India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali

Australia look to stop the treadmill of defeat

The Preview by Sidharth Monga

March 13, 2013

Comments: 148 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

March 14-18, Mohali
Start time 0930 (0400 GMT)


Phil Hughes walks back after being dismissed, Sri Lanka v Australia, 3rd Test, Colombo, 5th day, September 20, 2011
Back to the wall: Phillip Hughes has not scored a run off spin in this series © AFP
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Big Picture

Continuous losing in professional sport brings the worst out of people. Especially in Test cricket where individuals can perform outstandingly and still lose, where a match goes on for five days and tours last months, where you are stuck with the same faces preparing for the same results.

It brought the worst out of India when they were in Australia. They kept on picking the same failing batsmen, kept on batting in the same order, waited for some higher power to authorise the firings, and hoped that past glory will miraculously pull them out of the hole.

If India sleepwalked, as if on sedatives, through the losses, Australia have been behaving as if on crack. The thing they have been wielding is not so much an axe as it is a chainsaw. Nathan Lyon experienced it after the first Test, losing out to a limited-overs spinner. Now four others are out for discipline issues that the team management says have been accumulating.

Australia have made it clear that failing to show intent, discipline and subordination in team meetings is a bigger sin than not scoring a run off spinners or under-bowling a fast bowler on fire and over-bowling him into dust when he is not or making poor selections or failing to reverse-swing the ball.

The first set of things is what they can control, the latter depends more on skill and the application of that skill, which is not always in their control. Even if Australia lose every match on the trip, and there is a strong likelihood they will, they perhaps want to know they tried everything in their control.

There's not much left in their control, though: they might have only 12 men left to choose from, Steven Smith and Brad Haddin could be playing in the top six, but it's fair to say they will rather be on the field than in front of a green backdrop with strings of VB and Cricket Australia logos in the press conference room.

Form guide

India WWDLL (Last five matches, most recent first)
Australia LLWWW

Watch out for...

Phillip Hughes will be aware he is allowed to sit in this test only because some others have been asked to stand outside the class for the next period. Hughes has faced 39 balls from spinners this series, and has been out four times without scoring a run. That spin barrage is not likely to stop any time soon. It will be interesting to see how he counters it.

Michael Clarke has finally decided to move up in the order in an attempt to prevent fires as opposed to doing all the firefighting with fewer specialist batsmen for company. You can seen, though, why Clarke wanted to cling on to No. 5: he averages 64 and 51 at Nos. 5 and 6, and only 22 and 25 at 4 and 3. We are not sure yet where exactly he will bat, but he has made the decision for the good of the team.

This will be Ishant Sharma's 50th Test. He averages 38.52 with the ball. No specialist bowler who has played 50 Tests has ended with an average that bad. Looking at India's pace resources, Ishant still has time to correct this statistic. Mohali at least should provide him more help than the two earlier pitches.

Teams news

India are in that happy inconspicuous place that Australia inhabited when India toured there. MS Dhoni's picks have been working, Ravindra Jadeja has turned into a Test bowler at home, and you don't see the anxiety that should accompany the firing of Virender Sehwag. In fact they have gone ahead and said a day before the Test that Shikhar Dhawan will debut in Mohali, something almost unheard of in modern Indian cricket.

There had been a bit of an injury scare to Cheteshwar Pujara, who batted with what seemed like a troublesome knee in Hyderabad, and walked off gingerly during a training session two days before the match. He is likely to play, though. Harbhajan Singh could continue being chosen ahead of Pragyan Ojha, but you never know with India.

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 M Vijay, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Harbhajan Singh/Pragyan Ojha, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar and 11 Ishant Sharma.

In this Test, some on-field action can't come soon enough for Australia. Can it? They have the task of picking a Test XI out of the debris that is left behind. It looks easier on paper because there aren't many alternatives left, but you can't imagine any captain envying Michael Clarke right now.

Matthew Wade is as good as ruled out as a wicketkeeper, but there is an outside chance he could play ahead of Hughes as a batsman. They could play both the specialist spinners, and leave Glenn Maxwell out.

Australia: (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Ed Cowan, 3 Phillip Hughes/Matthew Wade, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Steven Smith, 6 Brad Haddin (wk), 7 Moises Henriques, 8 Glenn Maxwell/Xavier Doherty, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Peter Siddle, 11 Nathan Lyon

Pitch and conditions

Mohali will be the closest Australia will get to decent bounce and carry in India, especially with India's current mood of spin domination. Don't bank on it too much, though. "There's not much grass to cut off and it was quite dry yesterday so it's probably even drier today," Clarke said. "I think the conditions are going to be very similar to what we've seen in the first two Test matches." Australia have lost both the Tests they have played in Mohali.

However, it won't be as hot as in the south. Day-time temperatures are likely to stay in the mid-20s, and cloudy spells and an odd thunderstorm is likely to make it even more pleasant.

Stats and trivia

  • India have only ever led 3-0 in a Test series on two occasions, against England and Sri Lanka in the early 1990s. They have won three Tests in a series on three occasions.
  • Australia last won a Test in India in October 2004 in Nagpur. Since then, they have lost seven, including the two in Mohali, and drawn two. Over the same period, India have lost six Tests, won one and drawn one in Australia.

Quotes

"A lot of people talk about young players - he should be picked, he shouldn't be picked, is he good enough? The only way you find out if he's good enough is if he gets an opportunity."
Michael Clarke

"The confidence of the team is high but as our coach told us, we have to start afresh. We want to go with the same attitude and same energy on the field as we did before the start of the series."
Shikhar Dhawan says India won't take anything for granted

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (March 14, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Mike is, I believe, an intelligent and honorable man. His comments about Cricket Australia are revealing: i) he believes they pander too much to the IPL driven leagues ii) he didn't trust them. He had seen Katich and Ponting get pushed and didn't want the same to happen to him. Imagine how different on the field and in the dressing room, it would be in India if those three were playing. Ponting may not have been able to play the quicks like he used to but he sure as hell knew how to play spin.

Posted by Mitcher on (March 14, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

@g.narsimha: Sometimes things like that never happen at all. Eg. India winning in Australia or Sth Africa.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (March 14, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

The rain gods saving India from a certain defeat ..... looks like day 1 is lost and even more play will be lost due to weather/rain . The pitch/conditions seemed sporting and for 1st time in the series superior Aus pace bowlers had conditions suited for skittling out Ind batting and making it 2-1 ... Would have been really bad for Ind losing to the worst Aus side ever,save the world class M Clarke and a highly potent pace pack and the rest... a heap of club level mediocrity . Looking like play out another tame boring draw and another blow to Test Cricket .

