India v Australia, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 2nd day March 3, 2013

Muddled choices lead to day of chaos

Besides their patience and ability, what helped Cheteshwar Pujara and M Vijay, was the bowling group chosen by Australia's selectors which did not appear to be the kind of attack that could roll India twice.
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To paraphrase Glenn Maxwell's namesake Maxwell Smart: India, at this very moment you are surrounded by a crack five-man team of highly-trained spinners and quicks who make Dennis Lillee and Shane Warne look amateur. No? Would you believe a solid four-man attack with proven first-class records? How about two wearying fast bowlers, a one-day specialist and a couple of batting allrounders? With a bowling line-up like that, it is hardly surprising that chaos, if not KAOS, prevailed on the second day in Hyderabad.

But first, respect where it is due. Cheteshwar Pujara and M Vijay batted superbly in compiling a 294-run stand, an Indian second-wicket record against Australia. In the first session, they were patient and added only 49 runs. They assessed the conditions and took their time. After lunch they more than doubled their rate and scored another 106. They were used to the pitch and the bowling. After tea they upped the ante further and put on 151. It was textbook Test-match batting.

Besides their patience and ability, two other factors helped Pujara and Vijay in their near full-day partnership. One was the failure of Australia's top-order batsmen, who gave the bowlers nothing to work with. Secondly, the bowling group did not appear at the toss to be the kind of attack that could roll India twice. After two days, it looked like they would struggle to do it once. Reassessing the bowling line-up after the loss in Chennai was natural, but the five-man attack assembled for this match seemed the result of confused thinking.

Certainly Nathan Lyon had to find a way to be more economical but it is important to remember that apart from the thrashing that MS Dhoni dealt out, perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, Lyon did some good things in Chennai. He ripped an offbreak through the gate to bowl Sachin Tendulkar and got rid of Virat Kohli and R Ashwin, and then deceived Virender Sehwag in the second innings. He was far, far too expensive but there was a base there to work from.


Mitchell Starc offered less in the first Test and it was not a surprise that he was left out. But they were replaced by Xavier Doherty, who played two Tests in the 2010-11 Ashes series for figures of 3 for 306, and Glenn Maxwell, who is gradually developing as an offspinner but whose batting is his strength. It meant that Moises Henriques, the allrounder who batted so well in Chennai, suddenly became the third frontline seamer behind Peter Siddle and James Pattinson.

John Inverarity, the national selector, has made no secret of his desire to choose what he calls multi-skilled cricketers. There is merit in the idea if it means asking the batsmen to work on their bowling, or the tail-enders to get their batting up to scratch. But a jack of all trades, master of none is a luxury and surely no more than one can be squeezed into a Test team. After his work in Chennai, that had to be Henriques as a No.7 and fifth bowler.

Maxwell is a supremely talented cricketer but giving him a baggy green this early in his career was a gamble. After two days in Hyderabad, it had not paid off with bat or ball. Anyone coming in at No.8 in a Test line-up should be either the wicketkeeper or a frontline bowler and Maxwell's offspin is no more than handy. His selection was reminiscent of the inclusion of Cameron White as a No.8 batsman and legspinner in India in 2008, a mistake that Andrew Hilditch's panel sustained for four Tests.

On his first day of Test bowling, Maxwell started with a maiden as the Indian batsmen surveyed him. Evidently they liked what they saw. Once they realised he had no real tricks, they pounced. They drove him through off, flicked him with the spin, worked him through gaps. It all built up to Vijay and Pujara taking 15 runs off Maxwell's tenth over, leaving him with figures of 0 for 55 from ten overs at stumps.

Doherty at least was reasonably economical. He finished the day with 0 for 85 from 26 overs and created the occasional nervous moment when a ball ripped and turned past the edge. They were few and far between, and apart from a Vijay steer that clipped the hands of Michael Clarke at slip, no other opportunities were created. While he didn't leak the kind of runs Lyon did in Chennai, Doherty was easily milked for ones and twos.

After play, the coach Mickey Arthur explained the selection of Doherty for this tour by saying that he had bowled well in the ODIs that preceded the squad announcement. Leaving aside the fact that the selectors didn't even bother including him for four of the one-dayers against West Indies, it was a flawed concept. They chose a one-day bowler and they got a one-day bowler. Except that in limited-overs cricket a batsman is eventually made to take risks.

In this Test, Doherty bowled in his usual one-day style - full and straight and forcing the batsmen to play - but there was no pressure on Vijay and Pujara to force the issue. They could milk him for as long as they wanted and then put away the bad balls. It was the same problem Doherty faced in his previous Test incarnation. To be a serious threat he had to spin more deliveries, really rip them, and create some doubt in the batsmen's minds.

But it was all too easy for Pujara and Vijay. In the first session the fast bowlers provided a few challenges and found some swing. Pattinson tailed in a couple of yorkers and Siddle got the odd ball to move away, as did Henriques. But once those dangers were negotiated and the fast men tired, Australia needed more from the spinners.

That India scored 306 runs for the loss of only one wicket in a day's play was not the fault of Doherty or Maxwell. They were thrust into a situation for which they were not equipped. It is easy to feel sorry for Doherty, for he is a fine one-day bowler. Last time he played Test cricket, against England in Adelaide in 2010, he was part of an attack that let England score 316 in a day for the loss of only two wickets. Australia lost by an innings and their series never recovered.

Inverarity, Arthur and Clarke must hope the same does not happen this time. Inverarity, a former teacher, is quickly learning that selection is not as easy as it once seemed. At the start of his tenure everything turned to gold. Not any more. Chaos has crept in where control should rule. Sorry about that, chief.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Blokker on March 4, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    Sad to say, I'm actually losing a bit of interest in cricket after this Australian summer, and I've been a huge fan since I was a kid following Ian Redpath, Stackie, Dougie Walters and the like. I remember jumping the fence and patting Redpath on his sweaty the back at the SCG after he made a hundred for Victoria. But these current Aussie selectors are making me question my devotion to my favourite sport. Dropping players on a whim in all forms of the game can only destroy the confidence of this generation of Australian cricketers. It's hard to tell how much damage they've already done, but it must be substantial. You can see in the players' demeanour, they have no self-belief because they have no idea whether they'll be on the field for the next game. From a fan's point of view, it is simply infuriating watching cricket and seeing a different XI every time a team takes the field. Give players a chance, and give the fans a team to support, and not a nebulous 'squad'.

  • m0se on March 4, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    The selection logic is very simple.

    1. Doherty was selected because India batting is mostly right handers (except Jadeja). 2. Maxwell was chosen so that they had a 2nd spin option. Also, Clarke's insistence on batting at no. 5 meant that they had to make the middle order larger. Warner and Watson should open. Clarke No. 3.

  • jmcilhinney on March 4, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Doherty actually produced a second chance in the second last over of the day when he found Pujara's edge, only to see what would have been an easy catch for Clarke at first slip deflect over him off Wade's knee. It's debatable whether that would have happened if Wade hadn't lifted his foot but it was just rubbing salt into the wounds for a demoralised Australia that dearly would have loved to finish with a wicket. Did Doherty do any better than Lyon? He was more economical but he hasn't bowled to Dhoni yet, plus he's taken no wickets so far. If Doherty does no better than Lyon then what does that mean for the third Test? Will Maxwell be replaced by Smith for the third Test if he doesn't fire with the bat in the second innings? Presumably they'd only bring in a leggie if the other spinner was an offie. Maybe leave out Doherty and play Maxwell and Smith?! It's also worth noting that Pattinson, who looked good in the first Test, has not really been menacing here either.

