Australia in India 2012-13 March 7, 2013

Need to take pressure off Clarke - Wade

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Australia's wicketkeeper Matthew Wade has said the batsmen need to find the right balance between patience and aggression if they are to give Michael Clarke the support he needs to turn the Test tour of India around. Clarke has scored more than twice as many runs as any other member of Australia's top six during the first two Tests and will move up the order from No.5 for the third Test in Mohali in an effort to exert greater influence on Australia's batting innings.

More than a quarter of Australia's runs in the series have come off the bat of Clarke but only two batsmen have accompanied him for meaningful partnerships, Moises Henriques, in a 151-run stand in Chennai, and Wade for a 145-run partnership in Hyderabad. That ended when Wade cut a catch to backward point off Harbhajan Singh for 62, the ball after a missed stumping, and Wade said he knew he had thrown away a chance to really influence the game.

"Michael has had to score a truckload of runs for us," Wade said. "I felt very disappointed when I got out in this Test match. We'd put on nearly 150 runs and we were both really going. If I could have hung around with him, it could have been endless. Individually we'd like to stick around with him and help him out a little bit more and take the pressure off him. But I'm sure he's going to keep scoring runs no matter what."

For most of Australia's batsmen getting starts has not been the problem, but rather finding a way to stay at the crease long and push through to a much longer innings. In some cases they have fallen trying to force some runs to relieve pressure, while in other instances they have found themselves too tentative. Achieving the right balance is a fine art that the Indian batsmen have mastered in this series.

"Getting a boundary away or playing a scoring shot relieves the pressure a little bit," Wade said. "It's hard work to try to stay mentally in your game plan and not go away from that when the spinners are bowling really well. One thing that I definitely saw in the first innings [in Hyderabad] is when you do get on top, things start to happen a lot quicker. You can go from 20 to 50 quickly in these conditions.

"We might have to be a little bit more aggressive at times to get India to do something different because if they get into a rhythm and just bowl dot after dot, the game's not going anywhere for us. We're just sitting ducks. We've got to try to be a little bit more aggressive and put the pressure back on their bowlers."

However, in some cases when the Australians have tried to do just that it has cost them their wickets. Two Tests in to the series, the batsmen are starting to realise just how difficult the Indian conditions can be in Test cricket, which is a new experience for all but Clarke and Shane Watson among the batting group. Wade said the first two Tests had "definitely" been a wake-up call for the batsmen, who had a centre-wicket practice session on the Hyderabad pitch on what should have been day five of the Test.

"The West Indies [2012 tour] was similar to these kinds of conditions, big-spinning wickets, hard to score, good spinners, good quicks bowling reverse," Wade said. "Coming from Australian conditions to these conditions is a massive difference and it has taken a little bit of time to adapt. But that's no excuse. We had two trials games where our batters got good innings and our bowlers had a good bowl.

"We were a little bit flat [after the loss] but training has helped the mood, to get out there and start honing our skills again. Going to a ground day five when you were supposed to be playing, it's not a great result when you are there training, but everyone was pretty focused individually on how to get better. The bigger thing is that as a team we need to get better so as the training session went on people got a little more relaxed and came out of their shell."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NixNixon on March 7, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Here is my opninion as a South African on the team for Aus going forward:

    1. Cohen (persevere with him - although he is not hot right now give him a chance to settle in, I like his temprament and think he is solid) 2. Shane Watson (one of aus better players - given him responsibility to focus on his batting solely) 3. M Clark (Impact player and match winner - get him in early so he can have the same impact as an Amla for SA - Clark is an awesome player and is wasted comming in at 5 or even 4) 4. Brad Hodge (now I know he is old and all that but aus need experience in the middle order and he is a quality player) 5. Ferguson - great talent 6. Brad Haddin - quality player (experience) 7. M Henriques - (extra bowling option plus batting depth) 8. M Johnson (quality bowling allrounder - plus x factor) 9. J Pattinson (awesome talent) 10. P Siddle (workhorse) 11. X Doherty (or okeefe)

  • kentjones on March 7, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    Nice article BC. The answer to Australia batting woes is definitely for the other guys to step up and not Clarke moving up the batting order. Batters have to be willing to camp out at the wicket and not be content to score a cameo innings. It may be a huge mistake to move Clarke up the order, even as good a batter as he is, and he is probably the best around right now, one must recognise that changing one's batting order may impact on the thinking and method for the individual. Do not mess with a good thing. Clarke is in a zone of his own, leave him be! Read the riot act to the negligent ones, make whatever changes you like, but leave MC where he is. Some may argue that he often comes in early anyway, but it is not the same thing. Who knows what goes on in the mind of a player, 25 for1 is not the same as 25 for 3, the psychology of the moment is not the same, mindset, mental approach are all worked out on the state of the game and the person's reaction, MC is excellent but human!

  • zenboomerang on March 9, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Wade shouldn't have to make these statements - where's the vice captain & what is he doing to take the pressure off from Clarke?...

    Watto with a batting average @25.2 since being named VC is the worst of the current top 7 batsmen during this period - Wade @37.62 with 2 centuries to Watto's zero cenuries... Actually Hughes @28.09 is only slightly higher during this period & both must be under pressure to build some noticeable scores to keep their positions...

