-droppingly absurd pre-series SCHEDULING. A poor combination! As a cricket fan, I would love to see the Aussie media getting tough on CA rather than the players for this result. They deserve better.

Posted by Dashgar on (February 28, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

@Wood Dash E, what would Sunny Gavaskar know about Australian spin bowling? Lyon is clearly the best spin bowler since Warne, he's got an excellent record. Before this game he had a better record than Ashwin. The difference this game was that Lyon was the only spinner where Ashwin had 2 others to work with.

Posted by CricketFollowers on (February 28, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

I still believe the series is evenly poised till the third test match result. I dont think Australia need a big change at all, all they have to do is drop starc and bring one of the spinners. Australia is still a much competetive side and they have less problems compared to us. India didnt get a solid opening stand in the test matches for the last 2 years. We dont have bowlers who can threaten the batsmen(Zack was there for some period but he lost it in mid way). Bowling & opening batsmens are vulnerable in our side, Australia dont have a good batsmen(except Clarke) to play spinners so consider it even. This series will be very intersting as it goes on, love to see test matches like these. If India bats first then India will have a huge advantage so toss is very crucial for Aussies. One more important thing i noticed in the last test match is Gavaskar's unbiased commentary usually he will be very biased but he was not. GAME ON.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (February 28, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Brydon seems to have forgotten about the importance of openers against the India. India's weak link lies in its opening attack with the new ball. Warner is the key here. He needs to attack the new ball bowlers and look to score quick runs in first 20 overs. He has the ability to do that. Left hand openers have tendency to do well against India as shown by Cook and Hayden in the past. They will need big runs from Warner at fair clip. If he dominates new ball and get the Indian spinners in the game early when wicket is decent and ball is hard he can attack Aswin and Bhajji. Both the Indian offies have shown a tendency of trying too many things and experiment which are signings of impatience if attacked early in their spell. It will also bring the defensive captaincy from MSD who doesnt like his bowlers to leak runs. If Warner can produce hundreds in the forth coming tests he will make the job easy for Calrke and provide his bowlers with the cushion of runs on the board.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (February 28, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

The media givs so much hype and air to the pitch and spin-pace debate that the spectators also get involved in the same. Lets accept the fact that both teams are having problems. Australia do not have spinners and their batsmen have problems in playing against spin bowling. India, on the other hand, do not have quality pace bowlers, but at the same time they do not have quality spinners as well so they have to rely on pitches to give a fight

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

"Won a couple of line ball lbws" the outcome would have been different" .... And how about if the umpires wouldn't have missed the big inside edge off Clarke then aus may have out under 250

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

The difference between the two sides in the 1st test was definately MS Dhoni. Yes the spinners, especially R Ashwin, played a massive role for India, but let's note that despite that Australia still put up a 50 odd run lead for India to get in the 1st innings. Take away even 100 runs of Dhoni's innings, and the match would have been a much more interesting contest. So definately agree with many comments here that India must not underestimate this Australian team. Aussies need to play Mitchell Johnson instead of Peter Siddle IMO, since Starc still gives them the ability to utilise reverse swing and also bring the ball back into right handers (all but one Indian batsman is right handed). They also need to replace Ed Cowan with a middle order batsman and promote Watson to opener. Cowan is really only effective in conditions which require him to see off the new ball - which is not really the case in India.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (February 28, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

I think teams are evenly matched. Both teams having problems of its own. Though India won, but I would say we have more worries in the rank than Aussies. They just have selection problems and we have problem of resources. Openers are walking wicket. It would take some doing to face 150 bolts and these gentlemen would have problem if they would have been in form. So to make out anything when they are woefully short on form is hope against hope. And less said about our fast bowlers. Yep, Bhuvi can make an impact if there is some support in track. But that mean Aussie will be more dangerous. I am going to watch Saturday first day. So I wish India bat first. I can watch Patto bowling (will be a treat I reackon) and sure Sachin will be in batting in first half an hour and what more delight it could be to watch him bat with attitude he showed in first test.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

There is no doubt in my mind Nathan Hauritz is the best spinner in Australia. Just got 5 in a sheild match. Fly him over straight away. Just ask Sunny Gavaskar he will also tell you Hauritz is the best spinner in Australia.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (February 28, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

England succeeded in India because they wanted to!! They came to India much earlier and had as many as 3 practice matches. Once they lost in the first test match, they accepted the mistake and included Panesar in the team immediately. While Australians do not have as good spin options as England, there pace options are also very much limited. Pattinson had some success but by now indians would have learnt that he cant bowl longer spells, so if they can deny hima wkt for 4 overs, there job is done!