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 14, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

Arthur is using the gang of 4 to shift blame from his own limiations as coach. The Sydney Swans apparently have an excellent medical reporting system that monitors players "stress resistance" to injury pre & post match.This is perfectly understandable for a sport such as Australian football, where bodies are placed under severe physical duress for two hours.With cricket, I suspect we've got a little too cute with the sports science side of things. Certainly, fast bowlers require closer attention than players in other positions, perhaps followed by the keeper.But if these guys are required to submit to testing every day, or every other day, I would suggest that is unnecessary overkill.And finally yes - unless the players buy into (emotionally) whatever is being proposed, it won't work.Common sense is often a vital missing ingredient and when you are 2-0 down you need your best players(i.e Pattinson, Khawaja, Watson) available and for us to go in with a second string team is not right

Posted by Wefinishthis on (March 14, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

The Australians will be happy. They are already batting to save this test and a ball hasn't even been bowled yet. The Indians will be happy that this means that they win the series trophy. Whilst personally I'm also happy that my money is safe for yet another correct series prediction.

Posted by Rao_Guru on (March 14, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

"Australia last won a Test in India in October 2004 in Nagpur. Since then, they have lost seven, including the two in Mohali, and drawn two. Over the same period, India have lost six Tests, won one and drawn one in Australia." Four of the six tests India lost were in one series. And yet, everyone keeps talking about India's poor record overseas and in Australia, but hardly anyone mentions everyone else's poor record in India. Everyone is very good in home conditions, and India is no different from others. In fact, others are worse in India than India is overseas. With the current team, India may still lose overseas, but they will do much better than the last two 0-4 results.

Posted by g.narsimha on (March 14, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

greatshot-444-we are not at all excited- but on the same analogy where did AUS, ENG - whitewashed us they too at thier home only , yaa ENG win in 3 decades in IND is really unexpected thats an abberation , such things happen only once in 3 DECADES .

Posted by BoseDeeKay on (March 14, 2013, 3:59 GMT)

Bhajji and Ishant do not deserve a place in the India Test playing 11. They need to go back to the domestic circuit to practice and to establish themselves as test bowlers. Stuart Binny is an excellent all-rounder and should be given a chance ..perhaps!

As Michael Clarke put it "The only way you find out if he's good enough is if he gets an opportunity." What better opportunity does India need to test their bench strength when they are leading 2-0 against AUS?

Posted by zoom2infinity on (March 14, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

Being an Indian and being a huge fan of Australian cricket. really feels sorry for the current Australian cricket team being such a big mess. hope they will soon be at their old best. world cricket surely needs that.

Posted by Stateside_Steve on (March 14, 2013, 3:18 GMT)

The rain gods have decided to save the Aussies. Feeds from the ground is showing a good puddle of water on top of the covers. And there is a 70% chance of rain today. Expect the day to be washed out. Clarke & co should hang on for 4 days for a draw.

Posted by Vivian_Richard on (March 14, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

Ishant, Irfan, Agarkar, Salve, Sreesanth, Praveen, RP Singh... Maybe its time the BCCI hired a good bowling coach. If Kapil Dev is willing and able, he should be brought on board. I've seen few Indian bowlers make the ball talk the way he did in his prime.

Posted by Timmuh on (March 14, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

The question will finally be answered. Are Australia worse in India than India are in Australia? All signs are that, yes, they are. And that takes some doing, India were almost Zimbabwe-style horrid out here.

Posted by disco_bob on (March 14, 2013, 2:49 GMT)

...but I'll settle for avoiding another innings defeat.

Posted by baranasai on (March 14, 2013, 2:49 GMT)

I wish you all The Best Sikhander Dhawan. I hope you will shine as opening batsman for India in the years to come. I only wish the selectors have considered a place for Ajyn Rahane.Wehave to slowly add on new players as the old seniors have reached their twilight end of the career Please bring in some changes for Bhajji -he is not able to take wickets even though he is economical

Posted by disco_bob on (March 14, 2013, 2:48 GMT)

I want to see Clarke open the batting in his baggy green to Ishant Sharma, score a 6 off the first ball, and command a performance from his gaggle of rag tag wannabes the like of which will go down in cricket lore.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 2:36 GMT)

John Inveririty was not an ordinary cricketer for WA. He was a very good cricketer and leader of the state. He is much admired across the world for that. Are we to say that a measure of a cricketer is his test status? What about Jamie Siddons or Brad Hodge? I have no doubt that many people will consider the selection problems with Australian cricket to rest with the panel, and they would be right. But these people are entitled to be treated with the respect that people 100% devoted to the game deserve.

Posted by maddy20 on (March 14, 2013, 2:22 GMT)

@ Great-shot444 Go worry about your own team that was thrashed by SA. If you are a Lankan, this is the same Aussie team(+Hussey) that shredded you in Aus and humiliated you at home!

Posted by redneck on (March 14, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

@Arrow011 are you serious? look i know the current aussie side isnt really giving the indian public value for their money at the momment but still no reason to bag bradman (or ponting and kallis for that matter). bradman played 5 tests against your mob and you guys only managed to get him out once for less than 100!!!! infact bradman had to invent ways to get out against india like hitting wicket in brisbane and retiering hurt (probably from boardom more than injury) let me tell you considering india we in no way tigers at home like they are today, bradmans avg would be alot higher than 99.96 if he had toured india on those flat wickets and toothless bowlers that made up indian cricket in the 1940's! you blind sachin worshipers dont do your hero any favors by shooting off ill informed comments! let sachin spend half a year at sea going to england by boat away from his wife and son and see if he can make 2 tripple centuries on a headingly green top without a helmet!!!

Posted by Gizza on (March 14, 2013, 1:56 GMT)

Weren't there some West Indian fast bowlers that finished with 40+ averages in the early 2000 post Ambrose/Walsh era? Not sure if any of them played 50 tests though. Maybe Dillon and Powell?

Posted by BoseDeeKay on (March 14, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

"Why is India still persisting with Harbhajan Singh?" is a question perhaps only the selectors and the Captain can answer. Pragyan Ojha has been a proven match winner but is made to warm the bench. With Sehwag gone and his preference in playing down the order is perhaps something to be considered. It would be sad to see Sehwag fade away into oblivion without a proper send off. And, the only way for Sehwag to be re-considered would be to get fit, accumulate some runs in the domestic circuit and let Mr.Tendulkar retire from Test cricket. It would be a fitting gift from the Little Master to Sehwag (the ardent fan). Ishant has been given the rope long enough and his statistics tell a story that he is NOT test material. Why was Shami not persisted in spite of a good performance? What does Pankaj Singh got to do to be considered? And, Stuart Binny could be India's answer for an all rounder!As Michael Clarke said "The only way you find out if he's good enough is if he gets an opportunity."

Posted by Markus971 on (March 14, 2013, 1:03 GMT)

Phil Hughes, would b in the team even if the others weren't dropped! Get of His case ... This losing in India is a common prob. for all teams. What I dont get, is the Australians pursuit of non-established all-rounders! esp. overseas! Look to the formula used to win over in India & try hard to replicate that!