  • mrsaha on March 8, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    well there is all talk about the comeback of India and Aussies dismissal... bring Brad hodge in the team and ages doen't count....he is the best player and he can tackle spinners and adjusted to this conditions...

    my team:- 1. Warner 2. Watson 3. Cowan 4. Clarke 5. Hodge 6. Wade 7. Henriques 8. Maxwell 9. Johnson 10. Pattinson 11. Beer/ Doherty

    love to see Beer in the playing XI..

  • Beertjie on March 8, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Some good picks for the Ashes line-up @ AussieFan on (March 8, 2013, 0:05 GMT) However Bird will likely not be fit after the initial prognosis which is a big loss. Cummins ought to work toward proper match fitness (return Ashes) by going on the A team tour. I'd have Starc for Bird and possibly Fawad Ahmed (if he continues his good form in the last Shield game) might make the squad, otherwise Lyon. I'd take Ferguson and Hughes as back up. Rogers too might be worth having around and about for a year or so. Paine is fit again and his batting is improving, so Wade would be a mistake because keeping in England is tough.

  • gsingh7 on March 8, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    anyone thinking mohali will be a green top is deluding himself. mohali will be quite similar to hyderabad. i have seen plenty matches there. scoring will be slow and easy. will be rank turner from day 3 onwards. if india bat first on this pitch then it will be 3-0 india on day 3

  • Edwards_Anderson on March 8, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    If the team was going to play 2 spinners then Doherty was always going to play which means Maxwell was selected ahead of Lyon. That just doesn't work. Lyon now must wonder when he is a part of a team where he had to hold up the tenth wicket so we can get some runs and then carry out the drinks for a pretend spinner who would struggle to get a run in Sydney Grade cricket 4 openers 3 of whom are woefully out of nick. Hughes has so far faced 30 balls from spinners in the 2 tests for 3 outs and no runs still trying to square cut balls that are too close. Watson thinks he can flog everything that comes his way and poor old Ed Cowan looks totally lost. Khawaja is not the saviour but he is among our top 6 best batsman and should be getting a fair crack. This is my team to play the third test: Warner Watson (needs to step up) Hughes or Cowan Clarke Khawaja Henriques Wade Hauritz Pattinson Starc Siddle

  • Chipwich on March 8, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    Why are people still going on about Hodge? He's 38, not really a long format player anymore and there's young talent worthy of the role. Forget Hodge, good player but just not for our test team.

  • sohaibahmad on March 8, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    i think all will be well if Mohali wicket plays the way it does. 2-1 India going into 4th test

  • Will90 on March 8, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    broken_chairs, problem is, with scores of 6, 0, 19 and 0, he's not going to get much experience against spin... And we still don't know if he can handle any pace attack better than Sri Lanka's.

  • NixNixon on March 7, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Here is my opninion as a South African on the team for Aus going forward:

    1. Cohen (persevere with him - although he is not hot right now give him a chance to settle in, I like his temprament and think he is solid) 2. Shane Watson (one of aus better players - given him responsibility to focus on his batting solely) 3. M Clark (Impact player and match winner - get him in early so he can have the same impact as an Amla for SA - Clark is an awesome player and is wasted comming in at 5 or even 4) 4. Brad Hodge (now I know he is old and all that but aus need experience in the middle order and he is a quality player) 5. Ferguson - great talent 6. Brad Haddin - quality player (experience) 7. M Henriques - (extra bowling option plus batting depth) 8. M Johnson (quality bowling allrounder - plus x factor) 9. J Pattinson (awesome talent) 10. P Siddle (workhorse) 11. X Doherty (or okeefe)

  • kentjones on March 7, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    Nice article BC. The answer to Australia batting woes is definitely for the other guys to step up and not Clarke moving up the batting order. Batters have to be willing to camp out at the wicket and not be content to score a cameo innings. It may be a huge mistake to move Clarke up the order, even as good a batter as he is, and he is probably the best around right now, one must recognise that changing one's batting order may impact on the thinking and method for the individual. Do not mess with a good thing. Clarke is in a zone of his own, leave him be! Read the riot act to the negligent ones, make whatever changes you like, but leave MC where he is. Some may argue that he often comes in early anyway, but it is not the same thing. Who knows what goes on in the mind of a player, 25 for1 is not the same as 25 for 3, the psychology of the moment is not the same, mindset, mental approach are all worked out on the state of the game and the person's reaction, MC is excellent but human!

  • zenboomerang on March 9, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Wade shouldn't have to make these statements - where's the vice captain & what is he doing to take the pressure off from Clarke?...

    Watto with a batting average @25.2 since being named VC is the worst of the current top 7 batsmen during this period - Wade @37.62 with 2 centuries to Watto's zero cenuries... Actually Hughes @28.09 is only slightly higher during this period & both must be under pressure to build some noticeable scores to keep their positions...

  • mrsaha on March 8, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    well there is all talk about the comeback of India and Aussies dismissal... bring Brad hodge in the team and ages doen't count....he is the best player and he can tackle spinners and adjusted to this conditions...

    my team:- 1. Warner 2. Watson 3. Cowan 4. Clarke 5. Hodge 6. Wade 7. Henriques 8. Maxwell 9. Johnson 10. Pattinson 11. Beer/ Doherty

    love to see Beer in the playing XI..

