India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali March 13, 2013

Shaken Australia face Test reality

Australia will have to put behind the less-than-ideal lead-up to the Mohali Test to bounce back from their Hyderabad defeat
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A strange thing happened at the Mohali cricket ground on Wednesday. An Indian player gave a press conference. Over the past three days it has felt like there has been only one team in town. On Monday, David Warner, Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke all spoke to the media: Arthur and Clarke on the suspension of four players for a disciplinary breach, Warner on other issues. Shane Watson was bailed up by journalists as he checked out of the team hotel.

On Tuesday, James Pattinson fronted up to speak of his contrition at forgetting his homework. Back in Australia, Pat Howard explained Cricket Australia's support of the team management's drastic move in Mohali, and in doing so inadvertently added fuel to the fire surrounding Watson's departure. Later that night, Watson landed in Sydney and was again mobbed by a press pack. On Wednesday, Clarke gave his official pre-match press conference.

And so did India's debutant batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

Oh, that's right. India are here too. The past three days have been so chaotic for the Australian camp that it was easy to overlook the reality of a Test match starting on Thursday. A Test match that Australia must win to have any chance of retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The challenge for Clarke and Arthur is to ensure their men are switched off from the controversy of the homework saga and switched on to their on-field jobs and how to beat India.

By their own hand, they will do so with a team lacking its vice-captain, its best bowler, another bowler who took five-for last time at this venue, and the main backup batsman, who was otherwise certain to come in for this Test. As bad luck would have it, they will also most likely be without their first-choice wicketkeeper through injury. There will be no official vice-captain to replace Shane Watson, although Brad Haddin will probably serve as a de facto deputy to Clarke.

It is, to put things mildly, less than ideal. One Indian journalist jokingly suggested that perhaps the batting coach Michael di Venuto could be called in to the side. After all, 25,000 first-class runs is a pretty good qualification for a baggy green, and he only retired last year.

Before the squad left for India it was clear this tour would be Clarke's biggest challenge as captain. This Mohali Test will unquestionably be his toughest task of the trip. Apart from the self-imposed stripping of personnel, the team needs to find a way to bounce back from its tenth-biggest loss in Test history. This is a squad that has been slipshod on and off the field and has had its failings aired publicly, yet Clarke must refocus his men away from all of the off-field issues.

But this match does provide an opportunity. When the touring squad was chosen, Steven Smith appeared about as likely to play a Test as Mickey Arthur. Now he has a chance to show what he has learnt since his last Test incarnation two years ago. Phillip Hughes was almost certain to be axed but now will get a reprieve. Xavier Doherty and Nathan Lyon will probably be tested in tandem. Mitchell Starc is back. Clarke has carried a hefty burden since Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey retired. It will be fascinating to see how Clarke rallies his men here.

"The reality is it's a different team now in regards to experience," Clarke said. "When you lose so many experienced players it takes time to build that up. With Ricky's retirement and Michael Hussey's retirement, more than anything I think those two players as friends of mine led by example. We had those guys to talk to a player, to show the younger players how to train, how to go about their work. They were great players for a number of reasons and not just about their performance."

Clarke has made a point of telling his men that they don't need a 'c' or 'v-c' next to their name to be a leader in this young and inexperienced group. The next five days in Mohali provide a chance for some of the same players from the Hyderabad thrashing and some new ones to show what they are made of. To see if the off-field issues have pulled them closer together or driven them apart. The signs at training have been good. The vibe has been upbeat.

Of course, the likely outcome is short-term pain for what Clarke and Arthur hope will be long-term gain. But after Hyderabad, losing by less than an innings would be a step up. A draw would feel like a win. A win would make this one of the most remarkable weeks in Australia's Test history. Now to see what those Indians have been up to while all of this was happening.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | March 14, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    Bring back shane watson. He brings so much to the team and gives the rest of the world a great laugh at his seemingly deep well of talent.

