India v Australia, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 4th day March 5, 2013

'Our shot selection was horrible' - Clarke

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Michael Clarke has suggested that there could be changes to Australia's line-up for the third Test in Mohali after what he called "unacceptable" performances from both the batsmen and bowlers in the first two matches. Clarke also conceded that the shot selection of the batsmen had been "horrible" so far on the tour and called on them to show more patience in the middle, as their Indian counterparts had done.

Speaking straight after the defeat by an innings and 135 runs in Hyderabad, Clarke did not foreshadow what team alterations could occur, other than to confirm that he would move up the order from his No.5 position. None of the top four batsmen have averaged more than 30 during the first two Tests, while James Pattinson is the only bowler averaging under 30.

The squad includes three men who are yet to play a Test on this trip - Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith - and the other two players left out of Hyderabad after the Chennai loss, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, will also be in consideration. The team has eight days to regroup ahead of the third Test and Clarke said the batting and bowling departments would both be under the microscope.

"We have to look at both areas that's for sure," Clarke said. "Both have been unacceptable, both aren't good enough. We have to try and find ways to improve and if that means making changes that's what we have to do. We made a couple of changes for this Test match. I want to pay credit to India, the way [Cheteshwar] Pujara and Vijay played. Our bowlers in patches bowled really well but they were able to stay together and not lose their wicket and bat patiently."

While the bowlers only claimed one victim on the second day of the Test as Pujara and M Vijay put on 370 for the second wicket, it was the team's first-day batting that really started the rot. After Clarke won the toss and chose to bat Australia struggled to 237, a paltry effort compared to the 503 compiled by India.

The accurate seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar accounted for three of the top four batsmen in the first innings and spin then troubled the rest. Clarke and Matthew Wade looked comfortable during their 145-run partnership but only three other stands reached double figures. That was followed by a second innings collapse on the fourth morning and the entire innings lasted less than two sessions. But the most damning statistic was that Australia made less in the whole match than Pujara and Vijay did in one partnership.

"I think they scored 50 runs in the [first] session, but they had the discipline and the patience to bat long periods of time because they knew as the game went on, second session, third session, they would catch up," Clarke said. "It gets easier. It does. That's the fun part about batting. You do the work at the start of your innings, you get the reward at the end of your innings. At the moment our shot selection has been horrible.

"We need to be smarter with our shot selection, that's for sure. You have seen in the first few Tests too many guys getting out playing across the line of the ball and against the spin especially early in our innings. So I think we have to be more disciplined with our shot selection. But I don't want guys to curb their natural instinct, I don't want guys to try and play a way they aren't comfortable doing.

"We've had the best of conditions, won the toss and batted on both wickets. We knew before coming to India how important the first innings was going to be. There is more variable bounce, more spin, it is harder to bat in the second innings. That doesn't excuse today, that's for sure. We still should be doing than we did today and yesterday but our first innings has really let us down as a batting unit."

The result was Australia's first innings defeat since the Sydney Ashes Test in 2010-11, when Clarke found himself in charge of the Test side for the first time as the stand-in captain when Ricky Ponting was injured. When asked to offer his overall thoughts following the second-innings collapse for 131, Clarke was blunt in his assessment.

"It's probably more polite of me by not putting it into words," Clarke said. "It's obviously unacceptable. Very disappointing. I certainly don't want to take any credit away from India, I thought they played very well yesterday, they showed us once again how to bat in these conditions, they showed us once you get in how to go on and cash in and make a big score.

"Our performances in these two Test matches have been unacceptable, certainly nowhere near the standard we are trying to set as an Australian cricket team. There's plenty of people that not only watch us on TV but fly around the world to support us and watch us and we know we've let them down."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jmcilhinney on March 6, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    When England were drubbed by Pakistan in UAE, it was considered by many that the selectors had made a mistake to stick with under-performing batsman through the entire series. Will Australia make the same mistake here? I can see the logic of giving batsmen a bit more leeway than bowlers because it only takes one ball to get a batsman out while a bowler who's had a bad game has generally bowled a reasonable number of poor overs. That said, Phil Hughes is an example right now of someone who just doesn't look like he has it in him to make a significant contribution. He seems to have no plan against spin and looks to be just hoping not to get out, which is exactly how some England batsmen looked in UAE. Clarke moving up the order is all well and good but the middle order is still going to be facing plenty of spin. The selectors may be worried about denting his confidence yet again but I feel like Hughes at least should be replaced, if only for this series.

  • whoster on March 5, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Australia have two options that may improve things - bring in Khawaja for any batman other than Clarke, and Johnson for any bowler other than Pattinson. Johnson's often a big liability, but he's always been capable of the odd magic spell that could turn a game. It's a gamble Aus surely have to take. Khawaja obviously has to play - probably for Hughes. Steve Smith is a bits and pieces player who doesn't warrant a Test place on either batting or bowling - like Glenn Maxwell. The Aussie selectors have made plenty of cock-ups in recent times; getting rid of Haddin was one of them. Wade's done well with the bat, but no better than Haddin - and Wade's keeping is average. Haddin's experience in a team of unproven young players would be handy too.

  • AjaySridharan on March 5, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it. In that regard, I give credit to Clarke for immediately acknowledging the problems and being honest about it, unlike the Indian team that paraded excuse after excuse for their debacle in England and Australia. If we know anything about the Assuie cricket team, we know they will bounce back. They have pride, and when you have that, it hurts. For the sake of a better series and a reality check for Indians, I hope the Aussies bounce back hard. I want India to fight harder for their victories in the next two games

  • Des_65 on March 7, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    If you remove 370 from India's total, it leaves only 133. But, then you can also remove 145 from Australia's total leaving them with 92 in the first innings. The two teams are nearly the same if you remove Pujara, Vijay, Clark & Wade from the first innings equation.

