Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spineless Show by the Aussies

For all that we expect of the Aussies this was a truly spineless performance. I was disappointed with what they put up at Hyderabad in the second Test. I watched part of Day 2 - when they started bowling their fourth over to the Indian openers. (On Day One they batted atrociously and got out for a paltry score - there is not enough batting in that lineup that can play positive cricket.)

As Pattinson and Siddle bowled and bowled, save the wicket of Sehwag, there was no respite, no penetration. And I was hoping there would be some sort of an imaginative play by their skipper Clarke. But he did not change their ends, nor did he bring in the slow bowlers and attacked the batsmen, nor did he ask the fast bowlers to change their  angle and bowl around the wicket, nor did he bowl himself or Watson on to change the bowling. He just kept at it predictably, doing nothing and hoping something would happen. It did not. Finally all that happened on Day 3 happened when the bowlers switched ends and bowled around as Glen Maxwell did. You need to be imaginative and create opportunities and I was clueless why Clarke let it drift along happily. With their sharper pace they could have bounced the ball a bit more, created uncomfortable angles for the batsmen and forced a mistake.

One thing for sure is that this batting line up lacks application as they showed in the way they are getting out playing odd shots. I cannot understand a test calibre batting lineup giving three wickets the way they did to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (who bowled well nevertheless and got us a stranglehold in this game). It just showed bad application to get bowled to a medium pacer or get lbw playing a pull shot or get bowled round the legs playing a sweep shot.

I also suspect that they are imagining too many things in their heads. They should play a bit more positively and not play spin bowling as if it were some live bombs being hurled at them. When the ball is there to be hit, they are better off hitting them.

Similarly when they bowl they should show some more imagination and adjust to the condition quicker. Pattinson and Siddle cannot bowl the same length and expect wickets on these surfaces. They need to get further up and perhaps even cut their pace to get the batsmen to play that length on the front foot. One cannot help a side that lacks imagination. he way things are going, they will go back with a 4-0 drubbing.

Hyderabad put up a good show in terms of number of spectators but one does wish the Aussies put up a better performance. I only wish there had been more shade for the spectators left in the sun. In these times, the sun can be a killer. Despite all the batting heroics, my vote for game changer goes to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who got three wickets and put Australia out of the game on Day one on a wicket that was a beauty. And if that edge of Clarke had carried to Dhoni Australia would not even have made 200.

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