Posted by Looch on (March 13, 2013, 23:48 GMT)

A real hodge podge of a team! I just hope they can show some fight and give India a contest. @Raki99 That match you are talking about Melbourne 85-86, India was the only team that could win the match and the forecast for that day was for rain, so Sunny and co. knew what to expect and scored 59 runs off 25 overs! Then the rain came, for the rest of the day, not for 20 minutes as you are desperate for others to believe and wiped out the day. There is a match report here on Cricinfo, I suggest youread it and brush up on your cricket history!

Posted by TRAM on (March 13, 2013, 23:15 GMT)

Aus is the worst batting team currently in the world. How can we tell? Because they lost to India in spite of Ishant and Harbajan bowling for India. If batsmen cant score of these 2 bowlers, who else they would? Honestly my lack of interest to watch these tests stem only from the low quality bowling from these kinds of bowlers - dry, monotonous bowling with lack of variation, lack of consistency & control, lack of penetrating balls, basically lack of intelligence. Keep bowling.

Dhoni is wasting the life of players like Dinda by not giving him chance in the 11. Of course not having Ohja in the 11 (in place of Harbajan, not in place of Jadeja) is a crime.

IMO, Pujara can be simply rested for the tests 3 & 4 just in order to give Rahane a chance (and hopefully the rest would help him recover completely from his knee injury ). 'Cause I am pretty sure Pujara is a certainty in future matches.

Posted by rahman.onik on (March 13, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

Australia should think about Shaun March in their Batting lineup

Posted by NikhilNair on (March 13, 2013, 22:57 GMT)

More than SRT, we need a replacement for Ishant Sharma who could have been a wonderful player but has been too "unlucky". I would like to see Ojha given at least 1 game... maybe Bhajji could to be given a break for the last game. I hope Umesh Yadav comes back soon... he got our hopes high and just vanished! Let's hope our batting keeps rocking!

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 13, 2013, 22:05 GMT)

Dhoni is luckiest human on earth. Aussie imploding spectacularly infront of him.

Posted by hhillbumper on (March 13, 2013, 22:00 GMT)

Australia are losing to a team with a pace bowler who averages 77 in recent times. Jeez how good are those Aussies

Posted by handyandy on (March 13, 2013, 21:23 GMT)

It strikes me that John Inverarity, James Sutherland, Wally Edwards and Micky Arthur were all pretty ordinary cricketers in their time.

Maybe Australia should start looking at some of its past champions to get it through this rebuild periods. At least those sorts of players know what it takes to make runs, take wickets and win matches.

As for this current lot I am not sure what they are doing. It sometimes feels like they are just pulling names out of a hat.

The team they are putting up for the 4th test may well be one of the worst Australian teams of all time.

Posted by Triniforever on (March 13, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

Remember the might of the West Indies ? and where West Indies is today? Guess what? Its getting lonely with the regular bottom three,,, welcome Austraila!

Posted by Raki99 on (March 13, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

Ishant has an Average of 77 runs per wicket in the last 13 test in which he has played, Out of those 13 test 2 were in england and 4 were in australia, I think He is only in the team because Umesh and Aaron( I have no idea if he will ever come back) are both injured. Other wise just like zaheer his time is up. Shami ahmed looked a better bowler than Ishant IN odi he played against Pak.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 20:55 GMT)

I think we should stop this nonsensical diffidence and this talk of the mighty Australia waking up to crush India. MSD would be thinking simply thus: we're gonna get our A game out and thrash these guys within inches of their lives. Besides, why do we keep feeling Guilty about being 'flat track bullies'? What is this Australian team doing with spin? Playing musical chairs?

Posted by Angry_Bowler on (March 13, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

In tests, after playing 50 tests if a bowler has ave of 38.5 and still in the team is just ridiculous. Time to drop sharma and get any bowler even if he is debutant, at least we will all get know whether promising pacers are there in India or not, we know that there are so many of them we have seen in recently held domestic games. And time to say bye bye bajji and get ojha.

Posted by Raki99 on (March 13, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

@DINESHCC Sir We should have won the 1986 series in Australia, In one of the test I rememeber we needed 70 odd runs to win with one and half sessions left and it rained for 20 min Australian umpires din't come out. Back then there was NO ICC and You know What australia does when they lose. They cry and whine.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 13, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

I did wonder if Australia would call up any replacements , but it seems not.

This looks like a cross between a shorter formats side and a test side and no disrespect meant to Australian fans but this on paper looks by far the worst Australian test side I have seen in over 30 years of following the game

Posted by blitzNM on (March 13, 2013, 20:25 GMT)

@ greatshot-444 dude every team looses at home at sometime, aus lost to eng & sa (twice) recently at home, eng lost to sa (2-0)....we lost a home-series after 8 years that too during transition. And arent the other teams getting trashed overseas...i mean aus are performing poor, eng have a dismal record in Sub-continent despite 2-1 in india recently.......though SA are atleast decent everywhere. Pakistan were banged by SA recently.....and SL still havent won a test in aus.....So the bottom-line is everyteam is tiger at home and lambs abroad....though SA to a lesser extent

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 19:04 GMT)

someone please get rid of harbhajan and ishant for good.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

The key line is...."Australia have made it clear that failing to show intent, discipline and subordination in team meetings is a bigger sin than not scoring a run off spinners or under-bowling a fast bowler....". This is the difference between a side like Australia and India. We lose but don't learn and continue to encourage the same malaise which resulted in the losses. Australia on the other hand are taking tough decisions which will surely have positive results in the long run.

Posted by Cricket316 on (March 13, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

@Texmex- Its actually the opposite in India. The Captain takes all the Responsibility and Yeah,Bashing,if he takes a wrong move or the Team fails to perform. In our Case, not picking Ojha over Bhajji. And rightfully so, because its the Captains responsibility(more so than the Coach) to handle his Players and get the Best out of them. Clarke has no direction. Hes goin nowhere. After 2 losses,he's starting to Crumble. Im with you, I dont realise why the Media & some Former Players are supporting him. He's a good batsman,not even close being a Skipper.

As I've said before,his desperation for Success as a captain baffles me. It should be about the Team,not him. India is lucky to have a Cool n Collective captain in Dhoni,who manages to handle so much pressure from Fans,Media and makes the Best use of his resources to win the game. Not to mention Cook,who came back strongly leading his team to Victory. Just goes to show the Character of some strong minded Captains.

Posted by Great-shot444 on (March 13, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

Dont be over exicted indian fans by just 2 wins at home. U all have short memory . U are thrashed by england and australia away from home and even by england at home.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

I think Australia has got one great plan to turn the tables in this match. Though they are 12 points short of their original vision (remember the 4 who didn't gave their 3 points) they will still be a force to reckon. We Indians will have no chance tomorrow.

Posted by Arrow011 on (March 13, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

Aussies are seething, they want a win anyhow & say we did not lose 4-0 in India but they should be trampled to a 4-0 pasting. Backyard bullies like Clarke, Ponting & Kallis combined can never reach to Sachin's class. Even Don bradman played majority of his career in Engalnd & Australia so his scores are only worth 20% of what he has achieved which is like a candle against Sun Sachin Tendulkar who has scored allover the world with great record.