  • mcwc on March 6, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    The senior Test players are earning $500k-$1m each per year and this does not include the IPL takings if they participate or any other T20i tournament. Even if they lose the test series 4-0, they still get paid handsomely from CA and their sponsors.

    So why should they care apart from turning up.

    Performance pay is the way to go and not just paying them a secure salary.

  • on March 6, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    Unbelievable. Why can't pup accept that Indians are Champions. Its okay to lose to a champion side.

  • Greatest_Game on March 6, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    It is not the shot selection that was terrible, it was the player selection, the team selection, that was horrible. It would be harder to select a worse shot than selecting Hughes against spin! What other result than horrible shot selection can be expected when selecting horrible players!

  • Chris_P on March 6, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    @Beertjie. Correction accepted. I was thinking of the following drawn series but got the year mixed up, the point is still relevent, though, the past 12 seasons, India has been untouchable at the back end of the season. A good record indeed.

  • on March 6, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    it just so happens as australia are so totally lost against spin, ashwin and jadeja have found excellent form and rhythm. jadeja is the star , he has been really aggressive. b kumar is a revelation also with the ball

    R Ashwin (India) 2 4 117.0 36 302 18 7/103 12/198 16.77 2.58 39.0 3 1 RA Jadeja (India) 2 4 101.0 30 209 11 3/33 6/66 19.00 2.06 55.0 0

    both ashwin and jadeja are wiping the floor with them. for a spinner averages under 20 are not common.

    looking at pattinson, its obvious where australia's strengths lie - pace bowling. We should have 2-3 additional pace bowlers of pattos quality(there are a few at home like jackson bird, johnson could be given a go, as well as ben cutting)

    and also our batsman- all are woeful.

    first of all VC watson, shouldn't be near a test squad, he's not test standard and clueless against spin

    hughes, his technique has been red flagged enough

    for batting- wheres rogers? doolan? haddin?

  • Beertjie on March 6, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    One correction @Chris_P on (March 6, 2013, 6:08 GMT) It is not true that "the only 3 series losses India have had in the past 13 years at home have all come at the front of their season where the pitches behaves a little better." In 2000 South Africa defeated India at the back end of the season.

  • jmcilhinney on March 6, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    When England were drubbed by Pakistan in UAE, it was considered by many that the selectors had made a mistake to stick with under-performing batsman through the entire series. Will Australia make the same mistake here? I can see the logic of giving batsmen a bit more leeway than bowlers because it only takes one ball to get a batsman out while a bowler who's had a bad game has generally bowled a reasonable number of poor overs. That said, Phil Hughes is an example right now of someone who just doesn't look like he has it in him to make a significant contribution. He seems to have no plan against spin and looks to be just hoping not to get out, which is exactly how some England batsmen looked in UAE. Clarke moving up the order is all well and good but the middle order is still going to be facing plenty of spin. The selectors may be worried about denting his confidence yet again but I feel like Hughes at least should be replaced, if only for this series.

  • whoster on March 5, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Australia have two options that may improve things - bring in Khawaja for any batman other than Clarke, and Johnson for any bowler other than Pattinson. Johnson's often a big liability, but he's always been capable of the odd magic spell that could turn a game. It's a gamble Aus surely have to take. Khawaja obviously has to play - probably for Hughes. Steve Smith is a bits and pieces player who doesn't warrant a Test place on either batting or bowling - like Glenn Maxwell. The Aussie selectors have made plenty of cock-ups in recent times; getting rid of Haddin was one of them. Wade's done well with the bat, but no better than Haddin - and Wade's keeping is average. Haddin's experience in a team of unproven young players would be handy too.

  • AjaySridharan on March 5, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it. In that regard, I give credit to Clarke for immediately acknowledging the problems and being honest about it, unlike the Indian team that paraded excuse after excuse for their debacle in England and Australia. If we know anything about the Assuie cricket team, we know they will bounce back. They have pride, and when you have that, it hurts. For the sake of a better series and a reality check for Indians, I hope the Aussies bounce back hard. I want India to fight harder for their victories in the next two games

  • Des_65 on March 7, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    If you remove 370 from India's total, it leaves only 133. But, then you can also remove 145 from Australia's total leaving them with 92 in the first innings. The two teams are nearly the same if you remove Pujara, Vijay, Clark & Wade from the first innings equation.

  • mcwc on March 6, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    The senior Test players are earning $500k-$1m each per year and this does not include the IPL takings if they participate or any other T20i tournament. Even if they lose the test series 4-0, they still get paid handsomely from CA and their sponsors.

    So why should they care apart from turning up.

    Performance pay is the way to go and not just paying them a secure salary.

  • on March 6, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    Unbelievable. Why can't pup accept that Indians are Champions. Its okay to lose to a champion side.

  • Greatest_Game on March 6, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    It is not the shot selection that was terrible, it was the player selection, the team selection, that was horrible. It would be harder to select a worse shot than selecting Hughes against spin! What other result than horrible shot selection can be expected when selecting horrible players!

  • Chris_P on March 6, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    @Beertjie. Correction accepted. I was thinking of the following drawn series but got the year mixed up, the point is still relevent, though, the past 12 seasons, India has been untouchable at the back end of the season. A good record indeed.

  • on March 6, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    it just so happens as australia are so totally lost against spin, ashwin and jadeja have found excellent form and rhythm. jadeja is the star , he has been really aggressive. b kumar is a revelation also with the ball

    R Ashwin (India) 2 4 117.0 36 302 18 7/103 12/198 16.77 2.58 39.0 3 1 RA Jadeja (India) 2 4 101.0 30 209 11 3/33 6/66 19.00 2.06 55.0 0

    both ashwin and jadeja are wiping the floor with them. for a spinner averages under 20 are not common.

    looking at pattinson, its obvious where australia's strengths lie - pace bowling. We should have 2-3 additional pace bowlers of pattos quality(there are a few at home like jackson bird, johnson could be given a go, as well as ben cutting)

    and also our batsman- all are woeful.

    first of all VC watson, shouldn't be near a test squad, he's not test standard and clueless against spin

    hughes, his technique has been red flagged enough

    for batting- wheres rogers? doolan? haddin?

