It's right up there, isn't it? Our next two tours will be as challenging as they get for Australian teams but they're exciting ones. Especially for the group that we've got - they're a pretty inexperienced bunch at Test level and even at first-class level as well. There's not a lot to fall back on as far as their own experiences. It's exciting times for a coach.
That's why the groups came over in stages, so we could get the guys who haven't been here before over early to play in a couple of games, to get used to conditions and try to adapt. It's completely different to what we get at home and it was important that we adapted quickly. We've seen in the first two Tests that it hasn't quite happened. There are lessons that the guys are learning that in the next tours they'll be able to fall back on. But at the moment we're in the thick of the battle and learning on our feet as a batting group. We haven't adapted quick enough as yet.
It's a bit of everything. It's a very hard place to start your innings over here when you first go to the crease. It's vital that when we do get a partnership it's a really big one. The Indians have shown the value of big partnerships and getting the first-innings runs on the board. We've virtually failed in our first two Tests to get good first-innings scores. Chennai - it was good to get 380 from where we were, at 5 for 150, but realistically you'd want to be getting up around 450-500 in the first innings here.
Absolutely. I think a lot of batting is done on instinct. The guys have been brought up in Australia and playing in Australian conditions, where, if you see a ball on a certain length, it normally bounces a certain height. Then you come to a foreign country and all of a sudden it doesn't bounce like it does at home. You've got to go against your instincts. You've got to play with your mind and train with your mind. That's something that we haven't adapted to quick enough here. The nature of cricket is that you learn from your mistakes. But you don't just make that mistake once and that's the last time you do it - you make it over and over and over again. Eventually, through experience it sinks in. But the best seem to learn quicker than most. We've got a talented young group of batters and hopefully they can learn quickly.
Absolutely. Whether it be nerves... everything comes into it, trying to score... It's where you've got to be so patient and play to your strengths. You have to be so disciplined with your game plan, because otherwise you can get yourself in all sorts of trouble over here, like with cross-bat shots. I think the best way to learn sometimes is to watch how the opposition go about it. The Indians were brought up in these conditions and play so well here. So watch how their batsmen go about things and see what things we can take out of their game and put into our own.
It is. That's where your footwork is so important, to be able to get down the wicket and then get deep into your crease. At the moment with the fields the Indians are setting, there are a lot of men around the bat. When there are a lot of men around the bat it means there are a lot of holes in the outfield. If you're nice and sharp on your feet, you can get the ball in the holes.
"The nature of cricket is that you learn from your mistakes. But you don't just make that mistake once and that's the last time you do it - you make it over and over and over again"
It's a hard thing to teach if you're not one to use your feet down the wicket, especially when you're facing high-quality spin. But we all are good enough to get deep into our crease. That's a matter of picking up the length and making good decisions more often than not. Unfortunately we've seen through the first couple of Tests that at times our decision-making hasn't been great under pressure.
It's easier to come down the wicket when the ball is coming in to you, where the second form of defence is your pads and body. It's a lot harder to go down the wicket when the ball is turning away. The good players go down the wicket either way, whichever way it's spinning. They've generally used their feet from a young age.
For the two left-handers who got out on the sweep in the last match, the lines were probably right to sweep but the length for Davey was too full and it got up underneath him. Hughesy just managed to drag one on.
It's hard work. It's getting in the nets and working on your weaknesses. We've seen it before with a lot of players. Ricky Ponting was an example of that in 2001, when Harbhajan was all over him whenever he came to the wicket. We're certainly not the first team to come here and struggle. England in the last couple of years have struggled against spin bowling on tours away but as a group they have learnt the lessons and found a way to combat them. Their series win here a couple of months ago was an outstanding success for them. But it also came on the back of their players experiencing some bad losses and spinners being all over them.
He looked unbelievable in the tour game and has looked terrific in his Test innings to date for starts. That's the disappointing thing. The captain needs a bit of help and people to stand up. He looks in terrific touch but the runs just haven't happened.
He gutsed it out. I've seen a lot of Ed in Tasmania. When he gets in his little bubble, he puts a high price on his wicket, which was good to see. He's finding a way to combat the spin. And for the reverse swing coming around the wicket, he was trying to negate the modes of dismissal of lbw and bowled by going at the bowler. With no slips in place you're not going to get caught behind the wicket. There was some smart batting at that time, which was frustrating the opposition, and he was working really hard. It was a shame he got out when he did.
At times like this it's easy to get really withdrawn as individuals and start worrying about your own game and not [think] too much on what's going on around you, but the most important thing is to stick together and start looking after your mate. Don't get withdrawn and into yourself. Start helping out the guy next to you. If everyone is helping each other out, that's what we want to be as a cricket team. We want to stay really tight and work really hard through this.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here