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

I agree totally. I dont buy the two spinner theory if the two spinners are not high quality. Australia"s problems though stemmed from neither Siddle or Staarc making inroads. Staarc looked more likely to get a wicket than Siddle who was just bowling line and length. Australia must play Johnson in the next game, he has something that the Indians respect if not fear. I think Australia goofed in trying to put their entire eggs on lbw or bowled which is ok, but they did not get a couple of decisions. Anderson got a few wickets in the slips and I really cant understand bowling without slips .People like Kohli however talented are susceptible there. Honestly it was a lot closer than I thought. Australia would do well to remember that this Indian side is vulnerable and in transition. They just need to believe in themselves and not look at the surface and lose their head as they did . One more thing Hughes looks lost, Khwaja must play. Ramanujam Sridhar

Posted by Webba84 on (February 28, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

@Edwards_Anderson Bird was in the squad but has now gone home injured. Kinda agree with the rest of them though.

Posted by here2rock on (February 28, 2013, 3:45 GMT)

Giving lessons is easy but following those lessons is a much harder task.

Posted by wix99 on (February 28, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

Mitchell Johnson should definitely replace Mitchell Starc in the next Test. When he is at his best Johnson can be a wicket taker like Pattinson was in the first Test. Australia should also consider whether one of Cowan or Hughes should make way for Usman Khawaja.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

"I don't know how can they take that decision on a track like Chennai to go with a single spinner look totally shocking! They must have learnt lesson from England but they have repeated the same mistake. Though a decent affort from their pacers to take majority of wickets on a slow and low track but they can't repeat the same mistake again coz the trap was all set and from our Pitch crazy Skipper they can't expect any mercy..Their spinners are not world class and that is what costing them the series. ....So they must go with proper team selection and if they don't wanna change any pace man they must make Hughes to sit out and make way for Doherty/Maxwell! "

Posted by Humdingers on (February 28, 2013, 2:14 GMT)

@Joseph Langford - well said mate.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2013, 1:56 GMT)

As an Aussie, I don't deny that the better team won on the day. However, I will say that India do look beatable for a drawn series or better. They are in much the same situation as our side with the retirement of a lot of greats and faith being put in a lot of promising youngsters. 380 was acknowledged as a great first innings score, then the Indian middle order all made runs, especially Dhoni, which totally took the game away. Going into the next match I would expect a bit more resistance up the top of the batting order and for the spinners to be more difficult to score from. It will be very interesting to see what changes are made to the lineup, the batting order and the playing style from here on.

Posted by thephill on (February 28, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

it is my understanding that watson will leave the tour after the 2nd test to attend the birth of his 1st child. If this is the case, surely he is able to bowl a few overs at some point. With his next test not until England some months away, it would be worth the risk of him picking up a strain to allow Aus to play 2 spinners, 2 quicks, and have himself and Moses blowing mediums.

Posted by Meety on (February 28, 2013, 1:03 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas on (February 27, 2013, 16:05 GMT) - on day 1, I thought the line-ball decisions were even, though I readily agreed that if I had the choice of a reprieve for Clarke or watto, I would take Clarke any day. Everything else is just supposition, yep maybe some decisons could of gone Oz way, but I guarantee if the Oz players are thinking that way - the series is lost. I think India cop a bit of the what-if, because they don't support UDRS. I really do believe in the whole, it takes the sting out of things. == == == The only thing I would add is - please ask the curator if he using any "selective watering" strategy - it might help with getting the right team selection!!!!!

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (February 28, 2013, 0:33 GMT)

We go on and on about players underperforming yet time and again our most proven performers are left out in the cold. Watson is significantly Australia's best opener yet he doesn't move to opener. Cowan can't keep scoring 30s and getting picked, we need our best openers and Watson and Warner are the best fit. Hauritz is our best spinner but once again gets left out, not only that, he bats well, fields well and a great team man, go figure? Then there's Jackson Bird, the shields best bowler two years running, yet can't get a go in the first test. Khawaja despite being one of the better young batsman in the longer format stays on the sidelines when Cowan continues to fail time after time. Need I go on? Just some frustrations which i hope are rectified.

