January 20, 2012

The great Australian chokehold

Geoff Lawson
India's downfall in this series has been due to the relentless pressure the opposition bowlers have kept up, with accuracy, movement and pace working in harmony
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The only way to win a Test match is to take 20 wickets - most of the time anyway - and Australia have been doing that easily recently. Post-Argus, post-Andrew Hilditch, post-Mitchell Johnson.

The brutal futility of the last Ashes summer against Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott seems light years away. The Ben Hilfenhaus of 12 months ago has a doppelganger, one with three yards of extra pace, a higher delivery point, reconditioned knees, and late movement. Batsmen now come to the crease with reputations and leave dragging frowns and frayed edges. Peter Siddle has discovered swing - a wonderful accessory to a giant heart and faultless work ethic - and is significantly more potent in taking wickets.

Postman Pat Cummins (he delivers) was included as a premature discovery, a talent of quality, no doubt, but in need of some quantity under the belt. James Pattinson, taken to Sri Lanka in September and then bailed from South Africa in November, was returned to the fold after Cummins discovered the impact of playing a five-day match. Pattinson too has now been sidelined by the same fact of fast bowling life - your feet take a pounding.

Pattinson was identified as a burgeoning talent two years ago and has suffered the obligatory back injury and rehabilitation. He is now more resilient and more knowledgeable about what his body can endure. He has the advantages of height and pace to go with the razor-straight seam that aids swing and seam movement. His final ingredient is his overt aggression: in many ways he is the archetypal Australian quick - if minus the 'tache - as delineated by Spofforth and Lillee.

The Indian capitulation, and I use the word advisedly, has come through the agency of seam bowlers who actually hit the seam - sometimes after it has swung, sometimes without. The greats of the Indian order have been undone by accuracy, movement, discipline and some decent pace. Eight dismissals in every ten have been off the front foot; the tail have mostly got out to short stuff because that is just about all that is bowled to them. Agreeable pitches promote fuller bowling, and Craig McDermott has kept his tribe on the hymn sheet, with hallelujahs dotted on every line.

Like the great West Indian batteries of the 1980s, the current Australian fast bowlers give you few opportunities to score. The methods are different, as only two bouncers an over are allowed now, and more than 11 overs an hour are required, but Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Pattinson, and now Mitchell Starc (ragged in his early Tests against New Zealand, but with his radar operational in Perth) are making square cuts and clips to square leg rare indeed.

On this tour it was expected that a team with the two highest run-scorers in Test history and two others with over 8000 each would not find trouble making defendable totals. The problem was thought to be that India weren't going to bowl anyone out.

The pitches have helped seam bowlers of all varieties, and to be fair the Australian batsmen have, apart from in Sydney - and they were 37 for 3 there at one point - also found fluent strokemaking a tad difficult. The Indians have bowled well themselves without quite getting to the level the home squad have managed. The pressure is never released with a scattered over or spell from this pack of Australian pacemen. The sum of the pressure from the whole is greater than the pressure from a sole practitioner. Bowlers who hunt in packs are better than those who hunt as pairs.

The tactic during the lost Ashes was primarily to hit the deck and be persistent, but there was no sign of variety, creativity, movement or, vitally, accuracy. Hilfenhaus' dodgy knee didn't help, and Harris, the best of the crop, could not stay on the park, in true Bruce Reid-style, for consecutive Tests. Siddle persisted but without zip or plan or a roll of the fingers across the seam.

Like the great West Indian batteries of the 1980s, the current Australian fast bowlers give you few opportunities to score

Siddle now has his front shoulder aimed to the target by a few degrees more, aiding swing and pace, and looks a leading man rather than a member of the support cast.

Virender Sehwag's stationary base, which works on low-bouncing pitches, has been exposed by the movement, and he has been captured in the slips. Sachin Tendulkar may have his feet anchored by the artificial hundreds milestone, but if a senior citizen, he has at least looked like one with some time left on the frontline yet. Gautam Gambhir's angled bat nicks bouncing deliveries all too regularly. He and Phillip Hughes may soon be attending the same remedial classes.

Most disturbing for India has been how Rahul Dravid has been bowled in eight of his last ten Test innings. Mostly the offcutter has been responsible - going through the gate, no less, bat and pad separated by a door now more ajar than ever before. That gap has been opened up by the outswing that brings right-handers moving uncertainly toward and outside the line of off stump to cover edges to slip.

VVS Laxman was expected to bloom on Terra Australis, where he has made runs before, but he has looked tentative and unable, like so many, to counter away swing interspersed with off-cut.

It's a simple recipe, but what a difference when the ball moves! Green pitches help seam movement, but they also help the ball stay shine-able. No mention of the dreaded reverse-swing that barren and coarse surfaces promote. Well done to the groundsmen around the country, from Hobart to Perth.

Be sure that there have been some technical changes in the Australian bowlers that are helping the late movement, the seam angles and the pace. They have enjoyed some pastures to bowl on after so many deserts.

India's will has not been as it should - their away record is no excuse. An examination of a different type awaits in Adelaide. The pitch there has never enjoyed a reputation for being green, or seaming, or for all that much pace. Spin generally has its sway and pace bowlers become more effective as the surface dries, bakes and wears and the bounce becomes less predictable. Other tools will have to be pulled out of the kit bag on Bradman's favourite strip if Australia's fast men are to maintain their stranglehold on the prolific but barely breathing Indian batting line-up.