  • ygkd on March 4, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    Australia has problems. If you were to write a book about a cricket team where the captain won't bat where he should, the prime all-rounder can no longer bowl, the spinners don't turn it, the gloveman can't keep up to the stumps and the batting is studded with short-form specialists in a long-form game in the sub-continent, you wouldn't give it a happy ending. Nor would you give it a close one like the Madras tied Test of '86. That team was Marsh, Boon, Jones, Border, S. Waugh, Ritchie, Matthews, Zoehrer, Bright, McDermott & Reid. The only one in the XI today who could've reasonably made that team in my opinion is Clarke and that'd have been in place of Ritchie. One can also notice the absence of M. Waugh in that XI, whose inclusion may have made it better still. Though it was better than today's XI it was not then number one in the world or even number two. It was, however, a team on the way up. Today's XI clearly isn't trending upwards, though some still cling to the idea that it is.

  • on March 4, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    As well as incompetent spinners, Australia's batsmen are also turning out to be disappointing. The openers are ordinary to say the least, Phil Hughes seems all at see facing spin playing from the crease without moving his feet, and Watson is turning out to be a very overrated player. I think either Hughes or Watson needs to make way for Kwahaja - I lean to replacing Hughes. Why is Clarke coming in at 5? He at least needs to step up to number 4, and Watson needs to finally take on some responsibility of being a senior player. I also personally would have taken Haddin on this tour - he is a better keeper than Wade and also is a good batsman against spin - we could also do with his experience. I am not convinced that his career is over and that Wade is the keeper for Australia's future. I agree also that Mitchell Johnson should play as he could make life more uncomfortable for the Indian batsmen - it is a risk worth taking as he can also leak runs but we need to bowl India out.

  • mike_b on March 3, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    A Test player MUST be able to hold a spot for one skill only.He must be a top 6 bat,be a top 4 bowler or wicketkeep to test level.Any other skill is a bonus.If Maxwell isn't seen as good enough to bat top 6 or bowl top 4,then why is he there?This shows Arthur & Invers' penchant for bits & pieces players.These players are great in ODI orTwenty20 but their lack of a specialist skill gets shown at test level.O'Donnell was a good example.A sensation at ODI (& would've been at Twenty20) but wasn't good enough to bat top 6 or bowl top 4 in tests.A batting allrounder bats top 6 and provides a great 5th bowling option(Watson-when fit,Kallis),a bowling allrounder bowls top 4 & scores regular lower order runs at 7or8(Pollock,Kapil Dev)-so which is Maxwell?Moises has done so well BUT he needs to be told what his primary skill is viewed as.The total allrounder is a rare beast & cricket has seen only a few (Sobers,Miller)They're to be savoured not manufactured.Axeing Lyon for Maxwell was naive.

  • ygkd on March 5, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    I was in my twenties at the time of the tied Madras Test in 1986 & I remember the era well. Cricket was strong. The WIndies were a force. Pakistan & NZ were also stronger than today. Australia was better too (M. Waugh spent rather too long unselected, so long they called him "Afghanistan - the forgotten Waugh"). South Africa may have been as good as even now (if it hadn't been for the Apartheid ban). England were probably of similar strength to now and India were no easy-beats, especially at home. Gavaskar, Srikkanth, M. Armanath, Azharuddin, Shastri, Pandit, Kapil Dev, More, Chetan Sharma, Yadav & Maninder Singh equalled a pretty fair team. So, I think there is reason to say that it is doubtful the current Australian XI would have drawn that Test without Clarke making a truckload, or would've tied it without a helpful declaration from the other side. And I don't think there's currently another young Mark Waugh sitting on the sidelines waiting his turn. But there are some alternatives.

  • Sunil_Batra on March 4, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Usman Koala Khawaja, get him in for the third test

  • Paul_Rampley on March 4, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    @MrKricket surely Khawaja hasn't had a real crack yet, he has had 1-2 games at most at one time. He has to come in for the second test and no he won't be our saviour but he is a proper test batsman who can support Clarke but its up to the other guys to stand up as well. Batting wise, Clarke is batting so well you could never drop him (move to three please) and Wade is doing enough to hold his spot

  • andrew-schulz on March 4, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Ygkd, Mark Waugh was more than four years away from the Australian Test side at that time , so I don't know why he gets a mention as an omission. But you raise an interesting point re a combined side. You just couldn't pick Ray Bright, could you? Watson would have to be selected-I'd say as an opener- much better Test record than Marsh. And I could not bring myself to pick Zoehrer, so Wade gets in totally by default. And yeah, McDermott and Reid would have to get in, but I think Pattinson might also make it. So the current side should get about half the representation. And despite your comments, they are ranked much higher than the 1986 side was. Chris p. Doherty has not played a shield match at the SCG for over two years. Maxwell played there this summer, and bowled 27 overs and took 2 for 62. From what I remember, he was pretty unlucky not to get more. He certainly was not dealt with easily. In general I am glad the selectors are picking the side and not

  • Blokker on March 4, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    Sad to say, I'm actually losing a bit of interest in cricket after this Australian summer, and I've been a huge fan since I was a kid following Ian Redpath, Stackie, Dougie Walters and the like. I remember jumping the fence and patting Redpath on his sweaty the back at the SCG after he made a hundred for Victoria. But these current Aussie selectors are making me question my devotion to my favourite sport. Dropping players on a whim in all forms of the game can only destroy the confidence of this generation of Australian cricketers. It's hard to tell how much damage they've already done, but it must be substantial. You can see in the players' demeanour, they have no self-belief because they have no idea whether they'll be on the field for the next game. From a fan's point of view, it is simply infuriating watching cricket and seeing a different XI every time a team takes the field. Give players a chance, and give the fans a team to support, and not a nebulous 'squad'.

  • m0se on March 4, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    The selection logic is very simple.

    1. Doherty was selected because India batting is mostly right handers (except Jadeja). 2. Maxwell was chosen so that they had a 2nd spin option. Also, Clarke's insistence on batting at no. 5 meant that they had to make the middle order larger. Warner and Watson should open. Clarke No. 3.

  • jmcilhinney on March 4, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Doherty actually produced a second chance in the second last over of the day when he found Pujara's edge, only to see what would have been an easy catch for Clarke at first slip deflect over him off Wade's knee. It's debatable whether that would have happened if Wade hadn't lifted his foot but it was just rubbing salt into the wounds for a demoralised Australia that dearly would have loved to finish with a wicket. Did Doherty do any better than Lyon? He was more economical but he hasn't bowled to Dhoni yet, plus he's taken no wickets so far. If Doherty does no better than Lyon then what does that mean for the third Test? Will Maxwell be replaced by Smith for the third Test if he doesn't fire with the bat in the second innings? Presumably they'd only bring in a leggie if the other spinner was an offie. Maybe leave out Doherty and play Maxwell and Smith?! It's also worth noting that Pattinson, who looked good in the first Test, has not really been menacing here either.

  • ygkd on March 4, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    Australia has problems. If you were to write a book about a cricket team where the captain won't bat where he should, the prime all-rounder can no longer bowl, the spinners don't turn it, the gloveman can't keep up to the stumps and the batting is studded with short-form specialists in a long-form game in the sub-continent, you wouldn't give it a happy ending. Nor would you give it a close one like the Madras tied Test of '86. That team was Marsh, Boon, Jones, Border, S. Waugh, Ritchie, Matthews, Zoehrer, Bright, McDermott & Reid. The only one in the XI today who could've reasonably made that team in my opinion is Clarke and that'd have been in place of Ritchie. One can also notice the absence of M. Waugh in that XI, whose inclusion may have made it better still. Though it was better than today's XI it was not then number one in the world or even number two. It was, however, a team on the way up. Today's XI clearly isn't trending upwards, though some still cling to the idea that it is.