  • Beertjie on March 6, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    One correction @Chris_P on (March 6, 2013, 6:08 GMT) It is not true that "the only 3 series losses India have had in the past 13 years at home have all come at the front of their season where the pitches behaves a little better." In 2000 South Africa defeated India at the back end of the season.

  • cheatsdontprosper on March 6, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    Welcome to Reality Australia. Gone are the players that made you almost unbeatable in the 90's 00's, we all know you are rebuilding, and the rotational resting of players does not help your cause. The selectors are making some bad players choices , giving some players lots of chances and others no chance of even getting into the team. I personally still feel sorry for Brad Haddin he had family problems and left the team to be with his family, after that he hasn't had even a sniff of getting back in the team, i still rate him as a keeper and batsman maybe cos i do not like Wade due to his iffy keeping technique dropping more than the occasional ball.

  • Micgyver on March 6, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Its easy to for Clarke to say our batsmen need patience like the Indian batsmen.But the fact is, the Indian bowlers rarely bowl a short ball or half volley unlike the Aussie spinners who were throwing up 1 2 or 3 bad balls an over.

  • zenboomerang on March 6, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    'Our shot selection was horrible' - Clarke

    Hmm... Clarke not protecting his stumps properly - bowled twice by Jadega & a loose shot in his other dismissal... Guess pup will be telling off that "other" fellow in the mirror :P ...

  • Mary_786 on March 6, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Agree with your overall sentiments 100 percent, FlemingMitch! What we have in India is a poorly selected team lacking in team culture, ability and commitment. The reference to Nero is apt! Khawaja must come in and know that he is there for a spell, will not be dropped if he doesn't immediately succeed. Not sure that Watson deserves to be there and I don't think Hauritz is any better than Lyon or Doherty. One despairs, really!

  • on March 6, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    There is a hope for Australia in the Series. The difference between Dhoni and Clarke is obvious in their approaches to leadership .Dhoni after two tests,in Australia, was in denial. He gave excuses for his and team's performance. Clark, on other hand, has given full credit to India for a better performance. He wants his team to learn from India's performance.He is honest and keen for his team to learn. he is also prepared to take more responsibility.What a refreshing attitude! I am looking forward to see change in tone of Dhoni's admirers the moment he loses a game. It is inevitable and bound to happen on a pitch which is not spinning like a top .Mohali could be it.

  • sweetspot on March 6, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    Clarke is right, and these are conditions where it is hard for visiting teams to win even when they are playing well. India have to be struggling a bit internally to lose to anyone in home conditions. When visiting teams play below par even by their own team's standards, it becomes very difficult, particularly if some Indian players are finding their mojo at the right time. This is not going to be a quick fix, but unlike what Beertjie suggests, Aussies should look at what they're putting into practice out there in the middle. Aggression is a poor substitute for skill and temperament. Positive cricket comes naturally to the Aussies, but sometimes they need to curb and grind away.

  • ygkd on March 6, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    @Meety - you're right to mention the left-hand dominated batting line-up. Once upon a time you looked for a mixture of lefties and right-handers, but then we got so obsessed with lefties we manufactured them by the truck-load and now the youth squads are full of them, all from the same imperfect mold and with similar and manifold flaws to what we currently see. Bowling to an Australian batting line-up on a helpful pitch is now an off-spinner's dream. By contrast, India had one left-hander in the top seven and that at number seven. That was partly Lyon's problem - he wasn't bowling to Australia. If he had been, he'd have gotten wickets. Maybe he should emigrate. The Australian batting will not have improved in the time he'd take to qualify elsewhere.

  • Chris_P on March 6, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    @Meety. Agreed. I was very unsure of the squad, the retirement of Ponting & Hussey really did hit home. But here is an interesting fact, the only 3 series losses India have had in the past 13 years at home have all come at the front of their season where the pitches behaves a little better. On these tracks, they do reign supreme, I am more disappointed however, not in the result, these things happen, but in the manner they capitulated. I am still at a loss what criteria was used in the selection of non performing players? And it doesn't hardly stand out, does it?

  • Chris_P on March 6, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    @Shan156. Given what we got over there, you are pretty well spot on with your assessment. Agree with Phil Hughes, he did go away & address his issues with the ball leaving him outside the off, but has been found out with spin. Really, no-one I speak to here is surprised by the result, probably the lack of discipline more than anything. I would suggest Smith as an option. Having seen him the past 2 seasons, he has actually gone away & worked on his technique, now a lot more tight rather than the ungainly option we saw a few years ago. Perhaps his T20 form has suffered a little, but the present package is a lot more complete, & he actually uses his feet to spinners! I still have my doubts about Khawaja on turning tracks (based on many games seeing him play on the spin friendly SCG track). The options in India are sparse, but if they take away the experience for future & actually improve, it can be a positive, but that is a while away.

  • on March 6, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    "It is quiet surprising to see "Johnson" to sit out till date and Hughes retaining his place in the 11!This is basically a poor team selection by Aus rather then the horrible shots selection....They must change their batting order and few changes in the team immediately,from the first day I am saying that Hughes doesn't have the proper technique against the spinners but they are just repeating him again and again and why that man Henriques is being pushed too late in the batting order??He along with Clark must come early in the order!"..................