Geoff Lawson played 46 Test matches for Australia, and has coached NSW and Pakistan. He now commentates on the game for ABC radio

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • notvery on January 23, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram - sorry but india are not world champions England are... i mean you as an indian should realise that 20/20 is SOOOOOOOOO much better and more important than that stupid 50 over game?? dont you?

  • kapowie on January 23, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    @CaughtAndBowled.. You are probably right, the bowling attack might crumble, however It wont be in Adelaide (or anywhere else in Aus). Will anyone remember your predictions (including yourself) by time they actually come to fruition?

  • zenboomerang on January 23, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    @bagwan :- "Being Aussie" - If you say so :) ... Then you would know that the "team heirachy" doesn't order pitches & that nothing is different this year (except being drier which is normal) - unlike India, SL, Eng... The only 'suggestion' came a few years back to leave more grass on the pitches & as you have seen it hasn't always been to our benefit... India should have known this & spent more effort on bring out a good fast pace attack as SA, NZ & Eng have done... Re: "the team will struggle in India" - Why, if we do our homework & send the right players we have a chance... The IPL is training Ozzy players in India every year so the conditions will be familiar to us...

  • Cric_info_pak on January 22, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    I wish india to play good cricket win or lose is other thing don' t wanna be one side game .......

  • ozpenguin on January 22, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    geoff lawson makes a good point re accuracy of the australian attack, although we'll see if they can keep it going overseas and against sa next year before making comparisons with west indies. unfortunately for india, they need to make some tough decisions about their ageing batters and ishant sharma. clearly tendulkar, dravid and sehwag have been great players and gambhir, laxman and dhoni are all good but clearly something isn't right for them all to have mediocre series. perhaps hussey and ponting came good because they had pressure on their places? any thoughts on india's next captain?

  • on January 21, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    Wow. This article had my jaw drop at the sheer intensity of the brilliance from Geoff. As a Pakistani expectantly more fond of the art of bowling, I was really was impressed by how his lovely analysis of the Aussie bowlers' success formula was so little, to the point, yet so technically and vastly describing. Cricinfo should regularize his articles to coming more often, I'll certainly be looking forward.

  • on January 21, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    The Indian side is so much like the English. Its not about talent..it's about how you grow up playing cricket. If you are bred on slow low turners like the Indians have been, you will struggle on bouncy green wickets in test cricket. In test match cricket you natural instincts will kick in sooner or later and you would have a go at that cherry outside off as the very same shot has gotten a zillion boundaries for you since childhood. The same is the story with the English against spin. Super talents like ajmal will run thru their sides. One day cricket is a squeezed format and these short comings aren't as blatant as in test match cricket. Domestic cricket should sport wickets that aren't favouring batsmen or a particular format of bowling. Until that happens we'll keep getting shockers

  • RohanMarkJay on January 21, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Nice article from Geoff Lawson. Good to see Aussies playing good cricket again, although they will never match the heights that Border's, Taylor's and Waugh's Australians manage to do. Those were different era's, there was a danger that Aussie cricket after the retirement of of big players would turn into another West Indies after years of domination of the cricket world, but they have bounced back well in true Aussie fashion. So the lean times could be short lived. Australia has too much pride and respect for the game of cricket to allow their cricket team to become another cricket backwater. I mean look happened to the once mighty west indies. They have been a cricketing backwater for two decades now, will continue to be so. I strongly suspect this scenario will not be repeated by Australia who dominated cricket like the West Indies did.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on January 21, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    India are a very poor side - Aussies should not get too carried away - it's only India for heavens sake............

  • Cric_Lee on January 21, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Australia and Pakistan are doing great job against each other rivals India and England.. Specially their bowlers are real threat..

  • notvery on January 23, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram - sorry but india are not world champions England are... i mean you as an indian should realise that 20/20 is SOOOOOOOOO much better and more important than that stupid 50 over game?? dont you?

  • kapowie on January 23, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    @CaughtAndBowled.. You are probably right, the bowling attack might crumble, however It wont be in Adelaide (or anywhere else in Aus). Will anyone remember your predictions (including yourself) by time they actually come to fruition?

  • zenboomerang on January 23, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    @bagwan :- "Being Aussie" - If you say so :) ... Then you would know that the "team heirachy" doesn't order pitches & that nothing is different this year (except being drier which is normal) - unlike India, SL, Eng... The only 'suggestion' came a few years back to leave more grass on the pitches & as you have seen it hasn't always been to our benefit... India should have known this & spent more effort on bring out a good fast pace attack as SA, NZ & Eng have done... Re: "the team will struggle in India" - Why, if we do our homework & send the right players we have a chance... The IPL is training Ozzy players in India every year so the conditions will be familiar to us...

  • Cric_info_pak on January 22, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    I wish india to play good cricket win or lose is other thing don' t wanna be one side game .......