  • on March 4, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    As well as incompetent spinners, Australia's batsmen are also turning out to be disappointing. The openers are ordinary to say the least, Phil Hughes seems all at see facing spin playing from the crease without moving his feet, and Watson is turning out to be a very overrated player. I think either Hughes or Watson needs to make way for Kwahaja - I lean to replacing Hughes. Why is Clarke coming in at 5? He at least needs to step up to number 4, and Watson needs to finally take on some responsibility of being a senior player. I also personally would have taken Haddin on this tour - he is a better keeper than Wade and also is a good batsman against spin - we could also do with his experience. I am not convinced that his career is over and that Wade is the keeper for Australia's future. I agree also that Mitchell Johnson should play as he could make life more uncomfortable for the Indian batsmen - it is a risk worth taking as he can also leak runs but we need to bowl India out.

  • mike_b on March 3, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    A Test player MUST be able to hold a spot for one skill only.He must be a top 6 bat,be a top 4 bowler or wicketkeep to test level.Any other skill is a bonus.If Maxwell isn't seen as good enough to bat top 6 or bowl top 4,then why is he there?This shows Arthur & Invers' penchant for bits & pieces players.These players are great in ODI orTwenty20 but their lack of a specialist skill gets shown at test level.O'Donnell was a good example.A sensation at ODI (& would've been at Twenty20) but wasn't good enough to bat top 6 or bowl top 4 in tests.A batting allrounder bats top 6 and provides a great 5th bowling option(Watson-when fit,Kallis),a bowling allrounder bowls top 4 & scores regular lower order runs at 7or8(Pollock,Kapil Dev)-so which is Maxwell?Moises has done so well BUT he needs to be told what his primary skill is viewed as.The total allrounder is a rare beast & cricket has seen only a few (Sobers,Miller)They're to be savoured not manufactured.Axeing Lyon for Maxwell was naive.

  • ygkd on March 5, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    I was in my twenties at the time of the tied Madras Test in 1986 & I remember the era well. Cricket was strong. The WIndies were a force. Pakistan & NZ were also stronger than today. Australia was better too (M. Waugh spent rather too long unselected, so long they called him "Afghanistan - the forgotten Waugh"). South Africa may have been as good as even now (if it hadn't been for the Apartheid ban). England were probably of similar strength to now and India were no easy-beats, especially at home. Gavaskar, Srikkanth, M. Armanath, Azharuddin, Shastri, Pandit, Kapil Dev, More, Chetan Sharma, Yadav & Maninder Singh equalled a pretty fair team. So, I think there is reason to say that it is doubtful the current Australian XI would have drawn that Test without Clarke making a truckload, or would've tied it without a helpful declaration from the other side. And I don't think there's currently another young Mark Waugh sitting on the sidelines waiting his turn. But there are some alternatives.

  • Sunil_Batra on March 4, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Usman Koala Khawaja, get him in for the third test

  • Paul_Rampley on March 4, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    @MrKricket surely Khawaja hasn't had a real crack yet, he has had 1-2 games at most at one time. He has to come in for the second test and no he won't be our saviour but he is a proper test batsman who can support Clarke but its up to the other guys to stand up as well. Batting wise, Clarke is batting so well you could never drop him (move to three please) and Wade is doing enough to hold his spot

  • andrew-schulz on March 4, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Ygkd, Mark Waugh was more than four years away from the Australian Test side at that time , so I don't know why he gets a mention as an omission. But you raise an interesting point re a combined side. You just couldn't pick Ray Bright, could you? Watson would have to be selected-I'd say as an opener- much better Test record than Marsh. And I could not bring myself to pick Zoehrer, so Wade gets in totally by default. And yeah, McDermott and Reid would have to get in, but I think Pattinson might also make it. So the current side should get about half the representation. And despite your comments, they are ranked much higher than the 1986 side was. Chris p. Doherty has not played a shield match at the SCG for over two years. Maxwell played there this summer, and bowled 27 overs and took 2 for 62. From what I remember, he was pretty unlucky not to get more. He certainly was not dealt with easily. In general I am glad the selectors are picking the side and not

  • Clyde on March 4, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Surely Arthur did not imagine one-day performance had anything to do with Test ability. I hope not.

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 4, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    One thing the author has forgotten to mention was the ability of the players to 'grind the opposition'. Thats what Cook did through out India series (and in Ashes 2010)and it paid off. I would be more interested in the second innings reply from cowan and watson. Some Aussie fans even blamed this pitch because it was not offering the bounce that watson had expected when he tried to smash the ball over mid wicket but failed to connect and got out lbw. Sure he knew this was coming and there is no need to play such kind of shots. Cowans case is even interesting. Before the start of the series he stated he would play aggressively against spin.He was dancing down the wicket in chennai and repeatedly got beaten and did not get a chance to face spin. What a contrasting openers we have seen from two oppositions.

  • Theredbaron on March 4, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    Why did Clarke declare on day one, stinks of Aussie arrogance. India now only need 19 wickets to thump this pathetic club side

  • WakeyLee on March 4, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Wow, a bloke with FC bowling average of 45 and a lower order batsman who bowls a bit of step and fetch it, the Aussie spin cupboard is embarrassingly bare. Spin bowling aside the Aussies are being let down by a crazy selection policy, there must be only a handful of players left in Aussie domestic cricket not to have an international cap in the last 2 years!

  • Wozza-CY on March 4, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Our younger batsman were always going to struggle with the Indian conditions, this goes with such foreign conditions. There are several factors that add to Oz's woes 1) Shane Watson is not a test batsman, he is an allrounder who now doesn't bowl 2) Johnson is our most experienced and effective paceman in this squad in these conditions who has not been selected yet 3) The most consistent spinner in our 1st class comp didn't get selected for this tour (O'Keefe) Other questions, Henriques has a higher 1st class batting avg than Wade....so why does he come in behind him? Gilchrist was kept at no7 for most of his career, so why does Wade bat at 6....is he better than Gilly?

  • RightArmEverything on March 4, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Have to agree with Brydon, Maxwell's selection is far too reminiscent of the selection of Cameron White as a spinner a few years back which was stupid. Honestly I can take Lyon being a bit expensive if he looks like getting wickets, which he did in the first test. If they had more runs to play with in the second innings who knows he might have got a few more. I'm stunned that the selectors didn't see it that way, especially if they wanted two spinners in this test, surely Lyon had to be one of them. I sincerely hope this was not Clarke's call. The selection for this test stinks of fear of losing, rather than belief in winning.

  • MrKricket on March 4, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    In the post Warne-McGrath-Gilchrist etc era which players have stood up to be counted on a regular basis? Michael Clarke. That's about it with M. Hussey gone. Johnson has had his moments and Siddle has almost been a force but as for the rest it's been an inconsistent nightmare ridge for Aus fans. I can see India piling on 700 here and rolling Aus for another low score. But then what? Sack Hughes and Cowan, bring in Khawaja, who still hasn't had a score despite several chances. Watson is on borrowed time. No spinners of any note since McGill retired.

    Why are none of the "2nd invincibles" apart from J.Langer invovled in coaching or talent scouting at any level?

    4-0, then 3-0, then 4-0 again is all I can see over the next 10 months for Australia. Call me a pessimist but I can't see it getting better. I hope I am wrong.

  • RJHB on March 4, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    In a word: "D'UH!!!!!!!!" Always, always, ALWAYS going to be a flawed squad for this tour, always. And we haven't even seen the great and powerful Steve Smith as backup batsman yet!! What must Khawaja be thinking, seeing all these nuffies getting a game?? I know exactly what he's thinking: take up crappy spin bowling and I'm a shoe in! A thrashing this series is exactly what we were likely to get, is what we are going to get, and thanks to the selectors, deserve to get! Next test, PLEASE: Warner, Watson (put up or shut up pal), Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes(no other option but to play him), Wade, Henriques, Johnson, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon(he's not much but is all we've got). Left/right the whole way through, one allrounder, not three, venom in the pace bowling and the one spinner likely to atleast take a wicket. Does this make sense to anyone else at all??!