Posted by Cricket316 on (March 13, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

@Albert_Campell- Thats quite hilarious mate. While you're in a heavy depression due to these losses, I want to tell you Sachin has scored Runs all over the World,against the Best of them and have Won Countless Matches for India. You obviously are new to Cricket,if you think that way. His passion to play for his country is Unmatchable.Club level bowlers ? Like Maxwell,Doherty,Steve Smith ? No, Thats for the Indian Batsmen to play these bowlers.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 13, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

@sankurian A good point and you've posed a very interesting question. What is the record number of straight tests defeats for Australia? If India do them 4-0 and then England get stuck into them, we could be looking at 8-0, or more ???

Posted by Texmex on (March 13, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

"Australia have made it clear that failing to show intent, discipline and subordination in team meetings is a bigger sin than not scoring a run off spinners or under-bowling a fast bowler on fire and over-bowling him into dust when he is not or making poor selections or failing to reverse-swing the ball"

Beautifully written. I am surprised that Australian press and greats continue to hero worship Clarke inspite of his poor decisions on the field - seems very much like India in that sense.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

Good time for indian batsmen to make/break some records here!! No Pattinson.. even good spinners in mohali is as good as part timers.. I think sachin will putin a century here for sure..but you can never underestimate indians for dramas.. this match could be more closely fought than we think..

Posted by jimwhatever on (March 13, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

i know this is not the issue at the moment but i would like to say that aus need not be extra worried abt thr performance or ind should be extra happy because what is happening now are normal things-hosts win matches. eng defeated ind-that was a reason for excitement for eng. ind was defeated in aus. i dont know why dhoni is praised lavishly.

Posted by vigneshvinu on (March 13, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

Ishant is good enough to play for india,he need to go back domestic cricket and gain some confindence before SA tour.His average after 50 tests clearly reflects how unfit he his at internnational level

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

"A lot of people talk about young players - he should be picked, he shouldn't be picked, is he good enough? The only way you find out if he's good enough is if he gets an opportunity." Michael Clarke.

Dear Clarke: Is that the reason, you are keeping Khawaja out? Lyon benched after Chennal? Please walk the talk my dear boy. (From a 74 year old cricket crazy grand father who admires your batting, but still wondering what you are trying to do as a leader)

Posted by bruceparrot on (March 13, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

Maybe individual talent as a component of team success is why baseball is so popular in USA. The team names are legendary as are the players, but when did they win or lose. Not as well known. Just a thought, we do set a high bar for our sporting hero,s

Posted by sankurian on (March 13, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa : You are absolutely right, a 10-0 against England awaits Australia that will hurt @Mitcher more than that this 4-0 in India. So, are they inline for a World Record of continuous 14 defeats in test match cricket?

Posted by maddy20 on (March 13, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

@JohnMohandoss You are almost correct but you should tweak it a little "Cricket would be dead in England if not for SA!" All of their best impact batsmen are Saffas!

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

Every one loves to see a good contest. With the kind of results from the first two tests, and reading all the developments from the OZ camp,the entire enthusiasm for the remaining two tests seem to have drained off! No anticipation! No excitement. Plain and simple drained and watered down feeling. Results from the next two tests seem to have lost any meaning. Am I the only one who is feeling.

P.S. The drastic fall in the number of posts seem to confirm my feeling.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

@mulleegrubber. Did you hear the announcement correctly? Greg Chappel must be there!

Posted by sankurian on (March 13, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

Also, I am very keen to see Clarke & Warner thrashing the indian bowlers (clublevel bowlers according to Albert_cambell). Can't wait for that.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

well, expecting another aus loss

Posted by The_Red_Cherry on (March 13, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

I'm wondering if Mickey Arthur is taking inputs from Greg Chappell? There will always be some players who will take some liberties. It is the job of the coach and the captain to handle such players tactfully. Even if the players had erred, they could have been disciplined some other way. Not in the middle of the series where you needed them. This is a classic case of player management gone awry. The fact that Australia don't have a batsman to replace Watson begs serious questions about the team selection. The least they could have done was to fly in some replacements. Clarke risks shattering the already dented confidence of the team. Even if you lose you want to know that you were outplayed and not because somebody's ego got in the way.

Posted by beggars on (March 13, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

@ Albert_cambell :) Mate, Sachin is an instiution within himself. Nobody will achieve that feat not even you in your career!!

Posted by Noboundary on (March 13, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

One thing that western cricket playing nations need to learn is that running a sports team is not the same as running a corporation. It is naive to believe that reports, powerpoint presentations, listing a certain number of perceived reasons for failure will all lead to winning on the ground. Sports is based on skill and application not based on corporate culture of hire/fire and business management.

Posted by cricket-india on (March 13, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

considering his unenviable record after 50 tests,it's time to say goodbye to ishant. i mean he has a great work ethic and his commitment to tests is fantastice and exemplary (how many others can you name who've skipped the ipl to recover from injury so they can play tests beofre and after the ipl? of course the world is filled with stalwarts who've done it the other way round...), but he's become anodyne and is unable to make any impact whatsoever against even the dodgiest batsmen in the circuit. guys, anyone know where is irfan pathan, is he still recovering from injury? sreesanth was reccently part of an A team, did he play any matches, is he fit for selection? are aaron and yadav still injured? where is L balaji? what abt nehra?

Posted by sankurian on (March 13, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

@Albert_cambell: Sachin's 6 test hundreds in Australia, 5 in South Africa and 4 in England are all in flat tracks?? very cheeky!

Posted by JohnSM on (March 13, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

Australia are making the same mistakes India are. Making t20 specialists play tests. Cricket would be dead if it weren't for England and South Africa.

Posted by Albert_cambell on (March 13, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

clarke and warner will thrash these club level bowlers. That flat track legend sachin is nowhere near the class of lara and kallis. Lara played a lot of match winning knocks and kallis won many matches with his allround skills.

Posted by IVishal290I on (March 13, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

at long last a a rough patch has come to australian cricket... now let's see how they handle it :P

Posted by hraghava on (March 13, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

The biggest mistake Dhoni and co can make now is to be complacent; so any assumption of a cake-walk 3-0 or even 4-0 are 5-10 premature at least. If past record's anything go by, and if Michael Clarke's article in an Australian mag is any indicator - expect him and his team to come out fighting, diving, scrapping for every run, every wicket, every day the next 10 days. It might be 4-0, but don't expect these guys to hand it on a platter.

Posted by darsh127 on (March 13, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

Cpt.Meanster, I believe south africa have just won 3 consecutive away series, New Zealand, England and Oz.