  • ozpenguin on January 22, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    geoff lawson makes a good point re accuracy of the australian attack, although we'll see if they can keep it going overseas and against sa next year before making comparisons with west indies. unfortunately for india, they need to make some tough decisions about their ageing batters and ishant sharma. clearly tendulkar, dravid and sehwag have been great players and gambhir, laxman and dhoni are all good but clearly something isn't right for them all to have mediocre series. perhaps hussey and ponting came good because they had pressure on their places? any thoughts on india's next captain?

  • on January 21, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    Wow. This article had my jaw drop at the sheer intensity of the brilliance from Geoff. As a Pakistani expectantly more fond of the art of bowling, I was really was impressed by how his lovely analysis of the Aussie bowlers' success formula was so little, to the point, yet so technically and vastly describing. Cricinfo should regularize his articles to coming more often, I'll certainly be looking forward.

  • on January 21, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    The Indian side is so much like the English. Its not about talent..it's about how you grow up playing cricket. If you are bred on slow low turners like the Indians have been, you will struggle on bouncy green wickets in test cricket. In test match cricket you natural instincts will kick in sooner or later and you would have a go at that cherry outside off as the very same shot has gotten a zillion boundaries for you since childhood. The same is the story with the English against spin. Super talents like ajmal will run thru their sides. One day cricket is a squeezed format and these short comings aren't as blatant as in test match cricket. Domestic cricket should sport wickets that aren't favouring batsmen or a particular format of bowling. Until that happens we'll keep getting shockers

  • RohanMarkJay on January 21, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Nice article from Geoff Lawson. Good to see Aussies playing good cricket again, although they will never match the heights that Border's, Taylor's and Waugh's Australians manage to do. Those were different era's, there was a danger that Aussie cricket after the retirement of of big players would turn into another West Indies after years of domination of the cricket world, but they have bounced back well in true Aussie fashion. So the lean times could be short lived. Australia has too much pride and respect for the game of cricket to allow their cricket team to become another cricket backwater. I mean look happened to the once mighty west indies. They have been a cricketing backwater for two decades now, will continue to be so. I strongly suspect this scenario will not be repeated by Australia who dominated cricket like the West Indies did.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on January 21, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    India are a very poor side - Aussies should not get too carried away - it's only India for heavens sake............

  • Cric_Lee on January 21, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Australia and Pakistan are doing great job against each other rivals India and England.. Specially their bowlers are real threat..

  • boehj on January 21, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    A fantastic article Henry. Thanks a lot.

  • bagwan on January 21, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    Being Aussie I'm happy with progress so far. However, zuber21886 is correct the team will struggle in India. The Aus team heirachy have obviously watched with interest the tests played by India in England and prepared pitches accordingly. India should be watching the Pak v England matches with just as much interest and they will prepare accordingly. All teams except the great ones have trouble winning away from home, just shows how even the competition is at the moment. The test in Adelaide will be a leveler. Its true though, Aus bowling has improved out of sight since the Ashes, which were disgraceful and embarrassing.

  • cricfan200 on January 21, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    Well written Geoffi. Concise and precise as your bowling. I feel India should have an AWAY series to Aus, Eng and SA every year for their batsmen to get up to speed with grassy pitches.

  • Bharat_Ajax on January 20, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    A lot has been talked about this present Australian team and its bowlers.I have one simple question.Can the same Australian team beat the same opponents in their back yard on turning tracks.If you argue India cant handle pace,can I ask you that can the present Australian batting line up who to be frank is struggling at home against mediocre Indian pace attack, handle Indian spin on Indian tracks?Also who is in your spin attack who can trouble Indian batsmen on home pitches??Also can the same pace bowlers like Ben Halfanhaus... and Co bowl on Indian tracks is a big question mark. I am asking this keeping the England bowlers who are struggling in Asia against the weak Pakistan batting.Every one is good in their own backyard and struggle abroad and I dont think Australia is no exception.

  • mc1987 on January 20, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    @ Stephen Holloway - The difference is, you see, is that the narrow 7 run win in Hobart was New Zealand's first Test victory (in any country) over Australia in 23 tests covering a 19 year period. New Zealand bowled very well in the last two sessions of that game and deserved their win but come on... they are still light years behind Australia in cricket, on and off the field. Upset results happen from time to time in all sports where the underdog plays out of their skin to grab a rare victory... Bangladesh against one of the great Australian sides in 2005, Ireland beating Pakistan in 2007, Bangladesh beating England in the 2011 World Cup just to name a few in cricket. To put that NZ win into perspective, they (in NZ) will STILL be talking about that victory in 20 years time as a great moment in NZ cricketing history (much like they did with the previous rare win for so many years) whilst Australia will have well and truly moved on... as they are showing now. But yeah, enjoy Zimbabwe...

  • KarachiKid on January 20, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    As a Pakistani I have huge amount of respect for Geoff Lawson. He was a great coach and a nice chap, only this stupid senseless Ijaz Butt cut his stint shorter than it was planned for. He is absolutely rigth that the difference has been Aussy bowlers stanglehold against Indian batsmen. They have really worked hard and come out more skillful and consistent.

  • zuber21886 on January 20, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    this is absolutely not true, Indian batsmen have failed due to their sudden exposures to overseas pitches, time and again i am telling that it is proved by looking at others teams how do they fare well in their own home pitches, bring these Aussie bowlers to India and let them show their talent, then will this article imply on them

  • CaughtAndBowled on January 20, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    The moment Indian batsmen takes the attack to the aussie bowler, the inexperienced Aussie bowlers will crumble!!!