  • Shan156 on March 6, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    India are simply too strong for Australia in these conditions; like, how Australia were too strong for India in Australia. Aus. have better fast bowlers than India but they simply don't have any spinners, leave alone anyone comparable to Ashwin, Jadeja, or Harbhajan. While the bowling takes a lot of blame, the batting is appalling. Phil Hughes? If he gets another chance in this series, then that only means one thing - he is dear to someone who is at the top of CA management. Watson has done no better and it is probably good for Aus. that he will be missing the 3rd test. But, how many people are Aus. going to replace? Khawaja for Watson. Who for Hughes? Perhaps, they could play Johnson instead of Hughes. It would strengthen both their batting and bowling. Whatever the Aussies do, the Indians have this sewn up - 4-0 it is.

  • IAS2009 on March 6, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    England have quality spinners that is why they beat India, Aussies issue is not batting but bowling they batted poorly in first inning but bowling lost the game when they gave 500 plus runs, In first test they also conceded too many runs, two double hundred scored already, Aussies have struggled against SA at home also, Du Plesis and injured Kalis with AB batted all day to save test match in Adelaide, same pattern in India.

  • Clyde on March 6, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    I think most people underestimate the difference in the nature of pitches from one continent to another.The Australians did not appear to have got the months and years of practice necessary on earthen, subcontinental-style pitches if they were even to look like cricketers on one. Every second pitch in Australia would need to have most of the grass not just cut off but rooted out of it if Australians were to learn to play subcontinental-style in their own country. I have never heard of Australians working their way up through the state competition in India, but perhaps it happens. It would be another way of acquiring subcontinental ability for Australia. Another way again would be for Australians to play their Tests as practice matches till they got the hang of the subcontinental way. They would need to stop going for victory and just learn to bat and bowl subcontinental-style.

  • disco_bob on March 6, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    I suppose it is good for Clark to acknowledge this, but blind Freddy would have been appalled at the shot selection by the Aussie top order.

  • on March 6, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    Where Hilfenhaus? Why is Johnson not playing? Why Not khawaja given as many chances as Aron Finch got during Australian Summer? Why is not Haddin used as a specialist batsman for the team he, he has been consistently performing.. why cant shane warne take up mentoring spinners? I am a supporter of australian cricket, I am a pakistani and I support australia in all other games than when they are against pakistan.. I am very dissapointed India is not even in the best of shape right now and still Australian are still not able to challenge them at all.. VERY DISAPPOINTING

  • ygkd on March 6, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Changes to the team? I reckon there could be three or four .... left after making necessary changes. Clarke ..tick. Henriques ...qualified tick. Pattinson ...another tick. And the fourth? I honestly don't know.

  • Meety on March 6, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    @Chris_P - None of this though adresses the fact that it would appear that the NSP is using evaluation methods that differ from the rest of us. The pitch we got in this Test was IMO a typical Indian pitch, (no comment re: the 1st Test pitch), yet it seemed that we had already started to panic. We hear Lyon was either sore, sick or dropped, Maxwell gets a game despite doing nothing significant in the tour. India have a right hand dominant batting line up, but we play no left hand pacers for the 2nd Test? I accept that the NSP are seeing these guys in matches & in the nets & theoretically no infinately more about the players than you or I, some of the decisions just don't add up (MAINLY the SO'K no show). I would like to see Copeland given a ticket over there. On the positive side, our left hand dominated batting line up MAY not have to face Swann as his elbow is stuffed. (I don't think he would of been a big threat in the Ashes anyway).

  • Beertjie on March 5, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    Dhoni will likely win the next toss and bat. Hit them with Patto, Mitch and MJ. Try to break some fingers. Later Lyon can bowl into the rough created by the lefties. India can be dismissed twice!! Now if only we can score some runs...

  • swervin on March 5, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    1) the batting (clarke's recent form aside) has been letting australia down for some time - i think the batsman do take more blame than the bowling attack despite the spin issue

    2) Australia were never going to win in india given the nature of the pitches, our lack of spin bowling options and how well the indians play spin relative to australia's batting line-up - expectations were far too high on this tour

    3) maybe usman khawaja should be given a go in the subcontinent?

  • Wefinishthis on March 5, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    The batting is not the biggest problem here. Our bowlers have so far failed to take 10 wickets for less than 500 runs in ANY innings. NO team has ever scored more than 1000 runs to win a match, it's almost mathematically impossible. Even SA or England's batting lineup would struggle to save these matches. Siddle has been just awful. His lines and lengths have been far too inconsistent. Starc is useless. Pattinson has been quality as always, but with absolutely no support. Our spinners (if you can call them that) have been just atrocious. No plan, no accuracy. If we didn't have Bird injured and Steve O'Keefe, Ryan Harris and James Faulkner sitting at home then fair enough, but when you have selectors who actually think that ODI experience is better than Shield experience then all hope is lost (which explains why Watson, Starc, Doherty and not O'Keefe are there). I would have liked to see Zampa over there bowling in the nets, but now I'm glad he's away from all the carnage.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on March 5, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    Australian XI for 3rd Test: Watson, Cowan, Clarke, Khawaja, Ferguson, Smith, Wade(wk), Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon. Won't matter regardless. They are the 5th best Test side in the world!!!

  • Chris_P on March 5, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    @blink182alex. Couldn't agree more. Although not sure if the result would have been any different, there is no doubt in my mind the performances would have. Your example of Doherrty is spot on, added his efforts in the fc season (2 wickets for 180 in 4 games) somehow doesn't reflect on the Argus report. Watson the allrounder is one of the first players who should be picked, but Watson the batsman? With a fc batting average of less than 30 for the past 3 years, have we lowered the bar for selection so much? Maxwell, for all his efforts is simply not not at this standard for tests (although he is one of the top in the T20 format). Performers such as Doolan, SOK & Rogers, easily the leading players in the Sheffield Shield were not even considered? Copeland was a success on these type of wickets in SL & continually performs on the dusty SCG track, what about the horses for courses selection? Not even close to the best side.