Posted by EddGeorge on (March 13, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

Hmmm... I think its about time Australia sort out the player attitude issue. I think Clarke is right in dumping the players. The Aussies are at their wits end at the moment and the players need to take the responsibility for their failures. If they are not practicing hard enough and working on their niggles then its only them who are to blame. I see the domestic batting averages of these new players and it makes me want to question their commitment to the game. Is Australia running out of talent or these players just spending too much time on cricinfo looking at the stats of former players. ;)

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 13, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

I have checked other reputable news websites and various sports websites. It is true. Steve Smith will be playing Test cricket for Australia and will be batting at no.5. This is not a ruse and its certainly not April fools day yet. Current Test Stats: Batting average 27. Bowling Average 73.(FC stats not much better..) Oh dear..

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Well written Mr Monga. Clarke's on-field errors count for nothing, its all about the homework, he is untouchable and desperately wants history to forget about his embarrassing declaration blunder. Its all about Clarke.. he cant get enough spolights on himself at present, and quite frankly I think he prefers it this way.

Posted by TeamRocker on (March 13, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

@mulleegrubber: Couldn't agree more, mate. But don't forget that Hughes will get another game! Or two! Yeah, that's the kind of logic going around now. Sad, but there it is.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 13, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

@Mitcher Next time SA come to austrlia they will be going for the treble. Thats right, 3 consecutive series wins in Oz. Ouch!! Looking at your team at the moment, theres not much to debate about. I am not going to mention the 2 huge back to back series coming up against england. Double ouch!

Posted by Mitcher on (March 13, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

@sachin_vvsfan: Convenient cut off at the point Australia last did India in India. Especially since India have never won a series in Australia. Never won in Sth Africa for that matter. HOPELESS record on turning tracks of Sri Lanka (as opposed to Australia's dominant record). As for @TommyTuck: Still haven't beaten aust in the republic since readmission. You're good, but not that good.

Posted by Rags57 on (March 13, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

I hope Ojha gets a chance to play tomorrow. Harbhajan wasn't threatening even on spinning tracks at Chennai and Hyderabad and at best was passable as a third spinner. Given that there are new batsman such as Brad Haddin and Steven Smith who are right handed, it makes sense to play an extra left arm spinner. Also Clarke is their best bat and he is very comfortable playing both the off spinners. Even with less turn and bounce on the first two or three days, Ojha will be a more difficult customer for the Aussies. Will Dhoni play horses for the courses and play Ojha or stick to his so called "settled" combination theory?

Posted by phunny_game on (March 13, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

@Dineshcc: yes ur statistics maybe correct... but before 2000's, and even early 2000's , australia was the best side in the world by quite some distance while india wasn't anywhere near what they are today!!! Even then they could beat aussies...!!! think...

Posted by Resultpredictor on (March 13, 2013, 14:01 GMT)

This match will end as humiliating defeat for Australia. With this depleted side Australia cannot even challenge India. Match will be one sided and India will destroy this depleted and weakened Australian team. Congrats India for 3-0 lead and regaining Border-Gavaskar trophy. Bad luck Clarke and Australia

Posted by reddawn1975 on (March 13, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

What blows my mind about the current Australian team is not the 4 blokes whom are in the sin bin as they should be but the players that are not on this tour for example both the marsh brothers they are way to talented not to be in this team in all formats Tim Paine a better keeper and batsmen than Mathew Wade ,, Nathan coulter-nile what a gun player and hardly anything is know about the guy even here in Australia crazy.And Steve O'Keefe he must have really made someone made years ago he is way to good a player and a REAL spin bowler not to mention young Agar in WA should be playing who cares about his age.The current cricket Australia selection board really need to be fired they are not up to standards......the country is blessed with talent and there not picking the right guys come on.And if Steve Smith plays i will barrack for India

Posted by harish247 on (March 13, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

haha! ishanth having bowling avg of close to 40 and opening the bowling attack.what happen to irphan,sreeshanth,rp.and i think next in this list bhuvaneswar will add after some days.why this is happening.I am not getting.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

India have great chance to make 3-0 after Mohali test..

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (March 13, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

I am confounded by Michael Clarke's statement, "The only way you find out if he's good enough is if he gets an opportunity." I thought they only way to find out if he's good enough is if he hands in his homework assignment on time. Because using Clarke's logic, you'd be hard-pressed to fault Khawaja or Mitchell Johnson, both of whom have been warming their derrieres in dressing rooms.

Posted by Triniforever on (March 13, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

Australia is in panic mood as evident by the sudden last minute "axing". It was not necessary to dismiss these 4 men with such disdain. I am sure they already knew the seriousness of this 3rd test match and their roles. It was not an overnight decision to get them to India so it should not have led to their dismissal and further humiliation by a coach who is ultimaltey responsible for the demise of Australian cricket.The buck stops with him not with the players. He could have still met with these men who gave up family and time to be in India on an individual basis and privately told them he was disappointed in their lack of submitting the "3point" expectation but to throw them under the bus .well I think the Australian Board need to look at this and deliver a severe reprimand to him and possibley discharge him. Its wrong to treat Mr. Watson especially like this. He has done so much !I am not even an Australian but I feel disappointed on their treatment.Keep the team fire the coach!

Posted by 64blip on (March 13, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Clarke could open and he'd still be batting with the tail! What a top 6!! Wade a possible #3? Smith at #5?? Aussie fans, you have my sympathy, although at least you'll be spared the sight of Doherty and Maxwell bowling in tandem.

Posted by DINESHCC on (March 13, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

SACHIN_VVS FAN: "Wow India's record in Aus is better than Australiia's in India since 2004". Dude at least Australia won series in India in 2004. But what is India's record in Australia. 1-1 (1981), 0-0 (1986), 0-4 (1992), 0-3 (1999), 1-1 (2003), 1-2 (2007) 0-4 (2011). In India 2-0 (1980) 0-0 (1987), 1-0 (1996) 2-1 (1998) 2-1 (2001), 1-2 (2004) 2-0 (2008) 2-0 (2010). For the past 33 years India lost 15 tests in Oz whereas Australia lost only 12 tests

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 13, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

Australia's 'treadmill' has been set on 'decline' level for a long time.

Posted by MENDIS_Forever on (March 13, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

Oh my god!..just look at the Australian squad!..only pup is the most talented man there...Rest...nothing..!!!

Posted by satishchandar on (March 13, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

Well.. Australia have everything to win and absolutely nothing to lose. They might surprise everyone. Got one of the worst touring team to India and lost couple of tests and now, 2 of sure starters with potentially might have played couple too. Atleast 3 of the guys in tomorrow's 11 might never dreamt that they might get a game in the series last week. Now got a chance to do something and accomplish their slot in the team. Will they? Will India be complacent after all the havoc happening in the opponent camp?

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 13, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

@whofriggincares: Man, I know India have been poor away from home. But have ANY team won 3 consecutive 'away' series at all ? SA came close by beating England and Australia just recently. They may have won another had they toured elsewhere. But still the stats don't show me ANY team who have won 3 consecutive series so far. So you see, India won't mind that nonsense. Besides, home or away, winning games of cricket is of utmost importance. Only fools will write off home victories as minor positives. Whichever team plays good cricket will win irrespective. So far this series, India have been playing good cricket while Australia have not. Period.