  • Beertjie on March 8, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Some good picks for the Ashes line-up @ AussieFan on (March 8, 2013, 0:05 GMT) However Bird will likely not be fit after the initial prognosis which is a big loss. Cummins ought to work toward proper match fitness (return Ashes) by going on the A team tour. I'd have Starc for Bird and possibly Fawad Ahmed (if he continues his good form in the last Shield game) might make the squad, otherwise Lyon. I'd take Ferguson and Hughes as back up. Rogers too might be worth having around and about for a year or so. Paine is fit again and his batting is improving, so Wade would be a mistake because keeping in England is tough.

  • gsingh7 on March 8, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    anyone thinking mohali will be a green top is deluding himself. mohali will be quite similar to hyderabad. i have seen plenty matches there. scoring will be slow and easy. will be rank turner from day 3 onwards. if india bat first on this pitch then it will be 3-0 india on day 3

  • Edwards_Anderson on March 8, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    If the team was going to play 2 spinners then Doherty was always going to play which means Maxwell was selected ahead of Lyon. That just doesn't work. Lyon now must wonder when he is a part of a team where he had to hold up the tenth wicket so we can get some runs and then carry out the drinks for a pretend spinner who would struggle to get a run in Sydney Grade cricket 4 openers 3 of whom are woefully out of nick. Hughes has so far faced 30 balls from spinners in the 2 tests for 3 outs and no runs still trying to square cut balls that are too close. Watson thinks he can flog everything that comes his way and poor old Ed Cowan looks totally lost. Khawaja is not the saviour but he is among our top 6 best batsman and should be getting a fair crack. This is my team to play the third test: Warner Watson (needs to step up) Hughes or Cowan Clarke Khawaja Henriques Wade Hauritz Pattinson Starc Siddle

  • Chipwich on March 8, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    Why are people still going on about Hodge? He's 38, not really a long format player anymore and there's young talent worthy of the role. Forget Hodge, good player but just not for our test team.

  • sohaibahmad on March 8, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    i think all will be well if Mohali wicket plays the way it does. 2-1 India going into 4th test

  • Will90 on March 8, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    broken_chairs, problem is, with scores of 6, 0, 19 and 0, he's not going to get much experience against spin... And we still don't know if he can handle any pace attack better than Sri Lanka's.

  • 5_day_tragic on March 8, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    @NixNixon You're not far off the mark with that squad. The Aus selectors will not pick Hodge for the Ashes...but if they aren't considering him at all then they aren't thinking properly.

  • Veda_Santhosh on March 8, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    One thing I like about Aussies is that they are very honest in their assessment. Their attitude is so good which can be gauged by their training session during the 5th day of the test...Needless to say, our Indians would have opted for optional training session as usual...They will definitely bounce back...

  • on March 8, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    then help him wade.or do you want the retired greats to come back

  • on March 8, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    So my opinion should be made ​​to give the team the best of Australia,

    MJ Clarke SR Watson DA Warner SE Marsh DJ Hussey BJ Haddin C White UT Khawaja BW Hilfenhaus Mitchell Johnson Peter Siddle James Pattinson Mitchell Starc Xavier Doherty

  • ygkd on March 8, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Batting down at the gritty end, at first drop, is where Clarke should lead from, not the safety of his current position. He isn't just the best batsman in the team, he increasingly looks like the only bastman in the team. As for the others there is one word we should just forget for a while and that's potential. Most young cricketers in the FC scene have potential. What we need is something more immediate. A transplant of experience is necessary - people who look like they know what the conditions that they're heading into will be like. It's ironic that in this day and age of the IPL, mass-communication and India's growing place on the world stage that a fair number of this touring squad really don't seem prepared for it. Sure they'll learn to some extent, but they should have done most of that learning before they were given their ticket. That's what an apprenticeship was about.

  • ygkd on March 8, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    We have to decide if we want our national captain to hold his charges' hands and wipe their noses, or we want him to lead a hardened group, even if some of the alternatives are near retirement. All this talk of improvement is just hot air. Australia is treading water. It is not Clarke's fault. He can't clone himself to fill all top-order batting spots. But he can move down the order and he can state a case for older, wiser heads. Although Clarke himself debuted at 24, it doesn't always hurt to wait. Michael Hussey debuted at 30 & he made up for lost time. Even then we seem to expect everyone to have a 70-plus Test career like Hussey. That's expecting too much. If we get 3 or 4 good years out of a seasoned player that's okay. That's far better than picking them before they're ready, if they ever will be, and hanging them out to dry as happened with Khawaja. Australia is over-rated because too many of their players are. Oh, for a Martin Love, Jamie Siddons, Stuart Law or Ian Harvey now.

  • broken_chairs on March 8, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    what's with everyone calling for hughes to be dropped? the dude's got the most talent and potential out of any of the new batsmen we've trialled. sure he's poor against spin, but dropping him when he has the opportunity to gain some valuable spin experience is not the answer.

    watson on the other hand... 40 odd tests, average of 36. at least he's a VERY handy bowler... oh wait, he can't even do that any more.

  • RednWhiteArmy on March 8, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    I reckon all australia needs is 4 or 5 better batsmen, a new wicket keeper, a spinner & injury free bowlers. easy.

