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Where Australia went wrong against India

February 26th 2013 18:18
India completed a thumping victory over Australia this morning, in a fixture that bares a lot of resemblances with that of Englandís first game on their tour last year. MS Dhoniís side were exceptionally good and really worked for their victory for a change. The England management will have certainly watched this match unfold with untold glee as the Aussies kept on falling. But what went wrong for the men from Down Under?

Shot Selection

Todayís Aussie Test team certainly has a lot of shot makers in it, Warner, Watson and Wade to name just a few. But surprisingly, it was the wicket of steady-Eddy Cowan which was really down to poor selection and poor thinking. He came down the track and missed a huge heave to be stumped by yards, the shot very much resembled that of Ian Bell in the first Test last year. Cowan is normally such a conscious selector of shots, and this one seemed to suggest the shot making influence of the other players isnít helping him at all. Their T20 background looks to have had an impact on him and his ways. I canít imagine Jonathan Trott doing something similar, can you? Moises Henriques made a stunning debut for the Aussies, but his wicket late on the first day came at a really bad time for his side. The worst thing about that, ugly sweep out of the rough, was that Henriques had looked so good before-hand. This is really important in understanding how Australia fell into the abyss in this match.

Team Selection

As England did last year, the touring Aussies went into the first Test of the tour with just one front line spinner, Nathan Lyon. The sub-continent pitches are always susceptible to spin and seeing the pitch mustíve told Michael Clarke that a second spinner was going to be needed. Instead he went in with 4 seamers in Pattinson, Starc, Siddle and Henriques while Steven Smith, Xavier Doherty and Ashton Agar sat on the sidelines. Granted, Pattinson did take a few scalps, but spin was always going to be the key, as MS Dhoni proved with his army of spin bowlers. Ashwinís first innings 7-for mustíve shaken the Australian dressing room up a bit when they realised the pitch was only going to get worse, and their second best spinner was only Michael Clarke. I have said previously that the squad options for spin are limited with Australia, and with Moises Henriques performing so well as an all-rounder, it has got to be Xavier Doherty to come into the side ahead of Steve Smith, and most likely in place of Siddle.

Doherty in, Siddle out?

The batting line-up for Clarkeís side was always going to be a bit of a free-for-all seeing as there were 4 players who have opened in Test matches before on the team-sheet. I think Clarke was really struggling to find the line-up that suited him, his side and the conditions best. Warner and Cowan opened up first, and I think this is their best bet for openers. Shane Watson, however was pushed up to open for the second innings probably in an attempt to upset the Indianís with a left hand, right hand combination. This is a fair enough idea, but Warner 3 and Hughes 4 isnít really playing to the players strengths. Clarke was, and has been for a while, Australiaís best batsman, his century in the 1st innings was superb, and i think he needs to bat at 4 at least for this tour anyway, as they need their best players at the crease before the game is away from them. This would mean moving Watson down to 5 or dropping one of the others in the top 3. Either that or they could drop a bowler, got in with 1 front line seamer, 2 spinners, Henriques and Watson. Just an idea, but the struggling Aussies really need to change it up or they will be out of this tour before they have got their teeth into it.

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