Posted by Selassie-I on (March 13, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Apparently CA now regard T20 from as the way to get in the test team. Bright times ahead for the rest of the world with easy victories over the Aussie bits and pieces merchants.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 13, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

@womenlovecricket: Oh why not ? Cause many times I have heard the Aussies write off the Indian team visiting their country numerous times. So I say with conviction that Australia are going to be HAMMERED like a bong and India will go up 3-0. Why ? Because, the Indian team is playing with a lot of freedom. In the recent months, they had lost many test matches themselves and now they feel NO FEAR towards test cricket. They are playing it like any ODI or T20 game, two formats in which India are masters. So as an Indian fan, I am confident as ever. Australia on the other hand have many issues with egos and directives. Only Clarke is of international class on that team. Anyway, winning and losing is part of sport. They have 13 guys who are supposedly of world class talent. How they approach this game is up to them. As an Indian fan, I could care LESS.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (March 13, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

I hope India give Ojha a turn. Been a really strange week for international cricket; regardless of what teams are selected, I'm sure everyone agrees that at least hopefully the cricket itself will be played in a mature, competitive fashion. Best of luck to both teams.

Posted by womenlovecricket on (March 13, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

I am not going to say that India is going to win this test easily and that they are going to trash the Australian team. We cannot predict things like this so I am just going to write that I hope India wins this test and leads the series with 3-0. The only change I want in India's team is for Ohja to play instead of Harbhajan. Everyone else have earned their place in the team except for Harbhajan. As for people always complaining that Dhoni favours his CSK team mates - the only players from the CSK team who are playing the national team are Raina, Jadeja, Vijay and Ashwin. To be blunt these last two years these CSK players are the only who managed to save some respect for the Indian team when they suffered those loses. Dhoni was the only man the English team couldnt bowl out, Ashwin took many wickets, Jadeja save several matches with his overall performance and Raina is always brilliant in the shorther format. Vijay has started to show his true potential with this Australian series.

Posted by Charlie101 on (March 13, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

What a mess especially with Fergusan , Katich and D. Hussey in Aus. The pressure is on India now as their fans will demand a win.

Posted by 100_rabh on (March 13, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

I know it will be bir early but any bet on odds against India not losing a single test mathch in SA later this year. 'There's not much grass to cut off'...Dhoni getting his ways but the BCCI will not pay any hid on his cries of cancelling the SA tour, so bad times are not too far Captain Cool. Haven't seen any worse player against spin than Hughes in any country's top 3. Play the Million Dollar Baby in his place, he might hit couple of them out of Mohali's small ground

Posted by whofriggincares on (March 13, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

@GRVJPR , Mate india would be happy to win anywhere away from home. Have they ever won 3 consecutive series anywhere in the world apart from at home? doubt it because sooner or later you will run into a pitch with grass on it that spells defeat for India.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

Well they can ask Mathhew Hayden and Shane Warne to play. It will be better than their commentary at the least

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

I agree with lillian The captain and coach could and should have simply asked every player his opinions on how to improve the tour in person. As for being late for training sessions and keeping the team bus waiting fine them or better still employ someone as a minder to make sure they all get up in time.Sacking your only penetrative bowler and vice captain but retaining a batsmen with no runs in 4 innings against spin is lunacy. Michael Clark is obviously autocratic -look at the way Andrew Symonds was handled.He could do well to ask Mark Taylor's advice on captaincy. When we badly lose this test it's time CA 'Drew a line in the sand 'and appointed a new Coach(Darren Lehmann? and maybe a more mature captain

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

Good to see 0 Hundreds this calender year for Steve Smith is good enough for test selection. Can some one please explain WHY HE IS ON TOUR!

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

Line for India Dhawan vijay puraja /rahine sachin Kohli dhoni. Ashwin ohja jadaja dinda kumar Will win

Posted by SherjilIslam on (March 13, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 13, 2013, 9:29 GMT):No mate, you are not dreaming and neither your stats are wrong.By selecting so many T-20 specialists, and with their own style of axing on their foot, Australia had left with no other choice to include a player with such a bad test record.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Australia will loose this test miserably.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

@ mulleegrubber .... DAMN IT!! Obviously Spok and Anikin Skywalker didn't hand in their homework either. Good to see that Black Caviare lost those skin folds she was carrying earlier this year .... she is great running between wickets, though is twice as susceptible as most to being out LBW.

PS. I think that the only option that we have is to laugh at the moment!!

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

Things have gone so dull that I am really thinking if I have to write something as a comment. Hopefully, Indians shouldn't at all get involved with the Australian crisis. Don't think off field situations do much when on ground. Just that India shouldn't take the situation lightly...else there will be more people laughing at them. This is a wonderful opportunity for Shikhar Dhawan to win a place in the playing 11. Also for Murali Vijay to continue his onslaught and cement his position. Just saw Gambhir in one of those domestic matches and the form hasn't changed a bit despite being dropped from such a crucial series. Sehwag as well moving quickly away from the limelight as if never to return. Strange things happening overall...with his average performance,Bhajji may not miss this transition I believe.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 13, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

I think Haddin will probably play in this match whether Wade is passed fit or not. If MW makes it then it would make sense with aus very limited resources to have either MW or BH play as a specialist batsman at 5 ahead of Smith. It really would have been unthinkable just a year or 2 ago that Aus would have a batting line up for test cricket with just 2 players ave over 40, for so long the whole of the top 7 ave mid 40s or better, how the mighty have fallen.

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 13, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

Fact remains that with all that's been going on in the last days we forgot that the real reason we are down in this series is because of our top order, Hughes has been terrible, he had issues with Martin before and now with spin, Clarke likes him, i get this, but if he doesn't get runs in this game then surely he has to go back to shield. And these issues aplly to the whole team and not just these 4 guys. Pattinson and Khawaja will come back strongly in the 4th test, these guys were used to give the other team members a warning that the overall team discipine was dropping, but i expect to see both these young lions back and firing for us in the 4th test. My understanding is that Arthur, Clarke & the manager whose name escapes me at the moment, made the decision among themselves to suspend four players, then Arthur called a press conference to announce same.The NSP was unaware of these developments. Inverarity was on his way home from India & Marsh had just arrived in India

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

I wish Ojha gets a chance in this test match ahead of Harbhajan, afterall there will be 5 righthanders in the 8 capable batsman in the lineup. Its just ridiculous how everybody says that how Bhajji is a totally different bowler after taking a wicket. I mean if u play a good side like south africa or on non spin assisting pitches, who is gonna gift u the 1st wicket! Also the selectors should've axed Ishant here. Its beyond logic how India have invested 50 tests on some1 averaging 38.52 with the ball! Ishwar Pandey, Shami, ,kaul etc should've been given chances. Ishant has never even been one of the leading wicket takers in a Ranji season too. So what if he lands the ball at 4-5 km/hr more than others. Bhuvi has proved that skills are more important.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

At least three people in Australian team are most suited for one day game.