  • on January 20, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    I always find it amazing how quickly Australia forgets. It was only a month ago there own batsmen were in trouble in Hobart. Facing an opposition who were swinging and seaming the ball and bowling tight lines, much the same they have been doing to India. After that test there were calls for their old guard of Ponting and Hussey to be dropped. Oh what a difference a month makes. Lets be honest, India have been poor all around, aside from a few sessions their line and length have been all over the show, giving australia the freedom to swing their arms. To say that Australia is back is a bit premature I feel. If they are still performing like this in 12 months then maybe you can claim this but New Zealand showed in Hobart just how vulnerable they can be when you bowl a consistent line and give the ball a chance. Funny how Australians seem to have forgotten this series.

  • befawcett on January 20, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Whilst I respect your comments Geoff you must admit India are a spent force. Fair enough they are away from home but surely two white washes in a row is no fluke or just down to terrific bowling. It has happened yet but it will. England made your bowlers look weak but they did improve against South Africa. C plus B at best.

  • SRT_GENIUS on January 20, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    @Emancipator007 : How did Eng demolish Aussies in '05 ? Just ask Trescothick.

  • on January 20, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    @ram kumar sundarram- hehehehe "god"

  • on January 20, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    It is not only excellent bowling but also very weak batting by the ageing senior citizens...I remember how difficult it was for Indians to get rid of Kapil with an inform srinath sitting on bench and this team has more than half who are demi gods...look how much time it took to bench Harbhajan....so the losses are good...hope last test win or hundreds are not used to sing hosannas for the ageing demi gods...they should go....Gods get old too

  • rahulcricket007 on January 20, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    WOW !!! ISN'T THIS AMAZING THAT AUSSIES BOWLERS ARE COMPARED TO THE GREAT WINDIES OF 80S BY THE CRITERIA OF TAKING WKTS AGINST A WEAK , FRAGILE INDIAN BATTING LINE UP WHICH CAN'T EVEN SCORE 200 THESE DAYS . I THINK THE AUSSIE ANALYSTS LIKE LAWSON , RYAN , BREETIG , SLATER ARE RIDING ON FULL MOON THINKING THAT AUS ARE SET TO BECOME NO .1 AGAIN . ONLY IAN CHAPPELL 'S OPINION ARE RIGHT IN WHICH HE SAYS AUS ARE LOOKING SOLID BECAUSE INDIA ARE PLAYING LIKE MINNOWS .

  • ShivaCT on January 20, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    Very well-written article indeed. As an Indian, it has hurt to see the team as a whole not being able to cope with the pace and swing on offer. As a fan of cricket though, it's great to see a series where the ball is finally holding sway over the bat - and how! As for some of the other comments on this site - "God" and the other legends are great no doubt and have done yeoman service for cricket and India. But when all your legendary exploits, all the runs you have accumulated, all your experience, etc. cannot help you to figure out ways to do battle, and out-think and face up to this attack, then what good is all that baggage? And this is not a one or two Test "flash in the pan" display we are talking about, it's over 7 consecutive Tests! Lastly, please don't being the World Cup championship into this - it's like comparing night and day! That win has NO bearing on Test matches!

  • Deuce03 on January 20, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    It is the same story as when India toured England. If McDermott did not take some lessons from the way England's pace trios contained the Indian batting then they have at least come to the same conclusions. Adequate pitch plus accurate, full bowling, and this much-vaunted batting lineup goes to pieces. The only real differences between India's current tour and last one are that their bowling this time is marginally better - although not really any more effective - and none of their batsmen have consistently defied the Australian bowlers the way Dravid did in England. There are no doubts about the calibre of most of the senior Indian batsmen or the records they have amassed, but they have been collectively abject this tour and last. The standard of fielding is poor and the captaincy is unimaginative. If India pressed the "snooze" button on their alarm clock after the England tour, surely they can't ignore it any longer? Or will two years of home tests stoke the fires of complacency?

  • jonesy2 on January 20, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    Ram Kumar Sundaram--- basically sums up everything that is wrong with india cricket and that my friend, is sad.

  • ccrriicc on January 20, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    Mr. Lawson is right - Aussies hunted in a pack, Indians were forlorn and seemed without support or counsel - but even then a new comer like Umesh Yadav got wickets - and he didn't have Craig McDermott whispering into his ears. But, Mr. Lawson, invoking comparison with great West Indies bowlers seems a little premature. Good bowling seems better and even brilliant when the opposition is inept and rudderless. Agreed, you need technique, but there is something more you need to perform - the desire to walk onto the field and succeed - Indians forgot that important ingredient on the pillow of their past greatness! I thought even Ashwin, at times batted better than the greats, Ashwin had to be taken out with bouncers, not full length deliveries that demolished the stars of Indian batting. There is however, no denying- Ben Hilfenhaus was vastly superior and he was supported well, very well, by captaincy and by design - two facets Indians never displayed.