Posted by Hippiantor on (February 28, 2013, 0:20 GMT)

@ Joseph Langford the job of an opener in India is not to see off the new ball, it is to dominate the new ball and get on top on the spinners early when they come on so that when the middle order comes in, the spinners are already a little demoralised. You only have to look at Shewag, Cook, and Hayden for examples. I'm pretty sure Hughes and Watson are not pleased when Cown comes off after 15 overs with a score of 30. A handy 30 from an opener is barely worth more than a hapeless 10.

Posted by xylo on (February 28, 2013, 0:07 GMT)

I believe Lyon bowled just like how Ashwin bowled against England in the previous series.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 23:39 GMT)

"in the tour match against India A, Lyon was more economical than Xavier Doherty." and isn't that frightening? no wonder Virat Kohli was disappointed that he wasn't selected.... based on recent form I would pick Glenn Maxwell if Auustralia have to pick two spinners... he will at least offer something with the bat....

Posted by bookie7600 on (February 27, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

I think the Aussies won't be able to turn it around in the 2nd test as well- Reason being Indians now know that Pattinson is the biggest threat in the fast bowling dept but he doesn't bowl more than 3-4 over spells (max 6). I am pretty sure the wise heads will work this out and deny Pattinson any wickets in the coming games. It's all down-hill for Australia from here on.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 23:11 GMT)

English spinners have done well in India in the last decade not by having an arsenal of doosras, mystery balls or the like but by being economical. Swann is a world class spinner but lessons can be learned from the miserly Ashley Giles frustrating Tendulkar and hardly giving anything away. Lyon and Doherty should just concentrate on that aspect of the game and wickets will come for them.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 27, 2013, 22:59 GMT)

You Indian fans have completely misread the last point, all it says is Australia were still in the game at tea on the 3rd day - before Dhoni teared it apart. If they took a catch at this time that they dropped it was game on. It is not a point looking at the umpiring and chances as a whole. Just saying if your in the game at this point then India is beatable.

Posted by Cracksquad on (February 27, 2013, 21:49 GMT)

Australia don't have a batsman of Cook's ability Laligam? Oh that's cute. You may have heard of a player called Michael Clarke though. He has scored more runs than Cook despite having played fewer innings. Has a higher strike rate. Higher average. Higher conversion rate of 100 vs 50's. Actually he is better than Cook in every single category in cricket. Whilst Cook is a great batsman also, Clarke is simply a better batsman than Cook.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 21:09 GMT)

5. Australia is Beatable

Australia's winning performance over the past 2-years has been based around preparing fast, bouncing pitches at home for touring teams from the sub-continent that produced results in less than 3-days.

Other than a nice win in SL in SL, they had a lucky win against WI, very lucky draw against SA, lost against SA and drew to NZ at home. In the last mentioned series a certain player made a century in the 1st Test, that they won, after being dropped twice and bowled on a no ball.

Posted by Moppa on (February 27, 2013, 21:07 GMT)

I would have thought the number 1 lesson was "Batsmen who can't play spin well won't succeed in India". Can anyone see any of Watson, Warner, Cowan, Hughes or Wade averaging more than 30 for the series?

Posted by pat_one_back on (February 27, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

Agree in most part with what's been shared, Aust wasted starts, missed opportunities and lacked discipline, particularly Lyon who served up way too many pies and lacked variation. Rub of the green was also a big factor here, I've never seen such lopsided LBW decisioning, one-by-one there were no real howlers but overall the stats reveal imbalance in favour.

Posted by landl47 on (February 27, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

The article doesn't mention the biggest lesson which SHOULD have been learned- in India you need more than one spinner. England lost the first test playing one spinner, learned the lesson and won the series. Australia, even with the clear example England gave them, went with 4 seamers, and 3 of them took 2 wickets between them. If Aus doesn't learn that lesson then they are going to have a real struggle on their hands. Doherty might not be the best SLA in the world, but neither is Jadeja and he got 5 wickets in the first test and made Ashwin more effective.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

4. To win a Test you must select a Team that can take 20-wickets

Australia is one down in the series and people complain about Lyon. But let's face reality, he is the best that we have in India. If it wasn't for Wade he would have taken more wickets against SA, against SL and against India. In fact he could have been the second highest wicket taking spinner in the 1st Test if Australia had a quality Keeper.

