Published on March 5th, 2013 | by Faisal Caesar0
Which Australian side are we witnessing?
“We are witnessing an Australian unit which is going down with an embarrassing rapidity. We are witnessing an Australian unit which looks a perplexed unit when the situation demands a fight back.” Writes Faisal Caesar
The Hyderabad Test didn’t offer any exciting cricket but gifted us another heavily one sided affair like the Chennai Test match. At Hyderabad, only one team looked out and out dominant and that had been the home team – India. They outclassed their guests in all departments to take a dominant 2-0 lead. Surprisingly, the visitors named Australia, who are well known for their never-say-die-spirit, were a shadow of their glorious past. In India, Australia had always been under achievers. But in the last decade, since this Border-Gavaskar trophy had become a mouth-watering stuff, Australia hardly exhibited such sort of spineless cricket on Indian soil.
Border-Gavaskar trophy has always been one of my most cherished Test series apart from the Ashes and Indo-Pak clash. With Indo-Pak series being trapped by political circus and Ashes being too much one sided, the Border-Gavaskar trophy has been offering some epic encounters for the last twelve years. But I guess, it is coming to an end. In 2011, we witnessed a one sided Test series down under with Australia drowning India brutally and at present, India are repeating the same brutality on their rivals. On both the occasions, we were being deprived of fighting-displays which has given this Border-Gavaskar a different dimension in the world cricket.
Being a fan of Australia’s never say die attitude, I always follow Australian cricket as on any trying and testing circumstances, the Australians are habituated to put up an inspiring performance to make the contest a close call. You might see Australia lose but rather than clapping for the winning team, you will surely stand up and salute the unique Australian fighting spirit. Surprisingly, we aren’t observing such valiant fighters from Australia at present.
Which Australian side are we witnessing now?
We are witnessing an Australian unit which is going down with an embarrassing rapidity. We are witnessing an Australian unit which looks a perplexed unit when the situation demands a fight back. We are witnessing an Australian side which has forgotten to carry on the legacy of Border, Taylor, Chappell and Steve Waugh. Sadly, this Australian side gives up easily and loses their way when the going gets tough.
Australia did not surface an ideal Test XI at Chennai and Hyderabad. I just didn’t understand why Australia persisted with Phil Hughes who has proved his incompetency time and again. By the way, Is the number four position an ideal slot for Shane Watson? Number four is a very important position in Test cricket and requires the service of a specialist batsman.
Australia should have built a spin combination with Lyon and Doherty. Rather than relying on one specialist spinner it would have been sensible to play two specialist spinners and in between Moises and Maxwell, Australia should have persisted only with one all-rounder. Australia’s plan to put India under pressure through sheer pace proved to be a failed mission.
The Australian pace bowlers did try the reverse swing but what is reverse swing without thunderous pace – It’s nothing but a waste. We did witness the likes of Siddle and Strac to apply the reverse swing but they were not thrown at an extreme pace and thus their efforts couldn’t fetch better results. Hardly, we could witness any wicket-taking balls delivered by them. The Australian pace bowlers biggest asset, over the years, has been leg-cutters and off-cutters – pitching them on the back of a length around the corridor of uncertainty. Reverse swing has never been an Australian weapon to create a havoc. The Australian pace bowlers were disciplined but never had been there was aggression with a proper intensity.
Above all, in this crisis situation, the best shot must come from Michael Clarke. Michael Clarke should bat up the order rather than wasting himself at number 5. He should bring on a certain resolve in this disorganized Australian unit like Alastair Cook did for England. Clarke’s bat must prove to be a fort in Australia’s second innings. Both at Chennai and Hyderabad, it had been in the second innings where Australia looked at their worst best. On both the occasions, Michael Clarke’s bat was needed to tame the Indian spinners. Sadly, Clarke couldn’t be a Cook and Australia lacked a lighthouse to show them the way.
Image credit: BCCI
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