  • ygkd on March 8, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Now we just stick them in the team and hope they'll grow into it. Well, once upon a time you could do that with one or two players. Now it seems to apply to nearly half the team. This team lacks leadership. Clarke is an okay captain, but it is the older heads around him that make or break him. So who do we see in the next rank - Watson (plagued by injury), Warner (not yet a master of his technique), Wade (lucky to be anywhere near the team) & Cowan (hanging on to his spot for grim life). None of these alternatives gives one any confidence at all that the absence of Clarke would not be a catastrophe. Taking the pressure off Clarke should have involved giving him experienced back-up. Someone like McDonald comes to mind - not a superstar, but solid and reliable. Paine or Hartley would help in that regard. The alternative is a continuation of the merry-go-round where Clarke looks more like a beleagured day-care assistant than the holder of arguably the highest sporting office in the land.

  • ygkd on March 8, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    A lot has happened in the past decade. The ACB became CA. Bats grew and boundaries shrank. The IPL and the BBL arrived. The idea of apprenticeships went out of favour in Australia and cricketers have been no exception to that trend. And Australia played great cricket for a while. Then came the inevitable retirements. Others were available, good players all, although not great like those that needed to be replaced, so they were in and out in no time. Hodge, Rogers, Manou, Ronchi, McDonald... the list goes on of those tried and forgotten. Others had more of an extended run, but never quite as long as they should have. There, Katich and Stuart Clark come to mind. And then there's the curious case of Hauritz - picked for ages on a very distant promise then abandoned just as he looked like paying off. Now we have a merry-go-round and all the FC players must think they're in with a chance of a ride. So why put the effort in with an apprenticeship when you can get your ticket tomorrow?

  • MattyLeeC on March 8, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    Can some one tell me why everyone thinks Shane Watson is a good test bat. He has played 40 tests with an average of 36 and that is dropping all the time. Sure he can play some great shots but look at the way he got out lbw in the last test, He had already hit 10 off that over but he decided he would try and slog sweep the opening bowler to cow corner. He has the mental application of a 8 year old with ADHD. They had just lost an early wicket and he is the vice-captain, he should be expected to show some form of leadership. He is a limited over specialist and if he isnt bowling he shouldnt be in the team

  • fastrack10 on March 8, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    next test in mohali is australia's best chance to win one match in this tour.even if they try to make ita turner it wont turn as much as it did in first two tests..on a australian view point even if their batters comes up with a better performance i cant see how they are going to get 20wkts. they just dont have spinners..how can you evr dream of winng in india without a good spinner?? the only spinner how actually spins the ball in australia is HOGG..i know he is 40, but he is the only guy how cud have bowled well..he bowles really well in IPL. he might not be the one for the future development of the team, but for this series he should have been in the team, & others could have learnt the trait bowling in the side matches & in the nets.

  • Paul_Rampley on March 8, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    I still think we can win, just need to get our batting sorted, Khawaja is a very important addition and must be bought in. Also thing is this - BBL is a definite distraction. I never said it was the problem by itself, but it's a contributing factor. I am all for the BBL but perhaps we need to shorten it so there is more focus on shield cricket which was missing for 6 weeks this season. I do agree some generations are better than others. More shame then for Australian cricket being as complacent in the 2000s, as Windies cricket was in the 1980s & 90s, while their team was strong.

  • matthewthorpe on March 8, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    if and when michael clarke has a loss of form, our aussie boys could slip very quickly down the world rankings. the only positive i can see at the moment is the experience the younger players are getting before the back-to-back ashes series, which must surely be at the forefront of the selectors minds'

  • on March 8, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    hughes has not scored a single run of a spinner this series!!!!!

  • AussieFan on March 8, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    The problem with the Indian tour is that the selectors picked the wrong players! Haddin, O'Keefe and Doolan should have been in the touring squad. At best, the Australians will lose the series 2-0. The focus should be on getting the team right for the first Ashes Test. Something like this: 1. Warner, 2. Watson, 3. Doolan, 4. Clarke, 5. Khwaja 6. Haddin 7. Henriques 8. Pattinson 9. Harris 10. Bird 11. Lyon with Cummins and Johnson also to be considered.

  • wellrounded87 on March 7, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    @NixNixon Not a bad 11 though Cowan has played plenty of tests and failed repeatedly. He's had plenty of chance to settle.

    Lyon is a much better spinner than Doherty. Doherty is averaging in the 70's at test level and 45 domestic. Lyon is low 30's for both. O'Keefe might be a better choice than both but the aussie selectors seem to have it out for him.

    And how on earth do you leave David Warner out of the side? he is our best batsmen not named Michael Clarke, with an average in the mid 40's and the potential to play match winning innings.

  • wellrounded87 on March 7, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    Will never happen but the selectors need to take a but of humble pie and rectify their mistakes.

    XI for this test should be 1. Cowan2. Warner 3. Watson 4. Clarke 5. Khawaja 6. Wade 7. Henriques 8. Johnson 9. Pattinson 10. Steve O'Keefe 11. Harris.

    Xi for previous two should have been Lyon in place of Harris.

  • ozziespirit on March 7, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Wade can take the pressure off Clarke-by learning how to keep and trying it out n a test match, we should just give the gloves to Paine who is much more promising.