  • mzm149 on March 5, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    @samincolumbia: and with this woeful record they are still ahead of India in head to head ODI (71-49) and test (12-9) record. I have to admit Indian team is awesome in self conceitedness.

  • blink182alex on March 5, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    The most thing i am disappointed in is that we have not lost with our best team. We have better players currently at home preparing for the next round of Shield games rather than being in India. Our players get injured far to frequently and guys like Doherty are selected to bowl in India because just before the tour selection meeting he took 3/21 in an odi against Sri Lanka.

    There is a lot of talent in Australia, maybe not the amount there was 5-10 years ago, but as a country we are better than what these current players are showing in India. Hopefully this series result will wake up the selectors and we can actually put a true representation of the best test side we have out on the park against England.

  • samincolumbia on March 5, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Aussie fans share the same fantasy like the Pakistani fans...best bowlers and best batsmen in the world. While the aussie fantasy can partly be attributed to the fact that they had indeed the best personnel in the world just a few years ago, Pakistan's overseas record have been woeful throughout.

  • AKS286 on March 5, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    Look everyone is blaming Pitch, players, etc. but in my views the selectors & Batting coach, bowling coach are more responsible for that. selectors knows that A special team has to be sent whenever any team tour to India due to the conditions.Except of Cowan playing XI is looks like T20 team. batting coach fails to teach players how to adapt and bowling coach who fails to teach fast bowlers how to bowl in sub-continent. Senior Siddle bowling looks like net practicing. After the poor performance by all Oz spinners they are encourage, motivate by Coach, captain but kreja who took 8 wickets but not even think by anyone. same team will perform good when touring beyond sub-continent. So its a fault of coaches.

  • on March 5, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    clarke always wanted to be the stand-out player right from the time he first burst on the scene. he was responsible for getting symonds kicked out. he did not want the seniors around him because he wanted to be captain. now he is the best player of his team, but he does not have a team. this is what happens if you are too ambitious and feel insecure about better players around you.

  • Ben_Dubai on March 5, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    I believe the downfall started when Micheal clarke started to captain Australia, look at his stats when ricky was captaining, was he not repsonsible member of theteam then???do u remember his performance when australia visited last to India... was he trying to demonize ponting??? once he was given the captaincy he started palying well and with responsibility.....other mistake was once he became the captain he put ricky pointing down the order,,,, then that was the end of ponting...... now he is playing with watson.... who again is not playing with responsibility.... he too is subjected to different positions,,, i feel his end is near too , unless he is again asked to do the opening for australia... Hope some tells clarke to behave and talk to individual players before taking nasty decisions.....

  • cricketcricket1987 on March 5, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    I think its fair to say there are 2 main reasons Aus have performed so badly in the series so far.

    1. Clarke's reluctance to bat higher 2. Lack of a quality spinner

    As captain, Clarke should have realised that the top 3 (Warner, Cowan, Hughes) and inexperienced at test level and would potential struggle in alien conditions. Sure he should take responsibility and bat at number 3 to bring stability at the top of the order.

    I did feel sorry for Lyon being dropped as he has the potential to be a good test match spinner and given that he has had the most success of all the post-Warne spinners, he should surely have been given another test in spinner friendly conditions.

    Looking through the records of Aus domestic spinners, its a very worrying time for them! The majority of them average 35 + in domestic cricket and in there prime years of cricket.

    They've gambled on inexperienced batsmen in Warner, Hughes and Cowan....perhaps they should have gambled on Lyon and Agar.

  • on March 5, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    @chin-music: You seem to have followed cricket only lately. India had a really good overseas record from 2002-2010 compared to a lot of other teams in that same time. Check the stats my friend.

    @MaheshVenkat: I totally agree with you. Even in defeat, Clarke's attitude is "what can we do to get better"? Whereas MS and co offered excuses in England and Australia. I can never imagine the Indian side that toured recently going into the nets in England and Australia immediately after a huge defeat like this. You may argue that that team had Sachin, Dravid, and Laxman, but even those guys were nowhere near their best. And ego is a big thing in Indian cricket unfortunately.

  • Cricket_Man on March 5, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    England batsmen performed in India because they had a good learning experience against spin bowling versus Pakistan in the UAE earlier on. Whereas, the Aussies haven't had the same privilege. This is the first big experience of facing sharp turn for the young Aussie batting lineup. Therefore, don't be too hard on them. They will perform better the next time they come to India, provided it's the same bunch. The English fans should not be too excited either. This Aussie side may find it difficult to play in sub-continent but they have what it takes to win the Ashes.

  • AKS286 on March 5, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Mr. Clarke your team selection is horrible. No need of Warner, Cowan, Hughes (good only in pace pitch), mathew waste, lyon, maxwell, siddle (most senior bowler but don't know how to bowl reverse swing in sub-continent), doherty and also the bench like highly overrated khawaja, SO'K, agar. This is the result due to your Senior Axing Policy.

  • on March 5, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Australia's Test Cricket is in dire straights right now. This year (2013) will be their worst, and not to forget the upcoming Ashes where England will be more of a challenge than India is right now. No answers right now. Nobody in the tank to turn to for a counter attack. Clarke is the only man left standing with no one around to offer support. Bad, really bad..............

  • sweet2hrme on March 5, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    Not only ur shot selection was horrible but ur team selection was also horrible! Some of the players still need to learn more. Playing test match against India specially in India is not a easy job! U might loose ur place from team n will never come back again despite of ur late efforts. So u hv to prepare well in advance. England done it becoz they hv played better than us in all department. Well Mohali is a place where u can bounce back. But still i feel sorry how badly u guys hv played against swing bowling against srilanka. But in next match we hope u guys will show some good efforts if not than u guys plz think twice b4 go2 England...