Posted by crickstriker on (March 13, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

Clarke should be backing the players not backing the coach or the selectors; If he's a good captain he should not let this happened it is a shame if we loose Watson from here. because he is a class batsman no one can replace his place at this stage shame on you Australian selectors. how come they (Selectors) let this happened its there job.

Posted by Sugath on (March 13, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

Aussies are facing the same problem that Sri Lanka had in Australia. lanka did not use the spinners who are the strength but used four ordinary pacies. Now in India it is known that you need good spinners. But Australia has three fast men with one spinner. So bound to create problems. Since there is no Pattingson or Mitchell it will be another tough game for them

Posted by CustomKid on (March 13, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

@HansonKoch no not really. I'm not sure why he's even playing for his state side let alone being given a test. The same applies with Maxwell. Since when has a few t20 performances justified being selected for tests? Maxwell was so far out of his depth last test it wasn't funny. He got wickets when India were having a slap and was a walking wicket while batting. Smith will be exactly the same. Given how random baggy greens are being given out i think I might dust off the whites and start playing at the ripe old age of 35. These are dark days for Australian cricket.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (March 13, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

No matter how bad your day gets, you can always rely on these clowns to give you a good laugh.

Posted by Nerk on (March 13, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Very surprised if Maxwell plays. He has neither the goods as a bowler or batter at test level, though he has buckets of potential. Australia are wounded at the moment, but hopefully this team rises above it and finds a bit of pluck. The series is not over.

Good luck to Dhawan. Yet another Indian who has an incredible average at 1st class level, but has he the goods at test?

@mulleegrubber - Are you Greg Chappell?

Posted by IndiaCricFollower on (March 13, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

If Pujara is not available for 3rd test, Rahane is going to be the option for the 3rd position. But the problem is INDIA cannot rely on all the top 3 players to give a good start. INDIA's bowling attack looks very strong as it produces very strong batting. Think if the batting collapses... :-)

Posted by LillianThomson on (March 13, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

The Australian hierarchy should have devoted as much attention to spin preparation in terms of batting and bowling as they have to trying to spin their appalling disciplinary crackdown.

Vague remarks about lazy overweight players appear to be an attempt to cast mud at the "Homework Four". But "one percenters" are irrelevant when the management group has totally messed up squad selection and the balance of the bowling attack.

The only Australian spinner with a good First Class record (O'Keefe) is watching on tv while Doherty (who took 2 wickets all season) tosses up his pies.

The bottom line is that when you try to have a "united" management group without dissent you end up ratifying bad decisions. Clarke would be a better skipper if Watson was empowered to tell him that the squad is unsuited for the purpose of a tour of India and that a pace-based attack will concede 500 runs per wicket except at Mohali.

Arthur and Clarke's dumb strategy is exposed, but they still seek scapegoats.

Posted by fah4 on (March 13, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

This is becoming interesting now the touring team have all the problems and the home team enjoy all goods is what happens in India Australia series now. A perfect time for Shikar Dhawan to make debut and show he can make it big I still remember his knocks in under 19 world cup. Best of luck to Dhawan

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 13, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

There are players in the Australian squad that just aren't to test standard. Smith is a waste of a pick and they should bring over a batsman.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

"India have only ever led 3-0 in a Test series on two occasions". Guess India is 2-0 up now.

Posted by akajaria on (March 13, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

Australia will belatedly get their bearings and select a team they should have earlier (barring Pattinson/Watson): 1 David Warner, 2 Ed Cowan, 3 Phillip Hughes, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Brad Haddin, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Moises Henriques, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Xavier Doherty, 11 Nathan Lyon

Posted by GRVJPR on (March 13, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

@Aditya Anchuri Same can be said about the Australian Cricket Team and england. No matter how many matches they win at home, they atleast have to win 3 series continuosuly in India to prove they are world class. Standards should be same for everyone.

Posted by A_Yorkshire_Lad on (March 13, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

@mulleegrubber - an interesting team selection indeed but surely Mrs Thatch would be far better at No.10 ?

Seriously , come on lads show some fight !! Initially , most England fans would be rather enjoying seeing the old enemy in such disarray but it's turned out to be quite a sorry spectacle , frankly , and is NOT what test cricket in general needs. Best of luck for the 3rd test , lads. Cheers !

Posted by mr.vivek on (March 13, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

It means that rahane is good only for 15 and not for 11. cant understand people picked after him is getting the entry in 11 and he will carry drinks for another test. hope so that pujara is not fit then rahane may get a chance. not bad against this australian bowling lineup.

Posted by popcorn on (March 13, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Sidarth Monga's sarcasm of our emphasis on discipline is lost on me. Go stuff yourself. We know how indisciplined your guys can be - and yet get pampered.

Posted by balajeev on (March 13, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

Come on then, give us a piece on Ishant's best in the lead up to his 50 th test.

Posted by jonesy2 on (March 13, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

i personally love australia's tactics of not trying to win, shambolic off field actions and what not just as a huge decoy dummy for the ashes

Posted by HansonKoch on (March 13, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

I for one am looking forward to seeing Steve Smith back in the baggy green. Anyone with me?

Posted by Nilesh_T on (March 13, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

Ishant Sharma- complete waste of space in the Indian team with negligible contribution. The average speaks volumes and very hard to fathom why is he being picked after many years at the top level when he has yet to prove to be a match winning bowler, barring perhaps " that " one test in Perth where he made Ponting & co. dance to his tune and had a big role in the Indian victory. Clearly this is a typical Dhoni ' favoritism', nothing else. Jadeja has truly given the results in the two tests he has played in and is a reliable team player contributing all round. Bhajji should thank his stars he is able to keep Ojha out. For heavens sake all, pls.leave Sachin alone to decide his own future. Has he not "earned " that right after over 20 years in the game ? Time for the Indians to go in for the jugular considering the Aussie team is in all sorts of strife both on & off the field. Key would be not to get over confident as Warner, Siddle, Haddin & of course Clarke on their day can turn tables.

Posted by ADP69 on (March 13, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

Think smith can benifit a lot from this match. He has great potential to become a geneune allounder for australia as he is a decent leg spinner and a good batsman.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

@mulleegrubber. Why did you drop Greg Chappel from this August team? He knows India, inside out. Mostly inside out!

However, March is the wrong time. May is the month, when quite a few can fly over the cookkoo's nest,in the Indian weather, their brains getting affected by the unbearable heat. Not in March. Please... Please send them to India in May.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (March 13, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

I would love to see Warner come in at 3. He has the flair and youth to grow into the role and be a game changer in that position. Move Hughes to open so he can face more pace bowling and get his eye in. Cowan stays where he is and Clarke at 4. We also need to get these new guys into the side in positions 5 and 6 (not 3 and 4). They need to earn the right to move to those positions.