  • pat_08 on March 4, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    People are not appreciating the genius of Clarke and other Selectors. From their 20 overs Australia struggled to 69/3 but the great bowling attack held India to 29/1 for an easy victory. The 50 over score of 159/4 seemed inadequate but the inspired choice of Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty enabled this score to be defended with India held to 119/1.

    The comments of Wade were that the 237/9 was perfectly adequate and the genius decision by Clarke to declare was to allow Pattinson to take 1-2 wickets on the first day. Clearly the problem is that Pattinson has not lived up to his potential and taken the expected 10 for 25 from 10 overs that was required. His failure means they may be going to lose the Test Match by an Innings and plenty but they won the 20/20 and 50 over match so "2 out of 3 ain't bad".

  • hamathite on March 4, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Whenever you pour too much liquid into a "nylon" it begins to leak.. and this is exactly what happened during the first test.

    Indian batsmen will never bow the knee to less than TOP quality spin bowling. You must realise that its in their makeup to face spin daily where they're from.

    I hope clarke delcares early too in the next test!

  • D-Ascendant on March 4, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    This is over for me as a series. A 4-0 would be "revenge," yes, but there is absolutely nothing left here for the unbiased cricket fan. Australia would be well advised to pack their bags and leave after the second Test. It would save them the humiliation, and us viewers the pain.

  • Chris_P on March 4, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    Well thanks for stating the obvious, Brydan. Anyone who has ventured to the SCG & saw how easily the NSW batsmen dispensed with Doherty & Maxwell on a turning pitch would have had no surprise at this current result. Now if the NSW team could deal with them so easily how did Clarke think India could not? As with Meety, I am still wondering how both these guys got starts in the touring side, let alone getting a start in a test? And if anyone still believes that one day & T20 form has any correlation with being a basis to select test players, then this, I would suggest has blown away any thought of that.Disappointed? Sure am, Surprised? Not in the least, in fact my worst fears have been met! Don't pick your best available side, then suffer the consequences.

  • RajeshNaik on March 4, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    Typical and common mistakes that Beaten and Confused minds make.

  • Baxter_P on March 4, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    Inverarity's preoccupation with all-rounders or multiskilled players is the source of the problem. Test cricket is a game for specialists. Wade should be batting at 7, not multitasking as the No. 6 batsman (which used to be Hussey's role, remember; it's a key spot in the order) and keeper. Henriques and Maxwell have to earn their spot either with bat or ball, but shouldn't be in the XI because they are ok at both. Australia should look to pick their best 6 batsmen (preferably 1-2 who can chip in and bowl if needed, but that shouldn't be decisive), Wade, and a balanced attack of 3 quicks and the best spinner (who is still Lyon, not Doherty, until someone else like O'Keefe steps up). This current XI is just poorly balanced and it's difficult to see how Australia planned to win this test.

  • Jayzuz on March 4, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    The selection of Doherty & Maxwell as spinners is just so dumb its mind-boggling. They are not 1st-class standard spinners in AUS. Why would they suddenly become test bowlers in IND, even though IND has a weak team? Why are they in the test squad? They are short format players! I don't know who is pulling the strings in the selection panel, but there are some very, very unintelligent people back there. I am actually trying to be polite in writing this! Ironically, this track had life in the 1st session on day 1, along with humidity for swing bowling (yesterday humidity dropped to 20%). If AUS had bowled first, IND would most likely have struggled. Still, the track will be a spinner's paradise by day 4. Easy innings victory coming up for IND. I hope the AUS batsmen paid attention to how the IND batsmen played. Be patient, & play straight on a track where there is variable bounce. It's too late to save the game, but the 2nd dig will be a chance for some batsmen to show their fortitude.

  • Ms.Cricket on March 4, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Clarke is batting magnificently and is a dedicated cricketer. However he is an impatient captain. Against South Africa at the Gabba and Adelaide he tried to ambitiously impose his bowlers without respecting the opposition. He should have ground out SAF and deflated their morale before attacking the batsmen. Same in India. His declaration in the first innings at Hyderabad was arrogant. His last pair in Chennai had added 60+. Clarke should have been patient and tried to squeeze as many runs as possible even if the last pair was in before letting his bowlers loose.

  • satishchandar on March 4, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    No disagreement that Maxwell is a talented cricketer. But he is not a supremely talented cricketer by any means. He was termed as the X factor in the T20 WC and made almost no impact over there. And now, no impact. I am certainly not saying he is not a good cricketer. But if given a choice, might prefer David Hussey over Maxwell at this point of time. Both in batting as well as bowling.

  • Rowayton on March 4, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    One thing I haven't seen anybody mention yet. If Clarke wanted to bowl at India on the first day, why didn't he just tell Doherty and Pattinson to have a swing? In fact they put on one run in 11 balls and then the declaration came. That is just bizarre. And for people talking about Lyon bowling 'darts'. His average speed is actually less than Jadeja and similar to Ashwin and Harbajhan. Unfortunately, Lyon doesn't have the luxury of bowling against Australia.

  • on March 4, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    Baffling decisions in the Australian camp. Why play any spinners at all? If the only ones you've got are average to play them against the best players of spin in the world on their own pitches just because they're spinning pitches?

    How about playing four or five seam bowlers if the spinners are this inneffective, and do they really need to be able to bat? Why not leave the batting to the batsmen?

  • Mary_786 on March 4, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    @Hyclass completely agree with your comments, Khawaja is a must for the next test. Hopefully he gets an extended run but he will have his work cut out if he covers for Watto as he will be thrown to the lions but he is good enough And guys for me Agar is the next guy to bring in, Agar has played three Shield games for WA taking 12 wickets at 28.33, He's batting nine yet tops the WA averages with 45.50 with an unbeaten 70 and a 50. I have worked out that"The Big Show" really means that other players get to put on a big show when Maxwell is at the crease. Harsh, but who ever gave him that nic name did him no favors. The only thing about him that made him look like a test cricketer was not wearing a helmet.

  • on March 4, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    I'm really surprised and much to Indian batsmen's delight aussies have not picked Mitchell Johnson considering his good run against the lankans and his coming into form[short lived it may be]. Its a known fact that the Indian batsmen are not the worlds best at playing pacy short pitched deliveries and that is what Johnson does best. I'd play Johnson, Starc, Pattison and Lyon in the third test. Oh and Sehwag can make way for S Dhawan.

  • kabe_ag7 on March 4, 2013, 0:47 GMT

    "the thrashing that MS Dhoni dealt out, perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence " - people have gone overboard with repeating that line, as if describing Gillespie hitting a double hundred. Dhoni thrashes bowlers every time he plays long and big. It's not so unbelievable. He has played most of his tests batting at 7 - not an ideal position to play a long innings.

  • on March 4, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    @ Matth .... Lyon couldn't have taken less

  • loudmouth on March 4, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    Playing India in India has always made cricket look like a completely different sport to playing it anywhere else in the world! Monty Panesar was heckled by Shane Warne and yet he did better in India than Warne ever did! Ponting never prospered there either. I'm not sure you can really play properly in India until you've lived there and played. Maybe some of these 'upcoming' Aussie players should go and play a season in the Ranji trophy? Hughes / Cowan / Khwaja all play County cricket - why not go do an apprenticeship in India? Watson and Warner don't really have an excuse since they've played plenty of IPL. I'm not really sure what this Aussie team can do other than enjoy their days off and take their 4 - 0 beating graciously....