Now people want another spinner ….. but in reality there is no other spinner. Maxwell and Smith were selected for defence if we won an early Test. The only real spinners that Australia has are in Australia. No point blaming the selectors now.

Now Johnson has to come in and, if Bird was uninjured, I would drop Lyon (because Wade is Keeper) and would go a 5-man pace bowling attack. I would tell Clarke that he had to bowl and I would tell Warner that he would have to bowl over the wicket.

Doherty will probably be selected but will this enable Australia to take 20 Wickets??

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

3. A handy 30 is better than hapless 10

It is so nice that you forgot to mention Hughes and Wade in this part of your story.

I am old school …. the primary job of the opener is to see off the new ball to make it easier for the lower order …. Cowan is doing his primary job. I am quite certain that Hughes and Clarke will be most appreciative if, every time he bats in England, he walks off the grounds after 20-overs with a score of 30.

Would I like to see him score more?? Of course, but unfortunately he doesn't appear to get one, two or three chances that are afforded to other players and I am quite certain that if he was, he too would have an average over 50. You mention how Clarke got out knowing "that an even bigger innings was there for the taking." Clarke was caught on 39 and given not out and was dropped again only 4-overs prior to his wicket falling. Damn it …. Quiney would probably still be in the team if he had some player's luck.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

2. Quality Pace must be Bowled and Supported

By the end of the 6th over in the 1st Innings the score was 2/12 and Pattinson had claimed 2-wickets, yet the field was reduced from two slips to one slip and he wasn't bowled again for more than 20-overs when he was given no slips. Despite being the only wicket taker for the day he was only allowed to bowl 6-overs.

It became evident the following day that the excuses about his underuse were false as he was used in longer and more frequent spells on Day 3.

The only reason that I could see that this occurring was due to someone thinking that the game was in the bag, someone had scored a century and someone wanted to shore-up the MOTM by trying to spread the wickets. If anyone can think of another reason I am willing to hear it!!!

Posted by sk12 on (February 27, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

@ Most complaining about the last point - This is an article for the Aussies, how they can improve and build confidence. This is NOT an excuse for why they lost the game. It merely states that all is not lost for their team, the match was closer than the result suggests and they need just a little bit of luck to turn things around - kinda morale booster. No need to play spoil-sport here.

Posted by Peterincanada on (February 27, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

Ganeshram and Davo have it absolutely right. It was not about the umpires but about Dhoni with support from Kumar that changed the game. It went from being even to a huge Indian lead. That meant Oz was cooked unless they got 400 in the second innings. That was never going to happen so that was that.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

1. Don't take a Keeper to India who can't manage Spin

Wade showed throughout 2012-13 that he can't keep spin bowling, dropped catches, missed stumpings and was sometimes slow to get up to the stumps. Often too busy getting close to the Captain at 1st Slip than doing his job. While I agreed with others that his performance improved in the shorter versions of the game, I also noted that the test environment was different ("looking good in a ODI or T20 is a lot different than looking good in a 120 over innings. I guess that we will have to wait until the end of the series" Cricinfo : Wade to Captain Australians in tour-opener).

As an aside, if the Australian Selectors are going to continue with Wade …. which they will …. they must invest in some body armour for his chest that he can wear under his shirt. A ball coming through and hitting his chest could easily break a rib or crack his sternum. The armour will reduce the impact and injury, which may allow him to catch the rebound.

Posted by mzm149 on (February 27, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

I agree that Watson should not be bowling 15-20 overs in an innings because he is injury prone. But giving him an over or two at the time when wicket is not falling will definitely help. He always gives you breakthroughs at crucial time and he is usually handy on subcontinent pitches. Bringing Johnson in place of Starc/ Siddle will also help.