  • POSTED BY Strikeforce2007 on | March 14, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    Time for prep classes and homework is done with,when introvert thoughts result in an implosion, needing instead an extrovert approach in a team above par talent explosion. it's now time for field and slog work to get the Aussie team moving ahead. Time the Oz's must stop psyching themselves in their closed minds within doors, and face up to the open field as any professional playing XI must. Time comes wherein such relent unleash their natural cricketing skill and abilities. It's the only cure to the unease that has caught the team both on & off the field in an unnecessary fit of nerves. It's time when Chandigarh will see an Australian comeback. I feel the now 4 days game of the 3rd test , will place them well for a win. Bat and bowl well and fast is the need, as the extra 90 overs lost on day1 could well come to an Australian benefit, as this extra time unnecessarily feeling the pressure in their undue defence, is unneeded, it's an Australian comeback in the 3rd Test.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | March 14, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    I would rather see either Shane Warne or Adam Gilchrist being the coach of this team in place of Arthur. Their approach would be tough but more "hands on". They would work with the players in helping to work their problems out. The Arthur way is like that of a school Teacher. Give these Kids some homework & let us see them do their homework!. This approach never works with adults. Mr. Arthur.If you treat them like Kids, they will behave like Kids. Better way is to impose a financial penalty which really hurts their pockets, assuming that the 4 suspended guys breached a code of conduct. Follow this up with private sessions with each & explain the big picture impact. Let them prove they have overcome the deficiency by monitoring their performance in the following match. If they have not, impose another financial penalty & repeat the process.This is more practical way.All 4 suspended players are crucial in the next series too. Demoralizing your stars who make up the XI is a poor approach!

  • POSTED BY Robofk on | March 14, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Crickets is really dieing in Australia look at there domestic matches lot of all outs in 100s. Best batsman is still guys like Ricky Ponting. Aussies need another 5 years to come back and play a good test match in India. I know lot of people will not agree with me because India lost 4-0 to Aussies couple of months before. But that is because India played really really bad in Australia.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | March 14, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    @hyclass completely agree with your comments mate. Both Pattinson and Khawaja should be playing this test, but this will test our depth. No skinfold tests, not wellness tests, not regimented training regimes. These sound like gimmicks designed to justify the existence of those on the periphery.You can't make the human part of the technology. Tthese things are a tool. But only a tool. As the old saying goes, you can lead a camel to water

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Everybody is forgetting Australia actually started the series pretty well. 380 in the first innings at Chennai and had India 100-3. It was the Tendulkar Kohli partnership that swayed the game towards India and Dhoni's blitz that took it away completely. They just need one of the top 6 other than Michael Clarke to bat for a long period of time, put up a good first innings score and put pressure on India. The pitch at Chennai was probably as home team friendly as they are going to get this series. Australia batted poorly in both innings in Hyderabad, they just have to put that behind them.

  • POSTED BY HARCOURT_CUMBERBACH on | March 14, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    I have been watching and listening to this kerfuffle explode way out of proportion. I think they did the right thing, and other codes have shown how strict discipline is the cornerstone to a committed playing group. Followers of Rugby League well know how dissenters are dealt with. Prior to the first round Nathan Merritt of the Rabbitohs (a tradesman like team, punching above its weight) nodded off watching telly and ended up 5 min late for training, he was punished with instant demotion to the NSW cup and even though he is one of the top players in the team there was not a word said by the press or him. He took his punishment without question as he undestood he had let the team down. Aussie Cricketer have had it too easy by virtue of the wealth of talent in sides, this is a new dawn, and every pater will ahve to play to his upmost for us to even be competitive.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | March 14, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Understand what you're saying hyclass but complete disagree - cricket is a team sport. Individual performances matter of course (when don't they, in sport?), but you don't tonk the ball and then run without calling to your batting partner - or try to sprint through for three when you have Inzi at the other end. You don't just bowl the ball with no consideration for your field settings. You don't come in wherever you want in the batting lineup because team work only matters when you're fielding. That sort of comment is remarkably naive for someone who I actually think is one of the better commentors on this site. Don't disagree with your comment about what's bleeding obvious - India are a better side in India than Australia are in India. Or that it's a shame to see Pattinson and Khawaja out of this match.

  • POSTED BY MrMojoRisin on | March 14, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    I agree with chicko1983; expect to see a more determined performance from the Aussies. My money (if I had any AND, if I was a betting man) would be on them putting on a much improved show! The pitch will be an ally, but the guys will need to put in some serious hard yakka!

    Not necessarily tipping a win, but at least a draw!

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | March 14, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Anyone remember that episode of Ripping Yarns where the hopeless Barnstoneworth football team finally wins a match when the entire team is replaced with the retired members of their last successful team? Isn't Matthew Hayden in India right now? Just sayin'...

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | March 14, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    Bring back shane watson. He brings so much to the team and gives the rest of the world a great laugh at his seemingly deep well of talent.