  • Peterincanada on January 20, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    @Farabi Hassan In every ranking there has to be a #1. It does not matter whether they are great or not, they only have to be better than the rest. India's time at the top was certain to be short because of a difficult schedule, a shortage of penetrative bowlers and an aging batting order. England, despite the jingoistic claims of their supporters, are not great either as demonstated in Dubai. If they lose this series and fare poorly against India, SA will become #1. While not a great team IMO they appear a more balanced side able to perform better outside their own country than the other two. You are right in that nobody at present is anywhere near the great Aus or WI sides of the past.

  • PiyushD on January 20, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    It's all coupled, Indian in bad form and hence the Aussies bowlers have not been tested, I wish to see at least 2 sessions of good dominated batting by Sehwag and then witness the response of the aussie bowlers I guess they are not even tested in this series.

  • ananthap on January 20, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    mano-a-mano the australians are etter than the Indians.

    Even against the west Indies at home, India were sorely troubled by Ravi Rampaul, Fidel Edwards etc. Do people remember the test and ODI score sheet?

    I doubt whether India will win at home too.

    Note that all other countries are improving their tactics. Both Australia and England before them had four pace bowlers in succession and England had the best spinner (Swann). What is India doing? Just resting on past glory.

    OK

  • on January 20, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    Dear Lawson Please wait until Your Multi stated Troops Tours India early next year .At the moment is such that Aussie Pacer are bowler Wonderfuly and Indian batters are all at seas

  • Captain_Crick on January 20, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Haha well said " Gautam Gambhir's angled bat nicks bouncing deliveries all too regularly. He and Phillip Hughes may soon be attending the same remedial classes"

    They seem to get dismissed in the same fashion more often that not :)

  • er.Vaibhav on January 20, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    @farabi hasan mr. genius tell us who deserve no. 1 spot..if rankings are made according to you then none of the team deserve a no.1 spot.because none of them is unbeatable all around the world.each team in current situation hasn't performed well in anti conditions.every fan will try to make a point for his team but in reality everyone knows what the reality is..there is no australia of 2000's or west indies of 70's and 80's present now alright

  • itsthewayuplay on January 20, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    The Australian batting is brittle and last year were bowled out for 47 and beaten by NZ at home. So why then have the Indian pace bowlers have not been able to bowl out Aus for a competitive total in ideal bowling conditions? The answer has nothing to do with 'Let's see what happens in a return series in India' and I'm disappointed to say everything to do with the fact they have simply not been good enough. Why have they not been good enough? Becuase they have not any of the things that Geoff Lawson has described that the Aus bowlers have been doing. If you want hear about the quality of 'God Sachin' and the others then you have to be prepared to hear about their weaknesses as well.

  • itsthewayuplay on January 20, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    @ facebook (January 20 2012, 04:23 AM GMT) I think you have mised the point. India has never had a consisently TEST good bowling attack and therefore has had to rely on its batsmen posting scores of 500+ to give their bowlers something to defend. This is contrary to the generally accepted view in the rest of the world that it's the bowlers who win test matches. What this article does is highlight how the Australian bowlers have improved themselves and have restricted the Indian batsmen by bowling in the right areas that has exposed the technical weaknesses of Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid and Laxman. The truly great batters and bowlers in cricket adjust to all conditions and India simply haven't done that in this series or in Eng.

  • Fitzy16 on January 20, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Love how certain indian supporters get on the defensive straight away, all geoff Lawson writes is the truth in this article. plain and simple.

    They jump on the chance to criticize indian batsman because they have been under performing, makes sense doesnt it?

    why would they write an obligatory article bad mouthing the aussie bowlers?

    and yes, you are world champions....at ODI's.....well done....., test cricket is the pinnacle, using the world cup as ammunition wont help.

  • StoneRose on January 20, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    Good article. Aus have taken the English strategy of bowling tight lines, stifling the batsmen and seeing what happens. What happens is usually wickets after sustained pressure. Needless to say, this strategy could never have happened with Mitchell Johnson. If Aus want to continue to prosper, he should not return, in Tests at least.

  • o-bomb on January 20, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram; Which article have you read here? This one reads more like an appraisal of a well functioning Australian bowling unit than a criticism of a poor Indian batting line up. In fact the criticisms that are there are entirely just as India's batting has been wholly inadequate during this series, just as it was 6 months ago in England. As for your assertion that it's wrong to label India as a team who are only good at home; just look at the results. You've lost 7 in a row away from home. You surely can't claim India is good away from home at the moment. Good luck giving your answer in the 4th test too. I see nothing to suggest the result will be anything other than that which we've seen in the first 3 tests.

  • MrPud on January 20, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    There are more reasons for Australia's dominance than just the bowling attack. Perhaps the greatest difference between the sides has been the fielding. Aussies look desperate, strong and fast while India look slow and lazy apart from Rohit. The Indian selectors must realise that it takes more than a mighty batting lineup to compete in a Test series let alone win. How Ashwin was dropped for Perth is beyond me. He may be sluggish in the field but could develop into a more than handy batsman to go with his bowling. Some of his shots remind me of VVS. Zaheer's efforts have stopped the margins from being even more embarassing.