Posted by yogi.s on (February 27, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

I do agree that india are beatable but the reasons given are silly if we are talking about ifs and buts then leave alone the line lbw decisions that didn't go australia's way how about when clarke knocked the cover of the ball on 39 in the first innings and not given out? The reason Australia lost is because their fast bowlers were wayward bowling too many on the pads and even full tosses in a test match and their spinner as you mentioned in the article was inconsistent and leaking runs. Yes the pitch was unhelpful to the pacers but it is no excuse for not being able to maintain a line and length and put pressure even though india were 12 for 2 in the first innings. I'm sure Australia will make a comeback because clarke was not brooding over the line calls and ifs and buts , but accepted they didn't play to their best which is the correct assessment.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (February 27, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

Sachin will score at least 400 as AUS is his favorite opposition both at home and away

Posted by PPD123 on (February 27, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

Good summary by Coverdale. I would slightly differ on the last point. I think if we are talking about slice of luck/line ball decisions, then I think Aus got more in their favour than Ind. Also to add the howler of Clarke (which helped Aus get respectibility in their 1st Inngs). Having said that, I agree, Ind is beatable - Eng just showed that - & especially since Ind is not the team that it was during the past decade.Eng showed, that the way to winning test matches is having a upper hand in the 1st inng. In India, the 2nd Inng (for both sides) is very tricky. Hence if you have a significant 1st inngs lead, it more often than not leads to a win, Unless you are tallking about Kolkata 2001, but again there it took some out of the world batting by Laxman & Dravid and top class bowling by Bhajji to win Ind that match. Clarke needs to make sure that the team bats well in the 1st inngs and then take it up from there. Aus can make a comeback, they just need to look at what eng did recently

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

India will win the series if they drop some useless players such as Murali Vijay, Ishant, an d Harbajan Singh. Aussies can win the series thro a miracle,but they do not have the bowling attack that Emgland had, nor a Batsman of Cook's ability. Their score would have been less than 200in the first innings if the DRS system was in place. Many lbw decisions were not given. The pitch turned out to be a good test wicket.

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

Given what happened to Bird without him even playing, what are the odds on Pattinson and Starc not being fit for Mohali? Better rotate them now by having tough nuts like Siddle and Johnson play in Hyderabad, then revert to 3 quicks for the 3rd test. I'm not exactly suggesting we play for a draw (that way one always loses), but keep trying to get the combinations right by exposing players to these conditions. The NSP should have the insight to see some of their mistakes, such as sticking to Wade with turners. Where is the second wk? Rectify this by replacing Bird with Haddin (I'd prefer Paine, but I could live with Haddin). Just before the squad was announced we heard that he was a sure thing and then he was omitted. It's that lind of selectorial inconsistency that we fans can't stomach from NSP. My guess they took Smith along ahead of others like Ferguson and Doolan because he had some experience. Well back him now or why take him as the extra bat? Same with Maxwell imo quite useless

Posted by ganeshram78 on (February 27, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

forget the impact created by dhoni, the indian spinners and aussie batsmen in the 2nd innings and everything else...i think if aussies had got out bhuvnesh kumar early at around 425 instead of letting him put on a 100 odd run partnership and the lead had been restricted to 75, then the match could have been different... mind you, aussies scored 225 in the second innings, a very respectable score... i think india would have struggled to score 175 in the last innings.

Posted by blink182alex on (February 27, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

People need to stop going on about Clarke getting away with one in the first innings, have a look at his dismissal in the 2nd innings, if you watch it very closely and pause at the moment of impact he is struck outside the line and is playing a shot = not out (although i don't blame the umpire as it just looked out).

I don't think the Indian spinners are to happy about not having DRS as they would get more wickets, but then Sachin doesn't like it, so they do what Sachin wants.

Posted by Ben_Dubai on (February 27, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

Good assesment, but i would still prefer , australia taking in one more spinner and resting either starc or siddle.... let henriques and shane watson take theextra burden of fast bowlers,then u have two spinners, also clarke inbetween, and two pacers and two medium pacers.... pure mistake in the first test not to have a genuine spinner.... as it would have given lyon some space to breathe,,, as it could have worked miracle to the other spinner... both spinners cant go bad on those type of pitchees,,, if one spinner was nto havoing a good day, definately somebody else would have improvised......