  • POSTED BY Strikeforce2007 on | March 14, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    Time for prep classes and homework is done with,when introvert thoughts result in an implosion, needing instead an extrovert approach in a team above par talent explosion. it's now time for field and slog work to get the Aussie team moving ahead. Time the Oz's must stop psyching themselves in their closed minds within doors, and face up to the open field as any professional playing XI must. Time comes wherein such relent unleash their natural cricketing skill and abilities. It's the only cure to the unease that has caught the team both on & off the field in an unnecessary fit of nerves. It's time when Chandigarh will see an Australian comeback. I feel the now 4 days game of the 3rd test , will place them well for a win. Bat and bowl well and fast is the need, as the extra 90 overs lost on day1 could well come to an Australian benefit, as this extra time unnecessarily feeling the pressure in their undue defence, is unneeded, it's an Australian comeback in the 3rd Test.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | March 14, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    I would rather see either Shane Warne or Adam Gilchrist being the coach of this team in place of Arthur. Their approach would be tough but more "hands on". They would work with the players in helping to work their problems out. The Arthur way is like that of a school Teacher. Give these Kids some homework & let us see them do their homework!. This approach never works with adults. Mr. Arthur.If you treat them like Kids, they will behave like Kids. Better way is to impose a financial penalty which really hurts their pockets, assuming that the 4 suspended guys breached a code of conduct. Follow this up with private sessions with each & explain the big picture impact. Let them prove they have overcome the deficiency by monitoring their performance in the following match. If they have not, impose another financial penalty & repeat the process.This is more practical way.All 4 suspended players are crucial in the next series too. Demoralizing your stars who make up the XI is a poor approach!

  • POSTED BY Robofk on | March 14, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Crickets is really dieing in Australia look at there domestic matches lot of all outs in 100s. Best batsman is still guys like Ricky Ponting. Aussies need another 5 years to come back and play a good test match in India. I know lot of people will not agree with me because India lost 4-0 to Aussies couple of months before. But that is because India played really really bad in Australia.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | March 14, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    @hyclass completely agree with your comments mate. Both Pattinson and Khawaja should be playing this test, but this will test our depth. No skinfold tests, not wellness tests, not regimented training regimes. These sound like gimmicks designed to justify the existence of those on the periphery.You can't make the human part of the technology. Tthese things are a tool. But only a tool. As the old saying goes, you can lead a camel to water

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Everybody is forgetting Australia actually started the series pretty well. 380 in the first innings at Chennai and had India 100-3. It was the Tendulkar Kohli partnership that swayed the game towards India and Dhoni's blitz that took it away completely. They just need one of the top 6 other than Michael Clarke to bat for a long period of time, put up a good first innings score and put pressure on India. The pitch at Chennai was probably as home team friendly as they are going to get this series. Australia batted poorly in both innings in Hyderabad, they just have to put that behind them.

  • POSTED BY HARCOURT_CUMBERBACH on | March 14, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    I have been watching and listening to this kerfuffle explode way out of proportion. I think they did the right thing, and other codes have shown how strict discipline is the cornerstone to a committed playing group. Followers of Rugby League well know how dissenters are dealt with. Prior to the first round Nathan Merritt of the Rabbitohs (a tradesman like team, punching above its weight) nodded off watching telly and ended up 5 min late for training, he was punished with instant demotion to the NSW cup and even though he is one of the top players in the team there was not a word said by the press or him. He took his punishment without question as he undestood he had let the team down. Aussie Cricketer have had it too easy by virtue of the wealth of talent in sides, this is a new dawn, and every pater will ahve to play to his upmost for us to even be competitive.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | March 14, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Understand what you're saying hyclass but complete disagree - cricket is a team sport. Individual performances matter of course (when don't they, in sport?), but you don't tonk the ball and then run without calling to your batting partner - or try to sprint through for three when you have Inzi at the other end. You don't just bowl the ball with no consideration for your field settings. You don't come in wherever you want in the batting lineup because team work only matters when you're fielding. That sort of comment is remarkably naive for someone who I actually think is one of the better commentors on this site. Don't disagree with your comment about what's bleeding obvious - India are a better side in India than Australia are in India. Or that it's a shame to see Pattinson and Khawaja out of this match.

  • POSTED BY MrMojoRisin on | March 14, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    I agree with chicko1983; expect to see a more determined performance from the Aussies. My money (if I had any AND, if I was a betting man) would be on them putting on a much improved show! The pitch will be an ally, but the guys will need to put in some serious hard yakka!

    Not necessarily tipping a win, but at least a draw!