  • on March 7, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    My 11 for 3rd test would be watson, warner, cowan, clarke, smith over kwaja as he is more unpredictable as a batsman and uses his feet more against spinners, wade, henriques, johnson instead of siddle as he has more pace which will trouble the indians more and he is the only bowler on tour who has bowled in India before in a test oh and he hits the pitch hard remember all the fingers he has broken lol, starc, pattinson and lyon none of the spinners have impressed on tour to no surprise but the truth is that lyon is the number one spinner in the selectors eyes and he hasn't done that badly in his career so far as far as i'm concerned. He deserves a fair go.

    It will be interesting to see if the selectors pick Fawad when he is able to as i think this guy can really bowl. He has mastered his craft at the age of 33 and i always love watching leg spinners taking wickets. A real potential crowd pleaser.

  • ygkd on March 7, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    When I watch Matthew Wade in India I see a talented cricketer who moves with all the grace and fluency of a fish out of water and I don't just mean with the gloves, but at the crease as well. Natural talent alone is not enough. One must work hard at countering difficult conditions long before one is subjected to them. Too many batting in this team do not appear to have done that in their developing years. That is not to say that at 19 one can master such things, but at that age one should have started down that road. Waiting till it's too late does not work. And it is too late now to go back to those years when big runs were being made and ask oneself if it would always be that easy. It is also too late now to go back to those years and ask oneself if one's keeping drills are sufficient to cope with spinning tracks. Yes, runs are being scored in the first innings and catches taken off the pacemen (despite always standing too far back), but that is not the issue. It's the other stuff.

  • sephotrig on March 7, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Theres not much they can do, the ones with experience have either retired or been alienated, such as Katich, Haddin and Rogers, these players should have been treated better by the establishment. This Australia team is the weakest one I have every seen. As for the spin department it is the biggest joke I have ever seen, Glenn Maxwell X factor??? X factor must stand for a joke.

  • gregjones on March 7, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    @ venkatesh018 Spot on! The other crazy selection is the exclusion of George Bailey from the side. I suppose these Aussie selectors usually are on d.pe while selecting the team. Bailey should have been selected in the test team and what do we have? Bailey is selected as T20 captain and is also in the ODI team but not in the test squad when actually he is a tremendous player of spin. Truly pathetic piece of selection.

  • AKS286 on March 7, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    Yes mathew waste due to players like you he is in pressure. Klinger, Watson, Marsh, Clarke, Voges, haddin, Moises, MJ, Krejza, Boyce, Pattinson. and also for clarke every top batsman like- Cook, KP (Thorpe), Amla, Kallis, AB, Smith, Younis , SRT, (retired dravid, Laxman), Mahela, Sangakara, all bats on TOP order.even look at weak sides B.Taylor (Zim), Tamim (Bang) bats on top order. only Clarke & Chanderpaul bats lower in the order. Best batsman should always bats on the top order. clarke you knows your top order always put you in pressure then why not you bat above to minimise the pressure.

  • gregjones on March 7, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    What the hell would Lyon have done in the second test??? He was truly thrashed to all parts of the field in Chennai and would have been bludgeoned in Hyderabad too. Off spinners are easy pickings for Indian batsmen since long. Only left arm spin can be used to dislodge the Indians. Steve O'Keefe or even Michael Beer would have been great options as they spin the ball away from the right handers which the Indians do not like too much. Doherty does not spin the ball much but bowled much economically and troubled the Indian batsmen unlike Lyon who was carted to all parts of Chennai for massive sixes.He has hardly troubled any Indian batsmen even on a dust bowl. Many so called experts are saying that it was a blunder dropping Lyon and whatever. What has Lyon done in his 20 tests that makes him a certainty in the team apart from his debut test when he took 5 wickets on a turning pitch against S. Lanka?Likewise Lyon is picked even though his 1st class record is abysmal.

  • Playfair on March 7, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    I cant belive Australia got its selection so horribly wrong The only change Australia should have made was to drop Hughes for Maxwell. Im not convinced of Khwaja and feel the jury is still out on him. The batting order needs to change to: Warner, Watson, Cowan, Clarke, Wade, Henriques, Maxwell, Starc, Patinson, Siddle and Lyon

  • seantells on March 7, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    is he joking ? what has he done ? haddin would've been a better choice

  • on March 7, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    AUSSIE need to play 2 regular spinners and batsman should be more focussed on front foot..Aussie shoul play more positively like their performance in the feld....

  • on March 7, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    cal back Katich and Adam Voges for the rest of the series

  • USIndianFan on March 7, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    Hmm. Keep seeing complaints about Henriques from the Aussie fans. Why? The guy scored well in the first test when the rest of the Aussies did what???? Also, the series is not over, Mohali may see a reversal with the wicket being seam-friendly.

  • Rahulbose on March 7, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    They are too focused on Clarke. He could make a golden pair in the next test. You need to score runs as a team.

  • venkatesh018 on March 7, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    In hindsight, Aussie selectors would have done well to pick solid Shield batsmen who can bat time for this India series. George Bailey, Peter Forest, Adam Voges, and the eternally forgotten Callum Ferguson wouldn't have been bad choices at all. Only specialists should get the nod in future ahead of bits and pieces players like Maxwell, Smith, Doherty etc.