Posted by gsingh7 on (February 27, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

"Had Australia held a few difficult chances or won a couple of line-ball lbw decisions, the outcome could have been very different. " if u replace aus with india here than match wud have been lopsided with aus having 2 extra days" rest"

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Whatever happened to that guy Nathan Hauritz ? Last time he played against us (WI) he looked good. Lyon to me looks very poor for a frontline spinner. Best you guys play a batsman who can bowl offies.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 27, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

Bryan, that was a pretty fair assessment on the whole. BUT, forget about wishing for the line-calls to go to the Aussies, they got a decisive howler in their favour (umpire was at fault. It's not Clarke's problem). Don't you think you are being too greedy in that last part? Even with the help of a critical howler, Aussies lost. Had some line-calls gone in India's favour along with that howler, match would have been done and dusted in 3 days, which means, line calls staying where they are for both the teams and still keeping the howler in Aussies favour, it should be clear that the better team has won, as Clarke put it beautifully. That's how Aussies should be looking at this. And there is a tremendous scope for improvement. But yes, Aussies still could have won in a different way - if Statchin failed as he used to, if Dhoni failed as he used to and Ashwin experimented as is his wont. I'm worried that our team will go back to its old ways sometime during this series.

Posted by Davo234 on (February 27, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

On the last point, he's not saying Aus were unlucky with the line ball lbws, only that Aus were still genuinely in the game at tea on day 3. Dhoni and Kohli took the game away at that point - but a couple of quick wickets and Aus might've been able to set India a decent total on a wearing day 5 pitch.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 27, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

India have fiive utterly useless players in their team Vijay, Sehwag (current version), Harbhajan (current version), Jadeja and Ishant. Tendulkar will probably fail much more than he will succeed. Dhoni is headstrong about not playing Ojha (even though he is by far India's best spinner) and blind to India's several weaknesses. So, replace Cowan, Hughes and Wade with batsman like Dave Hussey, Brad Hodge and Tim Paine and bring in the second spinner and Australia can win the series.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

4 out of 5, for the article.

The only point that the author missed was reserved to the end. The only way aussies can beat india in india is by travelling back in time. If you leave henriques and pattinson, the current aussie team played as if they were a high school team. I like the way the author had tried to portray that aussies were in good shape using clever word play. Barring 2 sessions on the first day and part of the third session on the 4th day, aussies never had a chance. 10 out of 13 were not in favor. this ratio cannot be an argument for stating that india are beatable. (i am consciously leaving the session in which pattinson took the first two wickets of india's first innings primarily because the bowling attack was effective only for those 3 overs.)

aussies had definitely reviewed the recent india-england series correctly. They thought that india beat eng.

Posted by hnlns on (February 27, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

I think the author has got it right on the first 4 points; however, regarding the last point, depending on getting correct umpiring decisions most of the time or taking all half chances sounds a bit too ambitious or optimistic. Every team has its share of good luck and bad luck in this game, so this has to be discounted. My conclusion is that MS Dhoni's innings took the match too far away from Aussies and they could not regain lost ground thereafter.

Posted by kitten on (February 27, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Brydon Coverdale,'Had Australia held a few difficult chances or won a couple of line-ball lbw decisions, the outcome could have been very different'. If Clarke was given out caught off bat and pad, like he should have much earlier in his innings, the game would have been over in three days!! Enough said. I am surprised at some of these statements, because in all fairness, India also did not get a lot of lbw decisions which looked plumb, so there you are. It was fair for both sides, and the better side won.

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 27, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

the Portuguese born henriques was a breath of fresh air for the aussies. his bowling was so so. but his batting in both innings wasvery good. i have mentioned that watson and warner are good short form cricketers i have said this for over a year they are not test match batsmen, watson when he bowls is worth his spot but bat at 6 the other guy thinks if he can hit the ball like he does in T20 / odi. they should look at moses to see how you play test match cricket. joe root when you see him play T20 odis and test cricket he has a game for each mode, the guy only a just gone 22 years of age. so CC must be doing something right, and if you answer this post please tell me who are these guys. with the ipl and the bb seeming to take over the cricketers longer cricketing ability.

Posted by vumpire-republic on (February 27, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

Just on the last point of the piece - what makes this series fascinating is that both teams look beatable as both have vulnerabilities. And India too missed opportunities in this game - they dropped 2 relatively simple catches (Clarke in the 2nd dig and Warner in the 1st one), and missed a run-out of Moises on 0. They too need to tighten their game to keep winning against Australia, who will have taken plenty of lessons from the 1st Test. India also have to hope that Clarke's luck runs out, if not his exceptional form - the Aussie skipper got 3 lucky reprieves from the umpires in this game (bat-pad catch on day 1, and then 2 lbws on day 4).

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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.
Tour Results
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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