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | March 14, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Anyone remember that episode of Ripping Yarns where the hopeless Barnstoneworth football team finally wins a match when the entire team is replaced with the retired members of their last successful team? Isn't Matthew Hayden in India right now? Just sayin'...

  • POSTED BY timmyw on | March 14, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I have to say I agree with a lot of sentiment here. Including that the Aussies are pretty much doomed. Dropping two of our best players for what? Not handing in work the coach should have been doing anyway? This is a test cricket team not a primary school study group. Utterly ridiculous. I seriously hope India wipe the floor with Australia over the next few days. At least I get to watch Pujara bat again, that guy is awesome. Hopefully he gets a triple :). Another point. This loss will go against Clarke. not Arthur. Wonder if Clarke will think about that after he's spent 3 days in the field and his side has been bowled out twice for cheap again. If I was captain, there is no way known I would have stood for this shinanegans.

  • POSTED BY ihaq1 on | March 14, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    i think the aussies could still call in a top class legspinner from teh retired brigade in india to drill the aussie spinners with how to think out a batsman...england have a vastly improved spin attack with mushtaq as a spinning coach...

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | March 14, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Very dissapointed with Arthur. We can program all we like, but eventually each individual will respond to his emotional feelings at any particular time.Of course you can threaten a player with a gun to his head. This practice can be a useful motivator. This might actually be practiced in places like North Korea. However, I would hope Australia is a long way from ever adopting this approach. ;-)Ultimately, in my humble opinion, it's the variable factors - like a sense of belonging, all moving in the same direction, etc - that sets the better teams apart.Not skinfold tests, not wellness tests, not regimented training regimes. These sound like gimmicks designed to justify the existence of those on the periphery.You can't make the human part of the technology. Like you say, these things are a tool. But only a tool. As the old saying goes, you can lead a camel to water. Its unacceptable that Khawaja who hasn't played a game yet misses out today.

  • POSTED BY ConradFitzroy on | March 14, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Will be interesting to see how Clarke and his slapshod team will respond after a very intense week. The test cricketing futures of Hughes, Smith & Doherty particularly will be made or lost in the next 5 days. I'm tipping a big ton from Clarke to let his bat do the talking. I think we will all look back on this week as the "bottoming out" period that Australian cricket needed to have to begin to properly rebuild.

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | March 14, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Certainly Australia had the best of the conditions in the first two tests after winning the toss. Now with a weakened team which was weak already, they will do well to avoid an innings defeat. I don't expect they will. But if they could knock up 400 runs in an innings, that would be a vast improvement.

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    Surely Australians cannot get any lower than they were in Hyderabad. Or can they? The selectors have lot to answer for.They chose the wrong team for the tour.Made the mistake of dropping Nathan Lyon for 2nd test.Their rotation policy is muddle headed.In short the selection of players has been harder to read than a Shane Warne's flipper.Now some of the playes have been made scape goatsrfor the sins of the selectors.The selectors should have been the first to be suspended.

  • POSTED BY on | March 14, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    Australia can rearrange the deck chairs all it likes but the plain fact is it doesnt have the players or skills to win on Indian wickets, facing quality spinners. Ejecting your best bowler to date (Pattinson) in a fit of pique over missing his homework deadline. Utterly self-destructive and desperate. Fantastic watching this squad squabble amongst themselves. Nothing better than watching Australian cricketers on their knees!

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | March 14, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    In all honesty, this is cricket.One individual bowls the ball, another individual takes a swing at it, and another individual tries to catch it or stop it from rolling away.The only time when teamwork comes into play is during fielding.Otherwise, it's individual performance.What were they meant to have come up with? Bowl better? Bat better? Catch the ball more? It's not as if they can say "we can have two midfielders run into space" or "the strikers and midfield can co-ordinate their passing and running so we don't get flagged for offside".It really smells of scapegoating, as those responsible for overall tactics and field positioning failed dismally and didn't want to be held to account. Or you could just admit the bleeding obvious - that the opposition are just a lot better on their home turf.I am so dissapointed not to see Pattinson and Khawaja in this test. Pattinson is our number 1 bowler in this tour and Khawaja was coming in to this test after a year of hard work.

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | March 14, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    I can't see India scoring anything below 500 in their first innings. Hopefully Hughes can come good, he is the best young batsman in Australia at the moment. Ponting's first India tour in 2001 returned an average of 3.4, and he'd played over 40 tests and had giants of the game surounding him!