  • sweet2hrme on March 5, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    Not only ur shot selection was horrible but ur team selection was also horrible! Some of the players still need to learn more. Playing test match against India specially in India is not a easy job! U might loose ur place from team n will never come back again despite of ur late efforts. So u hv to prepare well in advance. England done it becoz they hv played better than us in all department. Well Mohali is a place where u can bounce back. But still i feel sorry how badly u guys hv played against swing bowling against srilanka. But in next match we hope u guys will show some good efforts if not than u guys plz think twice b4 go2 England...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 5, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    @Webba84: Interesting reasoning. By pointing out what a failure Clarke has been as captain in this series and the utter humiliation your Australia are suffering at the moment equates to a 'personal fantasy'? I'll tell you what does though: hailing club-rate spinners as 'the best in the world', even right up until they proved to be the polar opposite. That was a fantasy. If certain Aussie fans haven't woken up to the reality of what their team is currently facing, I'd hazard a guess they never will.

  • popcorn on March 5, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    We've sent a Team of 17 over to India - not for a free plane ride.What better time to select those who are waiting in the wings than NOW? Phil Hughes - enough of you -go back to your banana farm.Shane watson - go get a massage for 4 months - you can't bat, you can't bowl, we don't need you to stand like a dummy. Usman Khawaja should DEFINITELY COME IN PLACE OF Phil Hughes,and if Shane Watson refuses to bowl, dump him, take Mitchell Johnson - at least he will bat better than Shane Watson,and will definitely bowl!So we now have 6 batters - Warner (if he improves his technique), Cowan,Khawaja,Clarke,Wade,Henriques,2 front line spinners - Lyon and Doherty,3 fast bowlers, Johnson,Siddle,Pattinson.I wouldn't choose Maxwell - what good is he? His 4 wickets came at the wrong time. But he is a BATSMAN FIRST.

  • bjg62 on March 5, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    So Clarke says he does'nt want the batsmen to curb their natural instinct. Given that their natural instinct on Indian wickets is to play aggressively, across the line of the ball and against the spin early in their innings - and this has failed twice in a row against the same side they slaughtered a couple of summers ago - I'd say he's wrong. What Vijay and Pujara showed the visitors was that on these wickets skill and patience are the key combination to building an innings and a large team total.

    As for Clarke batting at 5, his inabilty to bat with the tail (and his inability / unwillingness to farm the strike) even when a batting collapse was on the cards, shows that he is unsuitable for that position.

  • chin-music on March 5, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    If anything , this series really separates the men from the boys in international test cricket ! And, sadly, what is proves is that both Ind & Aus are currently tier 2 teams which can only play in favourable conditions - in contrast to the 2 real top rung teams (Eng & SA) who seem to be able to atleast compete irrespective of conditions. Only difference between Aus & India is where they have moved into tier 2 from --- Aus were a ex-tier-1 team , now on a downward slide; India have never been Tier1 , post-Eng series they were in danger of Tier-3 (can't compete abroad, can't win at home either) , but now maybe moving back into a more familiar Tier2 status.

  • MaheshVenkat on March 5, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    @Paul_Rampley - well said. Clarke's forthrightness is quite refreshing in these days of excuses and evasive responses. As an Indian, what hurt me more during the Eng & Aus drubbings were the excuses. Clarke credits the opposition, admits to his team''s failings and acknowledges that they can learn from the opposition. Of course, it will be interesting to see how he reacts if he starts losing more. But I believe (hope) that with his approach, a turn around is quite possible, at least with the batting. Win or lose - i've become his fan.

  • Webba84 on March 5, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    @FFL Do you ever bother to look at anything which contradicts your personal fantasy? If you do can you even see it for what it is? Humiliation and failure are not things to be feared, they are tools for getting better. Clarke knows this but clearly you dont. Love the english complacency when things are going well, because you blokes are always unable to deal with failure properly.

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 5, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge gsingh means last 2 series against Australia

    @Jayzuz Enough of blaming pitch sir. Would you consider the fact that the indian lower order tried to accelerate and lost the wickets in the process? you won the toss but couldn't capitalize on that. That is the turning point of the match and the biggest turning point was when watson tried to whack the ball over longon but missed the ball only to get out lbw. Then again you will only blame the pitch but not watson for that kind of shot.

  • satishchandar on March 5, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Well.. Sweep is one big option to overcome threat of spinners. But Australia has used it as a wicket donating option this time. Australia should try somehow to slot in a balance in left/right combo's when batting. Having too many inexperienced lefties is just making them very one dimensional batting lineup. I don't see them escaping it too as the replacement bat they got is another leftie. But one thing is, he is a man from SC by blood. Tackling spin might be in his genes. Not allowing maidens should be their top priority. SA succeeded with it. With tracks assisting spin better than it was against England, you can't defend all day like Cowan. A ball will come to you with your wicket as its target. Can't escape it that easily unless you are that lucky. Balance attack with defense. England had rock solid Cook with smashing KP combo which did the job for them. Aussies got rock solid Clarke but no "X" factor. Thought Watto would do it but nothing from him yet..

  • Un_Citoyen_Indien on March 5, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Jayzuz wrote: "Nobody was going to score 200 on that track, day 4 onwards. Day 5 would have been a total write-off".

    Shows what you know about Indian pitches (not all that much obviously) or perhaps you simply want to cling on to your notions (quite deluded, might I add) about how 'unfair' the pitch was.....

    May I remind you that the Indian wickets were lost in quick succession as a direct consequence of indian batsmen looking for quick runs (and thereby a quick declaration) on day 3? I wonder if you actually believe that the Australian bowlers 'earned' all those wickets. It goes without saying that if Tendulkar, Kohli, Dhoni and Ashwin (not to mention Kumar) CHOSE to play cautiously, India would still have been batting even at lunch on Day 4.