  • on March 4, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    The worst Australian attack in 30 years, and apart from Clark, the worst team too.

  • on March 4, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    It is beyond belief to wonder what the selectors were thinking to take Doherty and Maxwell as the 2nd and 3rd spinners. For me it was imperative to take the best spinners we had available, whether world class or not. For me how could the selectors have gone passed Lyon, Hauritz and O'Keefe? Hauritz at least had the experience of touring India before and has already played quite a few tests. It would also have been an interesting battle between he and Lyon as to who is actually Australia's leading spin bowler to perhaps get 1st choice in the upcoming Ashes. Hauritz has also had a moderately decent Shield season this year. As for choosing Doherty over O'Keefe, both left armers; Doherty has a terrible first class record and been tried before and failed miserably at test cricket. o'Keefe on the other hand has surprisingly good statistics at first class level and was at least worthy of being given a chance rather than returning to the already proven failure of Doherty.

  • zamboon on March 4, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    All very good putting the spotlight on the muddled thinking around the bowlers, but what about the abject performance by the batsmen? Why is Khawaja not playing? He is technically a better batsman then Warner, Cowan and Hughes and technique is what you need to survive in India. What is Watson's contribution?

  • OneEyedAussie on March 3, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    4 "batsmen" in the top 7 averaging sub 40 and a front-line "spinner" averaging over 100. How could it go wrong? I'm thinking big innings defeat coming up, with India declaring some point tomorrow.

    Now, if Michael Clarke/Mickey Arthur don't like Chris Rogers and Steve O'Keefe, that's really their problem. The Australian management are paid a lot of money and it's time they acted like professionals. This is the Australian cricket team, not the Michael Clarke touring club.

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 3, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    Day 2 was awful, just awful. the selection decisions have been madness - dropping lyon completely? and playing 2 spinners who have only shown promise in the short form of the game? how is it a surprise that this has happened? how many rubbish all rounders do we need when a talented batsman in Khawaja is just waiting in the wings. Khawaja has been groomed for so many games now, give the kid a real crack. You can't pick blokes because you like them more, it has to be on who can win us the test and Maxwell is not that bloke. cowan's has to be dropped, bump watson up to opening bat... and if he doesn't bowl by the ashes then he is out too, his only redeeming attribute was the fact he was VERY handy with the ball. i see the potential in hughes, so i'm happy for him to stick around till the end of this series but if he fails then you can't give him more chances because the captain likes him and clarke needs to step up and bat higher in the order.

  • bobagorof on March 3, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    Well played India - showing up Australia's batsmen yet again. The real shame for me was Watson, who was going along nicely until he had a brain explosion. A couple of questionable decisions didn't help either, but Australia batted poorly.

    I said before the Test that Maxwell should be picked to prove he shouldn't be picked. 13 runs on a good track, and an economy rate of 5.5 from 10 overs - not the most auspicious debut. Maxwell may develop into a decent, even good, Test player but he is a long way off it yet. Picking him as a second spinning option was never a good idea.

    Hopefully this Test will end the call for Doherty to play Test cricket. He has not improved his long-form bowling since his last Test and doesn't look on improving his average of 102 (prior to this match). If the selectors are so enamoured by the prospect of having a left-arm slow bowler, and their first choice of Beer is injured, there is a guy who has been playing for NSW for a while who fits that category.

  • Matth on March 3, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    Johnny_Rook - Clarke's back does not allow him to bowl much and he is so vital as a batsman that he cannot risk injury.

  • Matth on March 3, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    tests_the_best - you are spot on. Australian's younger than 40 have never seen anything quite like this before and so are getting frustrated. They are used to Warne getting injured or suspended and bringing in MacGill. Healey being dropped and bringing in Gillchrest. Boon retiring and bringing in Martyn, etc. So they think that all we have to do is bring in someone new and they will save us. But the quality just isn't there. The replacements will at best do marginally better than the incumbents. Except for Maxwell, that is a balance of side issue. We have gone into a match in India with 3 specialist bowlers. I have no idea what Arthurs and Clarke were thinking there. I think we should play the most experienced guys available on tour. Siddle, Johnson, Lyon, Pattinson. If we insist on two spinners bring in Doherty for a paceman, but play 4 specialist bowlers. If Clarke/Watson cannot bowl then we need to play Henriques and shorten the batting. So be it.

  • Matth on March 3, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    Would Lyon have taken more wickets today than Doherty? Maybe. Would Johnson, Starc, Lyon, anyone have been more useful than Maxwell? Definitely!

  • on March 3, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    You cannot blame Doherty or Maxwell for their performances. They should never have been chosen in the first place. If the decision was to play 2 spinners, then it should have been Lyon and Doherty. Forget the comment that Maxwell is an allrounder and will add to the batting. Remember last test - Lyon lasted longer at the crease than most batsmen. Now getting back to the selection. Doherty should never have been sent in the first place. 2 Tests for 3 wickets at an average of over 100 is not statistics of worthy Test players, nor is the current 1st class season figures of 2 wickets at over 80 a wicket. O'Keefe should have been chosen. This makes twice that Doherty has been chosen, and O'Keefe left out. Two different sets of selectors have made exactly the same mistake - in a little over 2 years. Please don't think that I believe O'Keefe is something fantastic - he is a good average spinner, and a very handy batsman, and most certainly the first left hand spinner chosen.

  • Jacobite on March 3, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    If Lyon is Australia's best spinner, then God save Australia.

  • on March 3, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    I don't think dropping Lyon is in itself the disastrous call people are making out. Lyon's form has demanded he be dropped to put pressure on him to perform multiple times now. The trouble is really that we didn't take a well balanced squad over there. Throwing Doherty and Maxwell into the fire without the courtesy of a brief stay in the frying pan is reckless and has the expected results. The second spinner should be somebody experienced (Hauritz) or somebody in fine form (O'Keefe), but I'd have had no problem if both were over there.

    Credit to India, though. They have capitalized on a bad attack to the extent I wish our batsman could when we face one. The series is almost certainly lost, and with it what seemed to be a golden opportunity to win that elusive Indian series. Nice work from the youngsters. Very well played Vijay, Purara and Kumar.

  • Sanj747 on March 3, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    Brydon spot on. Ground hog day to a great extent. Is the current lot of selectors heading down the same path as the last lot. Leaving Lyon out for Doherty was poor. To the same extent we can't lay blame on the bowlers as a 237 score after winning the toss on a great batting deck would make any decent batsman cry. Going back to selections and why we have George Bailey as the T20 captain and not playing the longer format when his game is better suited for this. Time to try Khwaja as well. A team with bits and pieces will give pieces like this lot have. Unfortunately based on the show so far there are very few pieces that you could pick off the ground bar MJ Clarke. Need some cricketers with hunger. Watson, Warner, Cowan and Hughes don't measure up.

  • Pacelover on March 3, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    I am pretty sure that Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty are not Australia's two best spin options, not by a long chalk. If you are going to pick two spinners against India they have to be of a good enough quality.

    Nathan Lyon is Australias best spinner and should have at least got one more chance in India, and if there is no test standard second spinner to join him then they should have tried another seamer.

  • Herbet on March 3, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    Australia have gone from having the best attack ever, and the best spin bowler ever, to a few young quicks and basically not being able to field a spinner. On a serious note, dropping Lyon for Doherty looks a ridiculous call.

  • on March 3, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    To be honest, by all appearance this is a B- level Australian team on Indian soil. If any indication, look for a clean sweep for a team that not untilll recently could boast of invincibility. While Indian team was in rebuilidg process, this comes no less as a gift. But again, don't all deserve their day?