  • on January 20, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    @Emancipator007.. I accept with all ur points except Mcgrath.. Taking no credit away frm Mcgrath, he never faced Indian batsman in their prime(in TESTs).. The only series he played against Ind in Aus was in '99-00.. And u will accept that, except SRT all other (RD,VVS,SG) were emerging then.. And SRT played pretty decently in that series to earn Man of the Series award, even though Ind lost 3-0.. In Ind, he was the part of 2001 Eden spl series.. Enuf said.. He didnt do anything spl in 2004 series also, and as u mentioned Sehwag blasted him on that tour.. He is indeed a gr8 bowler.. Bt, I always felt bad whenever he closely missed the Ind-Aus test encounters.. To put in simple words, he did wonders in Aus against Ind in 99 series and rightly avenged back in India.. Then, Ind batsman and Mcgrath never happened to meet again..

  • Gupta.Ankur on January 20, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    It seems Lawson is another one who has going over the moon based on 1 series like england did last year.

    I agree that getting the best batting line-up to do poorly is no mean feat, but you must perform for a considerably long period like 3-4 years before boasting.

  • Harry_Kool on January 20, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram. Let me get this right. Someone who has had a long & distinguished test career as a fast bowler (Lawson) knows less about fast bowling techinuques than you? Oh that;ps right, you're one of the "wait till you get here" brigade. Well dude, we've been there AND won series, as well as putting up a decent game. Not once have we rolled over and got owned like your team has done in 3 tests. BTW, you are NOT world champions, but just the WC winners. The world's best or champion is the #1 ranked team.

  • on January 20, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram... is it any surprise that "Cricinfo always hops in chances to criticise Indian batsmen" when India's batsmen can't pass 300 in overseas Tests? Maybe the criticism is justified.

    The God Sachin? Does that make God the servant of Bradman then?

    Where was Geoff Lawson when India beat Australia several times? Probably the same place as when India lost at home to Australia in 2004. As it stands, Australia have won series (plural) in India. India can wait three more years for another shot at winning in Australia.

    If India couldn't whitewash Australia when the big four were in full flight after Australia lost Warne and McGrath, then how will they fare losing Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid to retirement while Australia's bowling stocks continually increase?

    I'm not saying Australia will win in India next time. We may lose. But compared to the disheartened rabble of the Indian cricket team, at least Australia will put up a fight - far more than India have done this series.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 20, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    ISN'T THIS AMAZING JUST ONE SERIES AGAINST INDIA'S MOST PATHETIC TEAM & EVERYBODY COMPARE THEIR FAST BOWLERS TO WEST INDIES OF 1980S. FIRST ENGLAND SAID IT THAT THEY HAVE PACE ATTACK WHICH HAS THE ABILTIY OF MARSHALLS , AMBROSE , HOLDING , GARNER AFTER BEATING INDIA BY 4-0 , NOW AUSTRALIA SAYING SAME THING BY BEATING INDIAN TEAM WHICH IS CURRENTLY PLAYING WORST THAN ZIM & BANGLADESH .

  • rahulcricket007 on January 20, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    NO , AUSSIES BOWLERS ARE SAME AS THE LAST YEAR , THE REASON OF THEIR SUCESS IS THEY ARE BOWLING TO INDIAN GRANDPAS WHICH CANNOT PLAY BOWL AT SPEED MORE THAN 130KPH ,CAN'T PLAY SWING , CAN'T RUN QUICKLY B/W THE WKTS , GET TIRED QUICKLY . THIS IS THE REAL REASON . WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE SAW ANY OF THE DRAVID , SACHIN , LAXMAN,SEHWAG MAKING 150 RUNS MARK INDIVIDUALLY. BACK IN NOV 2010 . THAT IS 14 MONTHS BEFORE .

  • on January 20, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram can u tell me when did India whitewash Australia?

  • Green_and_Gold on January 20, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram: Mate, ive read heaps of articles that talk down the aussie side and say how rubbish they are (on this site) - it always happens when a team is losing. Ive lost count of how many times Ponting and Hussey have been questioned as to why they are in the side. I do find it annoying, however thats what journos do. This article has talked about the changes in the aussie bowling unit (after Siddle and Hilfy were torn apart during the ashes both by the english players and the aussie press). It also talks about how the Indian batsman have played so far and what is happening for them to get out. India is not playing well and the aussies are, what else do you expect them to write about. Oh, and please tell me your not being arrogant when you state that you will whitewash us going forward (a bit of a double standard perhaps don't you think?).

  • fishman3226 on January 20, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Oh please dont just give Mitchell 'you mean line and length are important all of the time?' Johnson a spot when fit without proving he is in form. Pattinson, Cummins and Starc all bowled better than he has in the past 12 months and in no way should he usurp Siddle or Hilfenhaus.

  • TheArmChairCritic on January 20, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Excellent observations Geoff! It's the combined,consistent,probing attack that's stifled India more than anything else. The movement has been just enough to take the edges and find the gap between bat and pad. Not that Aussie batsmen are looking great.Indian bowlers are just not as consistent and creative like their Aussie counterparts.A better attack like England's would have been a handful for most of the Aussie batsmen. It is really exciting to see bowling performances like what Australia have done recently. More surprising has been their transformation since the last Ashes! The last few months of Test cricket have shown visible signs of bowlers making a comeback. Of course, the pitches have helped but that's how it should be most of the time. There are far too many overrated batsmen in world cricket today -- overrated defence,glorified attacking intents and inflated averages. High time it starts evening out and a lot of them are shown their place.