    India plays to win. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 5, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    @gsingh7, You must be stuck in a different year, as England destroyed India recently ("these indian players cud destroy any batting order"). As for your statement "considering last 2 series were won by india 2-0 scorelines", I can offer no explanation. Are you talking about 1976? It's 2013 now you see..

  • Paul_Rampley on March 5, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    I admire the way Clarke handles himself in defeat, he is honest and acknowledges where we need to improve, no doubt it was our batting that let us down, we needed to get more runs on day 1. Khawaja is a must for me in the top order and we need to keep him for the next 2 test matches. Hughes should open in Watson's absence with Khawaja at 3. Clarke at 4 looks good to me.

  • Deep_Biswas on March 5, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    @jayzyz Theres no point blaming the pitch. The Indian top order showed how to bat patiently after the Australian batting downfall. I am sure the duo of Vijay and Pujara would have scored a quadruple century partnership batting on the fourth and fifth day here again. You got to know how to bat. Just that. In India you expect pitches to look and behave like this. Unlike a hockey turf like in Australia or New Zealand.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 5, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    No Clarke, Your captaincy was horrible: Choosing to hide down at 5 when you're clearly needed above shows you were running scared of the new ball in-case your technique gets found out. Well it has. Selecting a mediocre team of players, granted your cupboard is empty, was 'horrible'. Facilitating the Australian 'Slide' - embarrassing but also very damaging to a team that needs to begin a rebuilding process, and begin it now. Being the first captain in cricketing history to lose by an innings after declaring - that's just purely humiliating.

  • crindo77 on March 5, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    What I like about Clarke is that he has the guts to say that the performance was unacceptable. He doesn't talk about pitches, conditions, selection, or a team in transition. If you are playing for your country which is a major cricketing nation, you have to do better. PERIOD. A lot of people will have conveniently forgotten the abject misery of India in England in 2011, and in Oz. 0-4, 0-4 with ALL the big guns, and all the frenzied post WC success expat support. And MSD was blaming himself later in Oz, while there were people in the team who had not crossed 100 ONCE in their last 15 innings, and not since then, who were criticizing the captain. Vijay, Pujara, Kumar, Jadeja, they shut up and they perform. And I love what Pujara had the guts to say, that the real test will be in SA. PLENTY of Indians have scored doubles at home. Few abroad. And its high time the non performers got the old boot. Make no mistake, Australia will come back in Mohali, not least because of their skipper.

  • FrankG on March 5, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Ah gsingh - you are getting carried away. Pujara has all the makings of the next Tendulkar and is delivering. Apart from that, the rest of the stars batted excellent one-offs. As for Jadeja and Ashwin, they were excellent too. But as everyone knows, all this is only one Indian pitches.

  • FrankG on March 5, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Ah gsingh - you are getting carried away. Pujara has all the makings of the next Tendulkar and is delivering. Apart from that, the rest of the stars batted excellent one-offs. As for Jadeja and Ashwin, they were excellent too. But as everyone knows, all this is only one Indian pitches.

  • Members_End on March 5, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Clarke at 4 certainly means the end of Hughes. He's a liability at the moment there's no doubt. Johnson should have been playing from the 1st test - you need an enigma like that in these conditions. Pattinson stays as he's the closest thing to McGrath since McGrath. Siddle was always going to find it tough on those pitches and could easily sit out and not be missed. Starc needs the ball to swing to bring out the best in him, but suprised he's struggled this much. Not reliable enough. If the selectors took our 'best' (cough cough) 3 spinners over there in Lyon, Doherty & Maxwell (Smith's even less of a spin bowler than White), then you simply had to play the best 2 in Lyon and Doherty and stick with them. With the players over there to choose from, I reckon the side should be: 1.Cowan, 2.Warner, 3.Watson, 4.Clarke, 5.Khawaja, 6.Henriques, 7.Wade, 8.Johnson, 9.Pattinson, 10.Lyon, 11.Doherty.

  • SamRoy on March 5, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    I think Australia has to play 5 batsman and 5 bowlers in Indian conditions since Watson can't bowl. If 5 batsman can't do the job, even 6 can't. None of their specialist all-rounders are actually all-rounders. Already they have seen the consequence of playing 8 batsman. Play 5 batsman Watson,Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques (his bowling is not all that good). Wade and then 5 bowlers Pattinson, Johnson, Siddle/Starc (either is fine, Bird would have been ideal), Lyon and Doherty (they didn't bring a better second spinner better than this guy a pity actually). Otherwise ask Watson to bowl 10 overs a day. And play Ed Cowan in the middle order in place of Siddle/Starc.

  • SamRoy on March 5, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    I think Australia has to play 5 batsman and 5 bowlers in Indian conditions since Watson can't bowl. If 5 batsman can't do the job, even 6 can't. None of their specialist all-rounders are actually all-rounders. Already they have seen the consequence of playing 8 batsman. Play 5 batsman Watson,Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques (his bowling is not all that good). Wade and then 5 bowlers Pattinson, Johnson, Siddle/Starc (either is fine, Bird would have been ideal), Lyon and Doherty (they didn't bring a better second spinner better than this guy a pity actually). Otherwise ask Watson to bowl 10 overs a day. And play Ed Cowan in the middle order in place of Siddle/Starc.

  • on March 5, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Clarke should also desist from chopping and changing after every test. Particularly on Indian soil he must allow their spinners to settle and gain confidence.