  • ygkd on March 3, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    The Get Smart analogy is appropriate! Most watch cricket for the drama. For many Australians yesterday's play was a tragedy. However, it was far more like a modern comedy - it made you laugh and cringe at the same time. The first session was slower than a snail with the handbrake on. It was a relief when Maxwell came on to bowl. The game brightened up no end. Warner's over too, was a treat. Wade's keeping was always worth a watch. It was still a tragedy though, in the correct sense of the word as an approaching train-wreck - a disaster that you can see coming (from the time the side was selected) but are unable to stop. I saw better efforts from the Australian Test team during the WSC split.

  • aryan-is-dravid-fan on March 3, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    I am glad that Mitchell Johnson has not got a look in yet, from an Indian perspective. In my opinion, he was the most potentially lethal bowler on this Aussie squad. So glad that it is not just the Indian camp that is prone to make bad selection choices.

  • on March 3, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    How could I disagree?? This story is merely a compilation of many of my comments posted over the past 6-weeks.

    The stage management of the inclusion of GM (AKA : BIG SHOW) has been childish. This included a nice piece in Cricinfo, where Micky Arthur told of GM's improved bowling prior to the tour selection. He knew he was on tour before selected hence the arrogant tantrum against SL.

    Players are being selected based on ODI/T20 form is ludicrous.The inclusion of GM and XD not only weakened the bowling but weakened the batting tail that saved Australia on recent tours of SA and WI.

    As stated before selection, Aust needed to take 20-wickets and had Bird not been injured by the most destructive force know to Aust Cricket (the coaching staff), I would have selected a five man pace attack. This is not because of Lyons ability, but because Wade is our only keeper on tour and he cannot keep to spinners.

    Yesterday's farcical display occurred as a result of decisions in January.

  • Moppa on March 3, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    This article says what a lot of cricinfo posters have been saying for months. It seems amazing that the "National Selection Panel" can't see the obvious. Personally I think Lyon for Maxwell would have helped, but not massively changed the result of yesterday. However, this Australian team cannot afford such self-inflicted wounds when our current and future opponents will inflict many of their own.

  • on March 3, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    Australia needs to breed good spinners if they want to win in subcontinent as India needs to breed good pace men to have a chance of winning in Australia ,England or South Africa. As someone pointed out, Australia is low in in talent pool in spin department.

  • Talubar on March 3, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    The dropping of Lyon and selections of Maxwell and Doherty seems like a act of desperation done in hope of a miracle, rather than in expectation of a result. Batting Wade, not even in the top 3 glovemen in Australia, at number 6 leaves the team a batsman short and has cost wickets through dropped catches and fumbled stumpings. Picking Maxwell and Doherty, "hit and giggle" specialists, leaves Australia another batsman AND 2 bowlers short in the long form. The end result is what you would expect when a team of 8 plays a team of 13.

  • poms_have_short_memories on March 3, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    I think O'Keefe would have been a better spin option, and strangely Clarke is possibly one of Australia's better spinners. Although it will never happen, I think Australia needs to pick Chris Rogers, David Hussey and Brad Hodge, given that the Ashes is coming up and that trio has had vast experience and success in England because, frankly the Ashes is what matters not this test series.

  • BG4cricket on March 3, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    Brydon, I loved the turn of phrase in the introduction & I think you've got this spot on. The thinking of the selectors is very flawed. Lyon is clearly the best eligible (Ahmed will have a strong case in a few months) spinner in the country & should have played - he wasn't perfect last match, and was expensive, but he did get 4 wickets, & his deficiencies on economy,line,front foot rotation & speed could have been tinkered & fixed with diligent coaching. I supported Doherty's inclusion as it was worth a try with the different angle & he could tie up an end. Alas he was easily milked for 3.5 RPO & really didn't look like getting a wicket. He has demonstrated he isn't really up to Test standard which I guess should have been evident from his terrible FC record. As for Maxwell, there is talent there but the bowling needs a LOT of work & a Test is not a net session so he really can't be picked. So IMO it's back to Lyon, Henriques & 3 seamers (of which one should be Johnson)

  • handyandy on March 3, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Of course what should also be pointed out is that John Inverarity was only a bits and pieces player himself with a very ordinary test career.

    That kind of explains his obsession with what he would term "multi-skilled" cricketers.

  • wix99 on March 3, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Doherty's figures of 0/250 by the end of the Indian innings will make Lyon's 3/215 look good!

  • ARad on March 3, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    For the second Test in a row, Clarke has made a strange captaining choice. In Chennai, he didn't bowl Patterson enough when he was firing during the second day. Here, he declared on the first day! If he were captaining the Pakistan team, tongues would be wagging... This is also the second baffling choice of selection made by Aussie selectors in recent times. At least, when Australia had to rest their fast bowlers against SA in the last Test of the series that was poised at 0-0, they had an excuse but it was still an excuse. Even here, I heard one comm saying that the selectors could be resting Lyon to recover from the mental agony (of conceding the most number of Test runs by a living Aussie, a record Lyon now shares with Krejza). There is too much thinking going on in the Aussie camp (remember the rotation policy aka INFORMED PLAYER MANAGEMENT) instead of keeping it simple.

  • cricket-freak on March 3, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Bowlers like Johnson,Harris,Cummins and even Copeland are genuinly being missed in the team..Esp Mitchell Johnson who is in the squad!He is not there to carry the drinks for the team and he`s no less in worth than the other bowlers...Ok,if not in the first test but the selectors should have rendered their mistake by bringing him in the 2nd one..instead of trying such inappropriate options,they could have made a sensible choice.

  • The_Red_Cherry on March 3, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    Given the circumstances, the lineup should have been in my opinion 1. Cowan 2. Watson 3. Warner 4. Clarke 5. Hughes 6. Henriques 7. Wade 8. Johnson 9. Starc 10. Pattinson 11. Doherty.

    And yes of the 2 spinners, Doherty is the safer bet and more likely to create opportunities for wickets. Indians love playing on the leg side and having an off spinner like Lyon easily allows them to play to their strengths. Having a deep extra cover to protect against the inside out shot would have further enabled Doherty to stem the flow of runs. And Johnson needs to brought in the playing 11 sooner rather than later.

  • Fine_Legs on March 3, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    This is nothing but a throwback to the mid-1980s situation from which Alan Border led Australia's revamp into world-beaters. Michael Clarke is the right man at the helm to lead a similar return to glory. If you look at the situation carefully, Australia could have ended up with 400 in the first innings but for the fact that batsmen numbers 1 to 5 got out playing across the line. If they take that as a learning and in the next innings as well as the next test match, follow Vijay and Pujara's morning session tactics and eschew any shots that are not straight down the ground or through the V, this Australian batting line up could easily run up 400-plus scores. The bowling is thin - and will take longer to repair. But given this is Australia, I will be watching keenly from Indian shores because I know this will happen sooner rather than later. Its just a matter of time.

  • on March 3, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    I wonder what this notion of "supreme talent" is intended to convey. When is a player just a "regular talent" versus a "great talent" versus a supreme talent? This writing style smacks of the usual passive-aggressive mentality one often finds in today's politically correct world. Given that the use of the phrase "supreme talent" was used a precursor to pulling down the individual, Maxwell's, capability to be an effective bowler, one can only wonder about the writing style of the author.

  • blink182alex on March 3, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    I said at the start of the series i was concerned with the continued talk up of bits and peices players by the selectors. I really don't understand the logic behind these selections by Invaretity, multi-skilled players? why not select the best batsmen and bowlers? they are in the side to score runs or they are in the side to take wickets, you can't have a team of Jacques Kallis' or Sobers.