  • guptha460 on March 7, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    I am also agree with wade, we are all know every time australia team having a very bad time in india tours but compare to the old series and present series completely different because present team playing very poor cricket in all departments. Clarke should be learn some thing from dhoni not in batting, it should be related to captaincy. Clarke have one more option like g.bailey for playing attacking game against india. Finally, This is time to show clarke his captaincy to world.

  • on March 7, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    i really felt,g.bailey must have been there in the test squad.He is such a class batsman and players like henriques are not performing well at all.

  • Beertjie on March 7, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Sorry Matt, you're trying as hard as anyone for which you deserve much kudos. Taking bthe bigger picture though, you're a liability because of your keeping. How will you pick real turners like Holland and Ahmed if you can't pick Lyon? Also, your a LHB and we have too many in our top 7, let alone lower down! Your mate Paine has to come back asap. @ Shaggy076 on (March 7, 2013, 12:08 GMT) it's wishful thinking about Swann not playing. News is that he'll be out till May at the latest and the Ashes is in July!

  • mateyman on March 7, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    Hahahaha @bouncedout. No good bowlers ey? There's this guy called Pattinson, don't know if you've heard of him. 39 wickets in 9 tests @ 22.41. He goes alright

  • djeykumar on March 7, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    @disco_bob & @front-foot-lunge: agree with you completely... for a no talent nobody, wade and maxwell talk a lot on and/or off the field. IMO the problem though is the mentality of this management that seems hell bent on fielding a multi tasking 11, and selecting as many all rounders as possible. They need to look at SA or even the Aussie teams of the early 2000's and realize that unless u have a Kallis at your disposal, u need to field 11 specialist. Bits and pieces players like maxwell and henriques can not win test matches. in one days as T-20's it's noble concept but to win a test match u need specialist batsman, specialist bowlers and a keeper who can bat a bit, not a batsman who can keep!

  • Selector_Ads on March 7, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Wow, nice of you to comment Mr. Wade. How about instead of talking about what needs to be done, you actually step up and deliver...

  • Indefatigible on March 7, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    I agree with Matthew Wade 100%. Somebody needs to step up and support Michael Clarke at the top of the order. Can't expect the skipper to do it all alone, everytime. But to be honest, none of the other Aussies are up to scratch in these conditions.

  • Shaggy076 on March 7, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    SamRoy - That's not true at all. WHat is true is we dont play spin well on Indian pitches. We played Herath fine in Australia and in Sri Lanka. We have handled Swann and smashed Panesar before and it looks like Swann is unlikely to play. Warner made 3 consecutive 50's in Australia and followed up with the first innings in Indai thats pretty consistent. England are nowhere near as good as people make out, Cook and Trott good batsman. Anderson is a good bowler as is Swann (who is unlikely to play), the rest are pretty average and we certainly faced better agains South Africa where Warner and Cowan recorded tons. We have lost two test matches in India, so did Ricky Pontings great side. Its not the end of the world and so far from conditions in England that it is not going to have any bearing on the Ashes result.

  • Harinasi on March 7, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Just play, back your defense, play close to body, don't hurry too much, bat for one complete day - that should be your motto, thou shall do well. May victory be yours Aussies so as to pull my Indian team back to senses - a loss for the Indians would do more than what a win does and most importantly take SPIN as a challenge and face it ball by ball.

  • bouncedout on March 7, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    The great Aus revival back to where they belong is stopped in its tracks.

    Aus supporters need to understand that you have reached your level in the rankings. One decent batsman and no decent bowlers does not make for a decent team in any form of the game.

    There is no talent in the team and none in the wings. Dark times to be an Aus supporter.

    Aus sport in general is in the decline, just look at the Olympics

  • sweetspot on March 7, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Australian batsmen need to find a balance between mentality and necessity. They all have an aggressive mindset, which is a great thing sometimes, but totally useless here. Indian spinners know how to nag, nag, nag - something they didn't quite do against the English, but they have learnt real fast, particularly Ashwin. Australians react the same way, almost all of them, to being tested for patience - with aggression. You have to have Dhoni's ability to force your will on the bowling in these conditions, and if you don't, you can always bide your time. Come on Australia, learn to be controlled. Bottle up that innate aggression and try to play this like Test cricket - attrition. You may still lose, but if this is not your chance to add that facet to your game, what is?

  • on March 7, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Pointing is gone so there is no stability/experience in the middle order to help Clarke, I think that is pretty accurate at the moment! Watson is being thrown around the order so the juggle of who opens continues while the bowling stocks are being picked for 'series by series' giving no turn/spin/purchase in India! Selective selection is almost as bad as the selective watering on the pitches!

  • RaadQ on March 7, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    Wade needs to spend more time practicing rather than commenting, he can't keep or bat against unfriendly conditions/strong bowlers. Clarke moving up the order is the first positive step + henriques has shown ability against spin. I would replace hughes with khawaja for away series in spin conditions. If you can get specialist format players, why can't you can sub-specialists in the batting department (similar to bowling), especially in such disarray? Watto should retain his place becuz he will always be in the team as long as he can bowl (in the future), so he needs maximum exposure. My XI: Cowan, Warner, Khawaja, Watto, Clarke, Henriques, Wade + Doherty, Lyon, Siddle and Starc. Pattinson should be rested & lyon needs to be given a chance in the series to make/break his position.