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | March 13, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    Aussies shot themselves in the foot by removing the top 3 players thru' suspension which could have been easily avoided thru' "Carrot & Cane" treatment. When a team can ill afford to lose Pattinson in bowling or Watson- their 2nd best batsman or Johnson who was dropped for first 2 Tests, then such discipline is "Penny wise & Pound Foolish".These are not school kids to be given "Home work". If they were so immature & irresponsible, why were they selected in the squad to start with? I think CA has lot of soul searching to do. They send a team to India with a batting totally ill equiped to play spinners & Seamers to take wkts. pn spinners' pitches! Even amongst the seamers the guys with experience of Indian conditions such as Hilfenhous, Bollinger &Tate are missing.Katisch would have been a good addition amongst batsmen - another disciplinary casuality. This series has clearly become a farce, even against a relatively weak rebuilding Indian Team now made to look like "World Champions"!

  • POSTED BY chicko1983 on | March 13, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Never undersestimate a professional Aussie sportsperson with their back to the wall. The Aussie competative spirit is something which gets stronger the more you tell the person they "cant win" or "theyre not good enough". I believe they will definitely fight harder in the third test, though probably cant expect more than a draw still. We need some real Australianism from what is left of the team. My XI: Cowan, Warner, Clarke, Haddin, Hughes, Wade, Henriques, Maxwell, Starc, Siddle, Lyon. If Wade cant play, drop him for Smith. I cant believe I just said that....

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    Very dicey scenario. Australians can roar back if they stick to what Bili O'Reilley once said: "The goose is not cooked until it is eaten". Team India note that! Or, they can completely implode under the weight of the 'homework or go home' rule. India can ride the momentum and low point of aussie morale to wrap up the series. Or get complacent. For both teams Bill O'Reilley can be the inspiration/caution. Let us hope for a good scrap in old Indo-Aussie style. And like all Indian movies, hope it ends in a India win! :)

  • POSTED BY AjaySridharan on | March 13, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Mouth-watering match in prospect! Gotta love a gripping contest with a good context. Don't expect the Indians to take it complacent though. The break would have done them good too, and they have enough players in the pack who have a lot to prove. A sporting pitch, good weather, raw nerves and young blood - this is a sports marketers delight! and this is what spectators live for!

  • POSTED BY kentjones on | March 13, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Another good article BC. There has been a lot of buzz around the Australian team since its last match and defeat to India. News coming out of the Australian camp has been lapped up by the foreign press and I daresay been mixed up as well - whether it is deliberately or not is another matter. Anyone who feels that this Australian team is going to meekly submit to India in the upcoming game is either ignorant of the history of the game or just purely insane. Australia has gained a proud and deserved reputation for consistently playing tough hard nosed cricket, no matter the opponents. My expectation is to see a very improved performance and a highly competitive Australia for the rest of the series. Remember one sparrow does not a summer make!

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | March 13, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    After all the talk of the Mohali pitch, it's good that we play both Lyon and Doherty. How many wickets will they take? I just hope Nathan has a good one to show his critics, but if he doesn't, SO'K and Fawad Ahmed should be the Ashes spinners.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | March 13, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Australia will lose by an innings and plenty again because Clarke and Arthur are not picking the best team. Clarke's captaincy won't survive this. They are disrespecting the supporters by picking a B team and players who would have otherwise been dropped for this match. What on earth are you thinking??? Our best team is already not good enough and you're deliberately picking a worse one? My goodness I've never felt so dismayed as an Australian cricket fan. You are kicking the supporters in the teeth.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    As an ardent follower of test cricket, I have always admired the Aussie spirit, attitude and respect they attach to playing cricket for Australia. I expect them to come fighting hard and we might see some exceptional performances in the next test. India is on top right now and if they look back to their Australia and England tours of 2012, they would know what to do when on top... press harder and block any escape routes. It's easier said than done against Australia.

  • POSTED BY blink182alex on | March 13, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    it's slightly annoying that we will have no where near our best 11 players playing tomorrow. Infact i would say with Warner, Clarke, Haddin, Lyon, Siddle and possibly Starc we only have 6 players at the most who get into our strongest possible side.

  • POSTED BY Ihaq on | March 13, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    The issue is not the action the issue is this is a weak team with inadequate skills and school master approach will not help develop skills - playing will help not suspensions. Time to dump Arthur dictatorship

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | March 13, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    @Venkat: I have the same fear about Starc and Haddin. I like Steve Smith too. However, Starc didn't fare too well in the 1st Test but if there's any help in the pitch, he could be dangerous.