    I was shocked to see Doherty, Henriques, Maxwell and Steve Smith in the squad. Henriques did well in Chennai fair enough, but the others, how can they really be considered the best available option. Look at first class records please selectors, we have Rogers, Voges, O'Keefe, all far ahead of these embarrassing 'test players'.

    My only hope is that this poor series will see these players dropped for the ashes where we can select a proper representation of our best available test team.

    Watson, Warner, Hughes, Rogers, Clarke, Voges, Wade, Pattinson, Harris, Siddle/Bird, Lyon. For England please

  • CricketingStargazer on March 3, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    Picking players based on T20 form, or even ODI form is a bad idea. However, Doherty has managed something that Nathan Lyon could not do and that is bowl a few maiden overs, that have at least built up some pressure on the batsmen. He does not though look like a wicket-taking bowler at this level and what Australia need is wickets because India can bat for 7 or 8 sessions and still have time to force victory.

    The good news is that relief and Fawad Ahmed are on their way. With him likely to play the 1st Ashes Test - provided that the ACB has got his paperwork right - Australia will hope to have a long-term replacement for Shane Warne. And England supporters can expect to hear fewer jibes from Australian fans about playing players born abroad to British parents, so everyone will win.

  • on March 3, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    After the heady days of the Chappells, Marsh, Lillee, Thomson & co, it took Australia some 15 years to recover. There is no hitherto overlooked talent left to uncover. There are no Haydens, Langers, Waughs, Pontings, Warnes, Gilchrists or McGraths waiting in the wings or coming up through the ranks - yet. Australia, and especially Australian fans, will have to learn patience and applaud what talent there is today and not measure their players against yesterday's astronomical standards, that's very unfair to them. Likewise, Australia will have to set realistic targets that the current players feel are attainable or the through may be decades. Also, for the good of Australia, Clarke MUST bat at 3. The runs he makes at 5 are nowhere near as important as the example he could set his own team.

  • on March 3, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    The bowling line up is completely messed up, 2 front line pacers , 1 spinner and 4 part timers cannot get you 20 wickets, unless you are on a green top with Garner and Roberts They should have retained Lyon, dropped Starc and brought in the other Mitchell. As for support spinne, Clarke and Warner would have been better than Maxwell. The wicket had more pace, and Johnson at 140+ could have caused some trouble.

  • Adoh on March 3, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Australia has never dominated in India, even the great team of the early 2000's was greatly challenged to win. The Australian selectors need to go back to basics. Merit (performance) based selection, not reputation based selection. This should apply to the selection panel and CA directors and managers too.

  • on March 3, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    @Rankpace ... not sure that Lyon and Doherty bowling in tandem would have made a difference....Swann has been a part of the core England attack for a while and the English have tried and tested strategies for him to work with.....Monty was an attacking left armer....bowling with speed, spin and flight....something the Indian's werent used to....the Aus spinners have been transplanted in just because its an "Indian" tour...i.e. anything with the word spin attached should work.....if aus go to saf Lyon and Doherty wont even be talked about.....this australia is a bit like Border's australia of 85-86.....if they stick to line length and discipline and one of the spinners can attack they have a shot....but this team lacks grit.......maybe Hussey should've hung around one last time to show them how its done.....

  • Playfair on March 3, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Australia are going the 'horses for courses' way in selecting their team. Hughes isn't showing much promise and should have been replaced by Maxwell. That should been the only change. Dropping Starc was a huge mistake. Clarke needs to bat at 4 and not lower.

  • handyandy on March 3, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    In my opinion a great allrounder is either a specialist bowler who can get useful runs or a specialist batsman that can put in the occasional good bowling spell.

    Rarely you will come across a freak that can bat and bowl brilliantly but these are rare beasts. Then you have players like Henriques and Maxwell who could really be only regarded as adequate with bat and ball.

    The best allrounder in the team IMO is actually Mitchell Johnson. He can win you matches with his bowling and on occasion put in a good performance with the bat.

    The next best should be on the plane tomorrow and should be rushed straight into the next test. Stephen O'Keefe is one of those rare Australian spin bowlers who actually has a bowling average of under 30.

    Bring in Johnson and O'keefe for Henriques and Maxwell and notice just how much stronger that line up suddenly looks. You would then have a much stronger bowling attack and will have lost nothing much in the batting.

  • tomjas on March 3, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    The Australian selectors are totally clueless. Doherty is, at best, the 4th or 5th best left arm spinner in the country, Maxwell has done nothing at any level for 12 months and Henriques has rarely, if ever, bowled 20 overs in a day for his state. Australia can field, at a bare minimum, at least 6 attacks better than this one and he fact that we didnt is a sorry indictment on the decision makers

  • on March 3, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    Another fair/balanced assessment by BC. Looking forward to Part 2 - the solutions piece we are all struggling with.

  • JohnnyRook on March 3, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    Being an Indian , I was happy when Maxwell and Doherty replaced Lyon and Starc. I am sure Indian team felt the same way. It seemed like BCCI told Australian management that it was a one-dayer and not a test.Henriques is not as good as a third seamer should be, Maxwell is not as good as a second spinner should be and Doherty is not as good as a lead spinner should be. Australia should have stuck with Lyon and may be replace Starc with Doherty or Maxwell. I also feel that Clarke underutlilized himself as a bowler. He has bowled beautifully in the past especially in India and with his team needing a spinner, he should have atleast tried a couple of overs.

  • Arrow011 on March 3, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Sound caning is happening to Aussies, the way the fielders are running all the way to boundary only to gasp back after failed efforts by hanging their heads is so amusing, it is time to score at least 700 & give an innings defeat.

  • FAB_ALI on March 3, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    @Middle Stump....You just watch the game but don't know any news!!! Watson has already decided not to bowl anymore and be a pure batsmen because of injury concerns and same with Clarke, he is having back problems and thus not bowling. As far as Watson not opening is concerned, Warner & Cowan has been doing the job well for some period of time and Australia would like to stick to that with Watson giving strength to an inexperienced Middle Order.

  • tests_the_best on March 3, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Lots of comments criticizing the Aus selectors but the fact of the matter is that the available talent pool in Aus is pretty low in the batting and spin dept. It's pretty similar to Ind tour of Eng in 2011 where once Zaheer was injured, the rest of the bowling was too weak. One could have replaced Zaheer with Munaf Patel, then Munaf with RP Singh & so on but outside of Zaheer, the remaining attack by itself was incapable of taking 20 wkts. Similary, Aus could replace Lyon with Doherty,Doherty with Maxwell,then O'Keefe & so on but there's no real talented spinner around, same case for batting where just bringing in Khawaja or someone else is not going to make the batting much stronger. So it's best to stop blaming the selectors & instead realize that players of the calibre of Warne,McGrath,Hayden,Gilchrist come once in a lifetime, much less all together. The one positive thing is the pace dept where Pattinson,Starc,Cummins,Siddle would be quite handful on even slightly helpful pitches.

  • on March 3, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Well at-least Clarke is still being proved right about where the Aussie bowling strength is-the only wicket to fall being picked up by a quick. However,I do agree with the author,Lyon should have been persisted with.As your first choice spinner for the tour,after just one game,and one out of the blue knock by a very good batsman,you can't simply trash him.And especially not when the other options available to you are limited;and were in a major hash up picked on account of limited overs performance(I would prefer potential over performance.Doherty hasn't played a lot of odis either to judge him as a quality limited overs bowler).And Glen Maxwell's inclusion is just the idea that takes the absolute cake.It's been two days of cricket,and I still can't wrap my head around it,or believe my eyes when I see him on the field.I wish he were a mirage created by the searing heat,sadly he is not,just a fine bloke sent out there when he is not ready for it.