  • hmmmmm... on March 7, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    we also need six batsmen...Wade is not a batsman (particularly not at hussey's level) but a sometimes ok keeper who can swing the bat when the need arises!

  • wrenx on March 7, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Does anyone know why Matthew Wade has become the spokesperson for the Australian team? Every days it's new interview with him. A couple of years back, Ravi Ashwhin assumed that role for India, probably because in no shortage of confidence, and the rest of the team didn't want to face the cameras. Shouldn't the coach and captain be the ones addressing the media?

  • pat_one_back on March 7, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Had selectors seen Punter & Huss retiring they'd have never have dropped Hadds, Wade did an admiral job following Brad's unfortunate but appropriate withdrawal from the WI tour but not enough to justify his place over a steady hand.

  • phunny_game on March 7, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Forget about clarke's pressure, matt... Think of a way to deal with the pressure on you... Clarke won't be dropped from the team... U certainly can be... :D

  • hycIass on March 7, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    I have said it once and will say it again. Not picking 6 batsmen is the real issue with the selectors. We can't bat as it is so rubbing the teams of one more chance to score them really hurts. The allrounder thing is also hurting the team. If they can't bat and bowl at test level then don't pick them. This would allow Cowan and Hughes another chance and we could slot Khawaja in as well. There's some very talented players in our team. Its just that they are young, raw, still have flaws to address and most importantly, they need the experience they are now having. They will come away better players from this experience.Its why Khawaja must be given a chance too because he also needs to know what really good spin bowling on spin friendly tracks is like because Australian pitches are no longer favouring spin bowlers, so success as a spin bowler now is rare and our batsmen are therefore not getting the experience at home.

  • on March 7, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Bring on Hartley! He can keep quite well, and he's a gritty lower order bat, something that the Aussies deeply need.

  • ravi_hari on March 7, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    For once Aussie selectors have got this wrong. The selection of the team should always be based on ability to play in conditions. At home you can select anyone who is in form as they would have scored all these runs under local conditions. Especially when you are selecting teams for sojourns like India, you need to have players capable to handle these conditions. If you look at the team, excepting Clarke and to some extent Watson none is skillfull enough to handle Indian bowlers. Of the remaining batsmen not selected only Shaun Marsh and Haddin have some ability to tackle spin. Others do not. Both of them should have been in the team. Also if you are confident that fast bowlers are your best bet, stick to it and dont take spinners for the sake of it. Instead of facing embarassing long sessions better have strong tries and loose like a champion

  • SamRoy on March 7, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    If all England cricketers take Ashes seriously, a 5-0 hammering of Australia in England is very likely barring weather intervention. Except Clarke, nobody plays spin well and except Clarke and Watson nobody plays the swinging ball well. Warner is like Sehwag of a few years back (one great innings followed by many failures). Moreover, Watson hardly ever plays a long innings. Rest have pretty bad technique. Batting incompetence and also if Wade's keeping then wicketkeeping incompetence as well.

  • Sunil_Batra on March 7, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    You know alot of my colleagues are surprised when subcontinental pitches take turn, they are somehow doctored! However when there is trampoline bounce at Perth and Brissy in Australia or in CapeTown in SA ( 3 teams have now scored less than 50 there), then that is just the nature of the pitch and is the challenge of test cricket. Lets get some perspective about this debate. If MC can score a 130 and 91 when the rest of the team cant match that score, then it has more to do with player techniques and application rather than the nature of the pitches. Our top order needs tweaking and Khawaja should be bought in as he is a gritty batsman who we can do with. The challenge of test cricket is players overcoming tough pitches and their environment and teams using home advantages to get ahead. Historically speaking, visiting teams are bounced to death at Brissy and then Perth and ready for the taking on Boxing Day and NYE tests. However a good player will adjust and do well in any condition.

  • disco_bob on March 7, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    The right 'balance between patience and aggression'? No, he's got that one dead wrong. They just need to cultivate patience, then take it from there. You could not have a better example than how VJ and PJ batted, as if they had all the time in the world, and against the Aussies they did.

  • on March 7, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    I do not understand .... it's not about the interview .... but how he has time to do an interview?? Doesn't he have something far more important to do .... like learn how to keep wickets for spinners??

    We ask batsmen to return to Sh.Shield when they are not perfoming. We ask bowlers to return to Sh.Shield when they are not perfoming. Yet for a certain keeper, the selectors relegate the bowler who has had catches dropped and promote two 'spinners' that will make the keeper's job easier.

    Sorry, but my most vivid memory of the Chennai Test was the last ball of the game, Wade drops another nick, ball runs away for the winning runs and Lyon kicking the dirt.

    I still do not understand why Wade is so embedded in the Australian team.

  • TomLundy on March 7, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Surely 'test match' batsmen can read the pitch, recognise the state of the match and adjust accordingly? Maybe the boys should 'hone thier skills' before playing test cricket....tired of excuses and contradictory statements. As an Aussie in England, I'm dreading The Ashes. Carn the Aussies! Get a grip.