  • zenboomerang on January 20, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    I think everyone nows that its been the focus of the bowling team in recent series that have helped Oz win & draw the last 4 series - & not the batting unit (except Sydney)... Won the series in SL - Harris, Watson, Lyon, Siddle bowling best... Draw in SA - Harris, Siddle, Watson, Cummins, Lyons... Draw to NZ - Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon... Win against India - Pattinson, Hilfenhaus, Siddle, Harris, Starc... What stands out in the first 2 series is Johnson... Couldn't get wickets, leaked runs - didn't sustain any pressure from the other end... The 2nd is Watson's bowling, 32Tests/56wkts/@28runs - he definitely needs to bat at no.6/7 in Tests or bring in Christian...

  • dunger.bob on January 20, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @ Ram Kumar Sundaram: I see that you and Geoff have completely different agenda's. Geoff is interested in calling it as he sees it while you are interested in hero worship. Never the twain shall meet. ... I challenge anyone to be a fairer, more succint and above all honest caller of the game than Geoff. It's the fast bowler in him I reckon. He goes straight at the stumps, no mucking around. ..... @ Emancipator007 : LOL, I remember that too. .. Classic moment actually.

  • azzaman333 on January 20, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    Every time I hear someone say that it'll be different when Australia plays in India, as if that justifies their terrible away form, it reaffirms why they'll never be the best.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on January 20, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    The Indians are just having a bad run. The first test in both the England and the current series were crucial where India had every chance to take the initiative. They didn't. In fact that lack cost them the game and set the tone for the other matches in both series. Unfortunate. Dravid was in good nick in the last series. Sachin is still timing well. Laxman has always been a tentative starter. It's a matter of time when the top-3 stabilise their batting and when that happens, good scores are around the corner. Having said that, the English just a few months back thought they were indestructible only to fold against Pak... and need I remind Aus own 47 all out against SA recently or for that matter that they lost to an out of form NZ just 4 tests ago?

  • on January 20, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram; No, India are NOT world champions and when ranked no.1 , it was only for a short time. You are referring to the fact that India won the previous 'ODI' world cup, yet please also remember that at no stage ha India reached the no.1 ODI rankings. Although the rankings are not perfect, they indicate long-term effectiveness of a team and that is why India are not the best team.

  • on January 20, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    Excellent article Geoff. Indians have a workload in front of them. Huge credit to the Aussie bowlers. I expect the Indians to do better on this pitch, however, so will the Aussie batsman. (sniff-sniff) yes, I smell a 4-0 drubbing. Love it! The other great news is that India have hardly any Test series until the end of next year. I expect that their Test ranking will drop to 5th of 6th by then. Time to retire the old boys sooner rather than later, including Sachin. Give some young man a chance as he was given too long. He's only batting for personal milestones now, rather than the good of the team. Very selfish.

  • on January 20, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    Reliance rankings have an obvious flaw: In a game like cricket, it does not take into account away/home factor which is why results are skewed. Neither India nor England deserve no 1 spot.

  • Emancipator007 on January 20, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    I still LOL when I remember that incident about optometrist-pace bowler Lawson checking the glasses of an umpire when appeals were being turned down repeatedly. Perhaps a piece on how the quartet of Harmison, Flintoff, Hoggard, Jones dismantled OZ's strong batting line-up in 2005 Ashes defeat and how BEST ever quartet of Holding,Marshall,Garner,Roberts/Craft bowled with passion, verve and ferocity in the 80s would also be enthralling. I have labeled Pattinson the boorish, pacier version of McGrath (who I still consider the greater bowler than Lillee simply because he throttled India's best batsmen at their peak over 2 tours along with his overall superb sub-continental records- with only Sehwag belting him briefly in the 2004 series).

  • Emancipator007 on January 20, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    Superb dissecting of the craft of penetrative, accurate bowling of a pack of pace-fast medium bowlers bowling to a plan. Sometimes having been a fairly successful international player helps in writing such insightful and technical pieces rather than just a discerning piece by a non-player analyst (cue Harsha and other journalists). Wizard Akram is sound with his bowling analysis too but not able to express properly enuf in his non-native language-English. You could see Hilfy(troubled Sehwag even on the flat decks of India with his planned length and line in 2010 series) immediately switching to "brutish bouncers" mode the moment India's lower-order arrived at the crease with IMMEDIATE success. Pattinson quickly gauged that 39 year-old Dravid was struggling to play express pace and kept attacking him on his stumps (which Harris did too once he as the paciest replaced Patto at Perth)as also leaden, back-footed 37-year old Laxman. Only world-beating talent Tendulkar's footwork was assured

  • on January 20, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    A big dislike to this story. Cricinfo always hops in chances to criticize Indian batsmen. Please keep it in mind that neither you nor Geoff Lawson are the end of the World. You guys are not geniuses. Whenever I criticize your site, you will never publish it. All you want is sensation & more number of hits. You guys don't even have the quality to talk about the God Sachin & other players. Where were you & Geoff Lawson, when Australia got beaten India several times? They will come here soon & get whitewashed. That time you will come up with an article that "India is good only at Home". Remember that we are World champions. We will give an answer to such kind of arrogance in the 4th test & the following one day series.