  • InsideHedge on March 3, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    If Ravi Jadeja was an Aussie, he'd walk into this team - what with Arfur and Invo as the "think" tank. They like multi-faceted, multi-skilled, ambi-dextorous players. Arfur is a Saffer and they've never quite cracked spin bowling so it's amusing to see him giving Lyon advice. Just check Arfur's track record (regards spin bowling) when he was head coach of SA.

  • RankPace on March 3, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    This article says tha Doherty could not bring pressure on the Indian batsmen. But as far as I can remember even their great Shane Warne has failed to bring any pressure on the Indian batsmen on Indian Pitches. It is just that the indian batsmen are so good against spin that any foreign spinner will struggle against them. Though I was suprised with the success Monty & Swann had in the just concluded England series. So I would not blame Xavier too much. Also unlike England, Australia have failed to realise that Even spinners need to hunt in pairs. When England set that right in the 2nd test, things changed for them. But Ausralia is refusing to learn. Leaving out Lyon was a bad idea. They Should have allowed Lyon & Doherty to bowl in tandem..

    .

  • SamRoy on March 3, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    I disagree with the fact that Glenn Maxwell is a supremely talented cricketer. I think he is an aberration to test cricket, I think he is by far the worst test cricketer from Australia I have seen in last 20 years. I think every player in the Bangladesh Test XI is more talented than this guy.

  • on March 3, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    It's virtually the same policy comparable with one adopted by India whereby W.Saha the reserve keeper was selected as specialist batsman for Test debut. Bits ans pieces players are ok for odi or twentu 20 but you need specialists for test team. Doing a bit of bowling,fielding and batting can never make a cricketer fit for good test cricket.

  • DrPrashant on March 3, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    Today's play reminded me of those dreadful tests that India played in Australia in the 1999-2000 series, when nothing went right for them and the Aussie batsmen would just keep piling the runs on and on and their bowlers would roll over India for next to nothing everytime. Only, this time, its the Aussies copping it from India! Dropping Lyon and picking two so-called spinners is not only muddled thinking like the author says, but it also shows that the Aussie team think-tank dont even realise what it takes to win test matches in India. They only need to look as far back as the India-England series and they will know how even India's 'frontline' spinners struggled when confronted with gritty and determined batting. How could they expect Doherty and Maxwell to get the better of the Indian batsmen? What were they thinking?!!

  • MiddleStump on March 3, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    In addition to the questionable selections, there have been muddled on field decisions during this series. Nobody has explained why Pattinson was given only three over spells in Chennai. Why is Michael Clarke batting at 5 when he is both the best batsman and the best player of spin in the side? Maxwell seems less of a bowler than Clarke who never bowled while India scored over 300 runs in a day. And Watson is neither bowling nor opening the batting. Most bizarre.

  • MiddleStump on March 3, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    In addition to the questionable selections, there have been muddled on field decisions during this series. Nobody has explained why Pattinson was given only three over spells in Chennai. Why is Michael Clarke batting at 5 when he is both the best batsman and the best player of spin in the side? Maxwell seems less of a bowler than Clarke who never bowled while India scored over 300 runs in a day. And Watson is neither bowling nor opening the batting. Most bizarre.

  • DrPrashant on March 3, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    Today's play reminded me of those dreadful tests that India played in Australia in the 1999-2000 series, when nothing went right for them and the Aussie batsmen would just keep piling the runs on and on and their bowlers would roll over India for next to nothing everytime. Only, this time, its the Aussies copping it from India! Dropping Lyon and picking two so-called spinners is not only muddled thinking like the author says, but it also shows that the Aussie team think-tank dont even realise what it takes to win test matches in India. They only need to look as far back as the India-England series and they will know how even India's 'frontline' spinners struggled when confronted with gritty and determined batting. How could they expect Doherty and Maxwell to get the better of the Indian batsmen? What were they thinking?!!

  • on March 3, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    It's virtually the same policy comparable with one adopted by India whereby W.Saha the reserve keeper was selected as specialist batsman for Test debut. Bits ans pieces players are ok for odi or twentu 20 but you need specialists for test team. Doing a bit of bowling,fielding and batting can never make a cricketer fit for good test cricket.

  • SamRoy on March 3, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    I disagree with the fact that Glenn Maxwell is a supremely talented cricketer. I think he is an aberration to test cricket, I think he is by far the worst test cricketer from Australia I have seen in last 20 years. I think every player in the Bangladesh Test XI is more talented than this guy.

  • RankPace on March 3, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    This article says tha Doherty could not bring pressure on the Indian batsmen. But as far as I can remember even their great Shane Warne has failed to bring any pressure on the Indian batsmen on Indian Pitches. It is just that the indian batsmen are so good against spin that any foreign spinner will struggle against them. Though I was suprised with the success Monty & Swann had in the just concluded England series. So I would not blame Xavier too much. Also unlike England, Australia have failed to realise that Even spinners need to hunt in pairs. When England set that right in the 2nd test, things changed for them. But Ausralia is refusing to learn. Leaving out Lyon was a bad idea. They Should have allowed Lyon & Doherty to bowl in tandem..

    .

  • InsideHedge on March 3, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    If Ravi Jadeja was an Aussie, he'd walk into this team - what with Arfur and Invo as the "think" tank. They like multi-faceted, multi-skilled, ambi-dextorous players. Arfur is a Saffer and they've never quite cracked spin bowling so it's amusing to see him giving Lyon advice. Just check Arfur's track record (regards spin bowling) when he was head coach of SA.

  • on March 3, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Well at-least Clarke is still being proved right about where the Aussie bowling strength is-the only wicket to fall being picked up by a quick. However,I do agree with the author,Lyon should have been persisted with.As your first choice spinner for the tour,after just one game,and one out of the blue knock by a very good batsman,you can't simply trash him.And especially not when the other options available to you are limited;and were in a major hash up picked on account of limited overs performance(I would prefer potential over performance.Doherty hasn't played a lot of odis either to judge him as a quality limited overs bowler).And Glen Maxwell's inclusion is just the idea that takes the absolute cake.It's been two days of cricket,and I still can't wrap my head around it,or believe my eyes when I see him on the field.I wish he were a mirage created by the searing heat,sadly he is not,just a fine bloke sent out there when he is not ready for it.

  • tests_the_best on March 3, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Lots of comments criticizing the Aus selectors but the fact of the matter is that the available talent pool in Aus is pretty low in the batting and spin dept. It's pretty similar to Ind tour of Eng in 2011 where once Zaheer was injured, the rest of the bowling was too weak. One could have replaced Zaheer with Munaf Patel, then Munaf with RP Singh & so on but outside of Zaheer, the remaining attack by itself was incapable of taking 20 wkts. Similary, Aus could replace Lyon with Doherty,Doherty with Maxwell,then O'Keefe & so on but there's no real talented spinner around, same case for batting where just bringing in Khawaja or someone else is not going to make the batting much stronger. So it's best to stop blaming the selectors & instead realize that players of the calibre of Warne,McGrath,Hayden,Gilchrist come once in a lifetime, much less all together. The one positive thing is the pace dept where Pattinson,Starc,Cummins,Siddle would be quite handful on even slightly helpful pitches.

  • FAB_ALI on March 3, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    @Middle Stump....You just watch the game but don't know any news!!! Watson has already decided not to bowl anymore and be a pure batsmen because of injury concerns and same with Clarke, he is having back problems and thus not bowling. As far as Watson not opening is concerned, Warner & Cowan has been doing the job well for some period of time and Australia would like to stick to that with Watson giving strength to an inexperienced Middle Order.

  • Arrow011 on March 3, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Sound caning is happening to Aussies, the way the fielders are running all the way to boundary only to gasp back after failed efforts by hanging their heads is so amusing, it is time to score at least 700 & give an innings defeat.