  • satishchandar on March 7, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Yes Mr.Wade. I think the attitude of "I did a good job" for scoring a 60 odd where you let the team down by playing a rash shot and triggered another collapse is not good.. if you are in, make the most of it. I would like the Aussies to go back to their typical "Score big when in" mindset than "I performed better than all other batters".. As Wade mentioned, it was similar in WI and Wae scored a decent chunk of runs there. But there was always Hussey there to guide the folks coming in after him. He is quite badly missed over here in India. Had there been two good players, one would have been playing in top order and one to shepherd the lower order. Unfortunately they got only Clarke there and he is seriously needed in the top order.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 7, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    Australia need first of all to find a keeper who can keep. Poor selections like him, Lyon (and about a dozen others) are preventing Australia from starting this rebuilding phase.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 7, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    Australia need first of all to find a keeper who can keep. Poor selections like him, Lyon (and about a dozen others) are preventing Australia from starting this rebuilding phase.

  • satishchandar on March 7, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Yes Mr.Wade. I think the attitude of "I did a good job" for scoring a 60 odd where you let the team down by playing a rash shot and triggered another collapse is not good.. if you are in, make the most of it. I would like the Aussies to go back to their typical "Score big when in" mindset than "I performed better than all other batters".. As Wade mentioned, it was similar in WI and Wae scored a decent chunk of runs there. But there was always Hussey there to guide the folks coming in after him. He is quite badly missed over here in India. Had there been two good players, one would have been playing in top order and one to shepherd the lower order. Unfortunately they got only Clarke there and he is seriously needed in the top order.

  • TomLundy on March 7, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Surely 'test match' batsmen can read the pitch, recognise the state of the match and adjust accordingly? Maybe the boys should 'hone thier skills' before playing test cricket....tired of excuses and contradictory statements. As an Aussie in England, I'm dreading The Ashes. Carn the Aussies! Get a grip.

  • on March 7, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    I do not understand .... it's not about the interview .... but how he has time to do an interview?? Doesn't he have something far more important to do .... like learn how to keep wickets for spinners??

    We ask batsmen to return to Sh.Shield when they are not perfoming. We ask bowlers to return to Sh.Shield when they are not perfoming. Yet for a certain keeper, the selectors relegate the bowler who has had catches dropped and promote two 'spinners' that will make the keeper's job easier.

    Sorry, but my most vivid memory of the Chennai Test was the last ball of the game, Wade drops another nick, ball runs away for the winning runs and Lyon kicking the dirt.

    I still do not understand why Wade is so embedded in the Australian team.

  • disco_bob on March 7, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    The right 'balance between patience and aggression'? No, he's got that one dead wrong. They just need to cultivate patience, then take it from there. You could not have a better example than how VJ and PJ batted, as if they had all the time in the world, and against the Aussies they did.

  • Sunil_Batra on March 7, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    You know alot of my colleagues are surprised when subcontinental pitches take turn, they are somehow doctored! However when there is trampoline bounce at Perth and Brissy in Australia or in CapeTown in SA ( 3 teams have now scored less than 50 there), then that is just the nature of the pitch and is the challenge of test cricket. Lets get some perspective about this debate. If MC can score a 130 and 91 when the rest of the team cant match that score, then it has more to do with player techniques and application rather than the nature of the pitches. Our top order needs tweaking and Khawaja should be bought in as he is a gritty batsman who we can do with. The challenge of test cricket is players overcoming tough pitches and their environment and teams using home advantages to get ahead. Historically speaking, visiting teams are bounced to death at Brissy and then Perth and ready for the taking on Boxing Day and NYE tests. However a good player will adjust and do well in any condition.

  • SamRoy on March 7, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    If all England cricketers take Ashes seriously, a 5-0 hammering of Australia in England is very likely barring weather intervention. Except Clarke, nobody plays spin well and except Clarke and Watson nobody plays the swinging ball well. Warner is like Sehwag of a few years back (one great innings followed by many failures). Moreover, Watson hardly ever plays a long innings. Rest have pretty bad technique. Batting incompetence and also if Wade's keeping then wicketkeeping incompetence as well.

  • ravi_hari on March 7, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    For once Aussie selectors have got this wrong. The selection of the team should always be based on ability to play in conditions. At home you can select anyone who is in form as they would have scored all these runs under local conditions. Especially when you are selecting teams for sojourns like India, you need to have players capable to handle these conditions. If you look at the team, excepting Clarke and to some extent Watson none is skillfull enough to handle Indian bowlers. Of the remaining batsmen not selected only Shaun Marsh and Haddin have some ability to tackle spin. Others do not. Both of them should have been in the team. Also if you are confident that fast bowlers are your best bet, stick to it and dont take spinners for the sake of it. Instead of facing embarassing long sessions better have strong tries and loose like a champion

  • on March 7, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Bring on Hartley! He can keep quite well, and he's a gritty lower order bat, something that the Aussies deeply need.

  • hycIass on March 7, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    I have said it once and will say it again. Not picking 6 batsmen is the real issue with the selectors. We can't bat as it is so rubbing the teams of one more chance to score them really hurts. The allrounder thing is also hurting the team. If they can't bat and bowl at test level then don't pick them. This would allow Cowan and Hughes another chance and we could slot Khawaja in as well. There's some very talented players in our team. Its just that they are young, raw, still have flaws to address and most importantly, they need the experience they are now having. They will come away better players from this experience.Its why Khawaja must be given a chance too because he also needs to know what really good spin bowling on spin friendly tracks is like because Australian pitches are no longer favouring spin bowlers, so success as a spin bowler now is rare and our batsmen are therefore not getting the experience at home.