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (March 13, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

@mulleegrubber - I'd probably bat Black Caviar a bit higher. She's lightning fast between wickets.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (March 13, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

Aus are reduced to 12 and not 13. How can they pick a spinner who was dropped famously due to technical issues just a test back. The foot in mouth syndrome is going to hurt AUS coach and captain. It will be real pity that someone like Steven Smith will be able to earn a test cap at the expense of Watto and Pattinson. The huge squad selected by AUS selectors is also not doing them any favors. The likes of Bailey who could have been handy in this situation is cooling his heels back home. At least they are lucky to have Haddin who has flown back just in time to lay some helping hand at the time of crisis.

Posted by Krishnaraj1983 on (March 13, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

feel pity for Rahane..he is in bench since 2012 aus series and being a opener himself it is unfair on indian team management to play Dhawan ahead of him..poor Rahane..

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

Nice honest, very true and straight too the point article, `Sidharth Monga`. I agree with your article, totally!, i acknowledge the `Ashes`, are the pinnacle between, the Aussies & the Pommies. But the Indian and Aussie teams, have played so much more dramatic entertaining Cricket, in the last 3 decades. You could not have scripted a Soap Opera, better than the Aussie and Indian, teams, this is great for Test Cricket, no matter what people say.

Posted by CricketMaan on (March 13, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

Oh dear too many right things in Indian cricket..if dropping GG and Viru was not enough to state it was bold and right step, now they have announced Dhawan as opener a day ahead. Something is going right in that dressing room, and that to me is worry, for we are not used to it!! Now what?

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

What happened to umesh yadav, varun aeron, ashok dinda, shami ahmed, praveen kumar, vinay kumar, even munaf, sreeshant and zaheer khan ? All of them better than ishant sharma, who has no idea or variations to deceive the batsmen. I would like to see a fast bowler with class from India and ishant is simply wasted his career and careers of other genuine quicks from this land. it's time Dhoni shows interest in fast bowers as it is also an avenue to pick wickets and there is always the spin show of ashwin jadeja harbhajan and ojha. Good luck team India

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 13, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

My prediction is that Australia will start terribly, get worse, get worse again, have some glimmer of hope at some point, and then get so bad that we have our worst ever defeat. Records will be broken, in terms of biggest Indian wins and other individual and partnership records. They may also be broken by Australia in terms of lowest scores and worst bowling performances. Perhaps we can aim for a silver lining and perhaps some young player can do something decent. That is the most that Australian fans can hope for out of this. Perhaps Steve Smith will stand up?

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

Even if we win 4-0, which will be great, the victory will not mask the glaring deficiencies in Indian cricket. Our recent overseas performances will still be a blot on our record. In fact, instead of continuously playing ODI cricket, the BCCI should allow some of the young Indian players to get exposure to the county season next time it starts. It will improve their cricket immensely like it did to the players of the past, like Zaheer, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman. Unfortunately the BCCI only remains interested in money (and thus it didn't allow Sreesanth/Ishant/Raina to play county cricket in 2010) -- the end result, Indian cricket suffers.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (March 13, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

yep Australia will most likely lose but it would be good to see some old fashioned aussie fight. I agree as much as it hurts me to say it, haddin in, 2 spinners. from what is available warner, cowan, Clarke, haddin, smith, wade, henriques, starc, siddle, lyon, Doherty.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 13, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

Hi everyone, I have just seen the Australian line up and in their line up batting at number 5, I saw a player by the name of Steven Smith. I just to confirm in case this is a typo or I am dreaming, this is the same steven smith that has a batting test average of 27 and bowling average of 73 ???!!! Please confirm, many thanks.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

I have a feeling the Aussies are going to come on pitch all guns blazing. Cornered tigers can be more dangerous. I hope they do, and I hope they challenge India well. That's the only way to ensure an interesting series.

Posted by nkoch on (March 13, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

why Dhawan? Why not Rahane? If Rahane is not preferred opener, kick him out of team for Manoj Tiwari.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (March 13, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

Wow India's record in Aus is better than Australiia's in India since 2004.

We must be wary of Haddin. He is good player of spin. Also we must not give any chance to warner. Then the game will be ours . clarke lone battle wont be enough to save the game. Bring in ojha in place of harbhajan. If we win this test i would rest ishant for 4th match and bring in new fast bowler.

Posted by GopiKothandapani on (March 13, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

I feel it would be good if we have Ohja in place of Jadeja. The last two matches jadeja not performed with bat. So, replacing ohja would not harm the team. I think Dhoni would not like to replace Harbhajan to show the nation that he still enough chances to this veteran..

Posted by binender123 on (March 13, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Very poor performance by Ishanth sharma....just averaging 38.5 @ 50 test's....After all being the richest Cric counsil cant BCCI invest something better to produce some good fast bowlers.....?????

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

When will the drought of fast bowlers end in India.How pathetic to see India's leading pacer is in his 50th test with a skyrocketing average of 38.This is the department which will always prevent India from being the No.1 team in long run.Hope we find a genuine pacer in the long run

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 9:04 GMT)

Shikar Dhawan must make most out of this chance given to him to cement his place in Test Team to give Gambir & Sewag to show some form in domestic circuit or in county.

Posted by Webba84 on (March 13, 2013, 9:00 GMT)

For me Australia's performance in this test will be a key indicator for the ashes. Not whether they win or lose but how much fight they show. If they come back strongly and the events of the last week motivate the underperforming players to showing us something better than they have been then things are looking pretty good. If whats happening has demoralized and driven apart the team even more that will be clear too. Im getting excited for this!

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

Aus needed Patt and Johny on this pitch. And bring in Haddin for Hughes not Wade. Hughes has been at sea all series. Atleast Wade made a fifty last match. If possible, Clarke shouldn't change his batting position as he plays well at that position only. But despite everything, I feel Aussies are in for another hiding given they are physically and mentally at an all time low.

As for India, Dhoni must decide what team he wants to take overseas in the next year. I don't see a position for Sehwag in the team unless, God forbid, Sachin decides to retire in the meantime. Then Kohli can take the no 4 and either Sehwag or a new guy like Tiwary can take the no 5 position. As for the bowling, if Umesh Yadav gets fit, Ishant should make way. And it seems Harbhajan's glorious career has reached an end. With Jadeja in form, and Ojha waiting, his time seems over. Thanks for the memories, Bhajji and Viru!

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

I like the part on Ishant Sharma, that says nobody who has played 50 tests has such a bad average, that says it all for Ishant Sharma the bowler- I hope Dhoni reads this and gives Dinda a chance

Posted by   on (March 13, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

Nothing less than a complete white wash is expected. Way to go, Indian cricket team.

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India v Australia at Delhi - Mar 22-24, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Mohali - Mar 14-18, 2013
India won by 6 wickets
India v Australia at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Mar 2-5, 2013
India won by an innings and 135 runs
India v Australia at Chennai - Feb 22-26, 2013
India won by 8 wickets
India A v Australians at Chennai - Feb 16-18, 2013
Match drawn
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