    We should take this opportunity to appreciate great pace bowlers from the past who have done well in India, guys like Marshall, Hadlee (70s and 80s), McGrath, Roberts et al - they were effective on ALL surfaces. There have been plenty like Starc who look great in Oz and on pitches with juice but they're ineffective the moment they're confronted with a benign pitch, often crying off with injuries.

  • POSTED BY screamingeagle on | March 13, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but I get the feeling this is the beginning of the end for the new look Aussie team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    You don't "wreak havoc" in the subcontinent- to have success you need a more attritional approach i.e mix caution with aggression. Nevertheless it is heartening to see Australia's spirit inspite of what has been going on. Team India, like coach Fletcher says, should treat the last two Test matches as a fresh series and should approach them the way they approached the 1st 2 Tests. Don't forget what happened after we won the 1st test against England at Ahmedabad

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    >>The signs at training have been good. The vibe has been upbeat.

    That is Australia. Any other team with this kind of development would have been broken are close to broken up. But Aussies are tough nuts. Surely their on filed behavior and the body language will be the same, may be more aggressive ....India and even England better watch out ...Don't be complacent *because* of this issue ....

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    I get a feeling that we are going to see Starc wreaking havoc with his bowling and Haddin with his batting. Its likely to be a remarkable week for Australia.

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  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    I get a feeling that we are going to see Starc wreaking havoc with his bowling and Haddin with his batting. Its likely to be a remarkable week for Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    >>The signs at training have been good. The vibe has been upbeat.

    That is Australia. Any other team with this kind of development would have been broken are close to broken up. But Aussies are tough nuts. Surely their on filed behavior and the body language will be the same, may be more aggressive ....India and even England better watch out ...Don't be complacent *because* of this issue ....

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    You don't "wreak havoc" in the subcontinent- to have success you need a more attritional approach i.e mix caution with aggression. Nevertheless it is heartening to see Australia's spirit inspite of what has been going on. Team India, like coach Fletcher says, should treat the last two Test matches as a fresh series and should approach them the way they approached the 1st 2 Tests. Don't forget what happened after we won the 1st test against England at Ahmedabad

  • POSTED BY screamingeagle on | March 13, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Sorry to rain on your parade, but I get the feeling this is the beginning of the end for the new look Aussie team.

  • POSTED BY InsideHedge on | March 13, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    @Venkat: I have the same fear about Starc and Haddin. I like Steve Smith too. However, Starc didn't fare too well in the 1st Test but if there's any help in the pitch, he could be dangerous.

    We should take this opportunity to appreciate great pace bowlers from the past who have done well in India, guys like Marshall, Hadlee (70s and 80s), McGrath, Roberts et al - they were effective on ALL surfaces. There have been plenty like Starc who look great in Oz and on pitches with juice but they're ineffective the moment they're confronted with a benign pitch, often crying off with injuries.

  • POSTED BY Ihaq on | March 13, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    The issue is not the action the issue is this is a weak team with inadequate skills and school master approach will not help develop skills - playing will help not suspensions. Time to dump Arthur dictatorship

  • POSTED BY blink182alex on | March 13, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    it's slightly annoying that we will have no where near our best 11 players playing tomorrow. Infact i would say with Warner, Clarke, Haddin, Lyon, Siddle and possibly Starc we only have 6 players at the most who get into our strongest possible side.

  • POSTED BY on | March 13, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    As an ardent follower of test cricket, I have always admired the Aussie spirit, attitude and respect they attach to playing cricket for Australia. I expect them to come fighting hard and we might see some exceptional performances in the next test. India is on top right now and if they look back to their Australia and England tours of 2012, they would know what to do when on top... press harder and block any escape routes. It's easier said than done against Australia.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | March 13, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Australia will lose by an innings and plenty again because Clarke and Arthur are not picking the best team. Clarke's captaincy won't survive this. They are disrespecting the supporters by picking a B team and players who would have otherwise been dropped for this match. What on earth are you thinking??? Our best team is already not good enough and you're deliberately picking a worse one? My goodness I've never felt so dismayed as an Australian cricket fan. You are kicking the supporters in the teeth.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | March 13, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    After all the talk of the Mohali pitch, it's good that we play both Lyon and Doherty. How many wickets will they take? I just hope Nathan has a good one to show his critics, but if he doesn't, SO'K and Fawad Ahmed should be the Ashes spinners.