  • Harmony111 on March 5, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @Lawton Ratnam: You would know your players better but in my eyes Warner is every bit a world class player and on his day he could be the best in the world...by a mile. Watson too can be deadly and I got to say I still fear that one of them (or both) could go berserk any time and in a single session could do more damage than others do in a whole test. Ofc Aus can't now win the series but Mohali would offer them a wicket suited for stroke play and who knows we might see Viru, Warner and Watson all giving us a treat. It would take a record comeback for Aussies to draw this series now but I'd still not rule out Aus wining 1 of the other 2 tests. India still have plenty of issues and frankly, 2 test wins do not mean all is well. We are still to see how our players would do in a tight match or in a match where they are trailing and facing high pressure. Pressure can make a genius look like newbie and the 2 W's are proven players in my opinion, and besides, Warner is a quasi-genius.

  • Sunil_Batra on March 5, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    @vista516 Khawaja is a superior batsman and deserves to come in. He has always been a good player of pace but under Lehman has improved significantly against spin and uses his feet and sweeps naturally. No doubt that I would go for Khawaja as replacment for Watson when he goes home. At the moment there seems to be a complete lack of footwork against the spinners, allowing them to dictate. One wonders what instructions the last 2 batsmen were given, if any. What was their thought process making 1 run off 53 deliveries? Were they hoping to bat for another 5 sessions and save the game. Surely at that stage they should have come out swinging to at least perhaps hit some of the close in fieldsmen and make the bowlerrs have to think.

  • gsingh7 on March 5, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    how about giving some credit where it is due. indian spinners and top order batsmen were in form of their lives. on their day these indian players cud destroy any batting order ,especially in india. so i dont think so better shot selection wud have prevented 2-0 considering last 2 series were won by india 2-0 scorelines. was shot selection bad then too?

  • Deep_Biswas on March 5, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Not only shot selection, your team selection was also horrible. God Bless Australia.

  • Jayzuz on March 5, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Well, the reality is that even beyond poor shot selection, the pitch deteriorated. The last 18 wickets fell for about 240 runs, and if you look at it, once the ball lost its shine, wickets fell like ninepins for both sides. So Clarke is right that the game was lost on day 1. Nobody was going to score 200 on that track, day 4 onwards. Day 5 would have been a total write-off.

  • on March 5, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Urs best combination for mohali will be 1.Warner 2.Watson 3.Cowan 4. Clarke 5.Khawaja 6.Wade 7. Henriques 8. Johnson 9.Pattinson 10.Lyon 11.Siddle

  • vista516 on March 5, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    I think Steven smith is better player of spin bowling. He showed us in his previous tour to India. I don't know how Usman bats but it would be better to select steven who is also good athlete.

  • on March 5, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    One has to accept that we have only two world class players in MC and Pattinson.The rest I am afraid are average and not test class We'll do very well to atleast draw one of the remaining tests.

  • Webba84 on March 5, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Yup. Work and and think hard and come back better for the next test. And don't care about the selection so much, just try to get every individual playing as well as they can.

  • Webba84 on March 5, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Yup. Work and and think hard and come back better for the next test. And don't care about the selection so much, just try to get every individual playing as well as they can.

  • on March 5, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    One has to accept that we have only two world class players in MC and Pattinson.The rest I am afraid are average and not test class We'll do very well to atleast draw one of the remaining tests.

  • vista516 on March 5, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    I think Steven smith is better player of spin bowling. He showed us in his previous tour to India. I don't know how Usman bats but it would be better to select steven who is also good athlete.

  • on March 5, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Urs best combination for mohali will be 1.Warner 2.Watson 3.Cowan 4. Clarke 5.Khawaja 6.Wade 7. Henriques 8. Johnson 9.Pattinson 10.Lyon 11.Siddle

  • Jayzuz on March 5, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Well, the reality is that even beyond poor shot selection, the pitch deteriorated. The last 18 wickets fell for about 240 runs, and if you look at it, once the ball lost its shine, wickets fell like ninepins for both sides. So Clarke is right that the game was lost on day 1. Nobody was going to score 200 on that track, day 4 onwards. Day 5 would have been a total write-off.

  • Deep_Biswas on March 5, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Not only shot selection, your team selection was also horrible. God Bless Australia.

  • gsingh7 on March 5, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    how about giving some credit where it is due. indian spinners and top order batsmen were in form of their lives. on their day these indian players cud destroy any batting order ,especially in india. so i dont think so better shot selection wud have prevented 2-0 considering last 2 series were won by india 2-0 scorelines. was shot selection bad then too?

  • Sunil_Batra on March 5, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    @vista516 Khawaja is a superior batsman and deserves to come in. He has always been a good player of pace but under Lehman has improved significantly against spin and uses his feet and sweeps naturally. No doubt that I would go for Khawaja as replacment for Watson when he goes home. At the moment there seems to be a complete lack of footwork against the spinners, allowing them to dictate. One wonders what instructions the last 2 batsmen were given, if any. What was their thought process making 1 run off 53 deliveries? Were they hoping to bat for another 5 sessions and save the game. Surely at that stage they should have come out swinging to at least perhaps hit some of the close in fieldsmen and make the bowlerrs have to think.

  • Harmony111 on March 5, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @Lawton Ratnam: You would know your players better but in my eyes Warner is every bit a world class player and on his day he could be the best in the world...by a mile. Watson too can be deadly and I got to say I still fear that one of them (or both) could go berserk any time and in a single session could do more damage than others do in a whole test. Ofc Aus can't now win the series but Mohali would offer them a wicket suited for stroke play and who knows we might see Viru, Warner and Watson all giving us a treat. It would take a record comeback for Aussies to draw this series now but I'd still not rule out Aus wining 1 of the other 2 tests. India still have plenty of issues and frankly, 2 test wins do not mean all is well. We are still to see how our players would do in a tight match or in a match where they are trailing and facing high pressure. Pressure can make a genius look like newbie and the 2 W's are proven players in my opinion, and besides, Warner is a quasi-genius.

  • on March 5, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Clarke should also desist from chopping and changing after every test. Particularly on Indian soil he must allow their spinners to settle and gain confidence.