  • on January 20, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    excellent finish to the article...Adelaide will just be like the tip of the iceberg 4 d pitches dat d Aussies r going 2 find when they tour India next year, with all respect to Lyon, he has not looked like taking a wicket all through the series though he has been given enough opportunities to bolster his wicket tally against tailenders, we definitely don't want to go the Eng way..so we sud start preparin 4 spinners wit an eye on mastering d subcontinent

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  • on January 20, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    excellent finish to the article...Adelaide will just be like the tip of the iceberg 4 d pitches dat d Aussies r going 2 find when they tour India next year, with all respect to Lyon, he has not looked like taking a wicket all through the series though he has been given enough opportunities to bolster his wicket tally against tailenders, we definitely don't want to go the Eng way..so we sud start preparin 4 spinners wit an eye on mastering d subcontinent

  • on January 20, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    A big dislike to this story. Cricinfo always hops in chances to criticize Indian batsmen. Please keep it in mind that neither you nor Geoff Lawson are the end of the World. You guys are not geniuses. Whenever I criticize your site, you will never publish it. All you want is sensation & more number of hits. You guys don't even have the quality to talk about the God Sachin & other players. Where were you & Geoff Lawson, when Australia got beaten India several times? They will come here soon & get whitewashed. That time you will come up with an article that "India is good only at Home". Remember that we are World champions. We will give an answer to such kind of arrogance in the 4th test & the following one day series.

  • Emancipator007 on January 20, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    Superb dissecting of the craft of penetrative, accurate bowling of a pack of pace-fast medium bowlers bowling to a plan. Sometimes having been a fairly successful international player helps in writing such insightful and technical pieces rather than just a discerning piece by a non-player analyst (cue Harsha and other journalists). Wizard Akram is sound with his bowling analysis too but not able to express properly enuf in his non-native language-English. You could see Hilfy(troubled Sehwag even on the flat decks of India with his planned length and line in 2010 series) immediately switching to "brutish bouncers" mode the moment India's lower-order arrived at the crease with IMMEDIATE success. Pattinson quickly gauged that 39 year-old Dravid was struggling to play express pace and kept attacking him on his stumps (which Harris did too once he as the paciest replaced Patto at Perth)as also leaden, back-footed 37-year old Laxman. Only world-beating talent Tendulkar's footwork was assured

  • Emancipator007 on January 20, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    I still LOL when I remember that incident about optometrist-pace bowler Lawson checking the glasses of an umpire when appeals were being turned down repeatedly. Perhaps a piece on how the quartet of Harmison, Flintoff, Hoggard, Jones dismantled OZ's strong batting line-up in 2005 Ashes defeat and how BEST ever quartet of Holding,Marshall,Garner,Roberts/Craft bowled with passion, verve and ferocity in the 80s would also be enthralling. I have labeled Pattinson the boorish, pacier version of McGrath (who I still consider the greater bowler than Lillee simply because he throttled India's best batsmen at their peak over 2 tours along with his overall superb sub-continental records- with only Sehwag belting him briefly in the 2004 series).

  • on January 20, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    Reliance rankings have an obvious flaw: In a game like cricket, it does not take into account away/home factor which is why results are skewed. Neither India nor England deserve no 1 spot.

  • on January 20, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    Excellent article Geoff. Indians have a workload in front of them. Huge credit to the Aussie bowlers. I expect the Indians to do better on this pitch, however, so will the Aussie batsman. (sniff-sniff) yes, I smell a 4-0 drubbing. Love it! The other great news is that India have hardly any Test series until the end of next year. I expect that their Test ranking will drop to 5th of 6th by then. Time to retire the old boys sooner rather than later, including Sachin. Give some young man a chance as he was given too long. He's only batting for personal milestones now, rather than the good of the team. Very selfish.

  • on January 20, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    @Ram Kumar Sundaram; No, India are NOT world champions and when ranked no.1 , it was only for a short time. You are referring to the fact that India won the previous 'ODI' world cup, yet please also remember that at no stage ha India reached the no.1 ODI rankings. Although the rankings are not perfect, they indicate long-term effectiveness of a team and that is why India are not the best team.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on January 20, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    The Indians are just having a bad run. The first test in both the England and the current series were crucial where India had every chance to take the initiative. They didn't. In fact that lack cost them the game and set the tone for the other matches in both series. Unfortunate. Dravid was in good nick in the last series. Sachin is still timing well. Laxman has always been a tentative starter. It's a matter of time when the top-3 stabilise their batting and when that happens, good scores are around the corner. Having said that, the English just a few months back thought they were indestructible only to fold against Pak... and need I remind Aus own 47 all out against SA recently or for that matter that they lost to an out of form NZ just 4 tests ago?

  • azzaman333 on January 20, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    Every time I hear someone say that it'll be different when Australia plays in India, as if that justifies their terrible away form, it reaffirms why they'll never be the best.

  • dunger.bob on January 20, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @ Ram Kumar Sundaram: I see that you and Geoff have completely different agenda's. Geoff is interested in calling it as he sees it while you are interested in hero worship. Never the twain shall meet. ... I challenge anyone to be a fairer, more succint and above all honest caller of the game than Geoff. It's the fast bowler in him I reckon. He goes straight at the stumps, no mucking around. ..... @ Emancipator007 : LOL, I remember that too. .. Classic moment actually.