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Thursday, October 14, 2010

India series - Where did the Oz fail?

Australia national cricket team logoIndia finished the test series against Australia at home on a winning note though the difference was not big. The Oz team scored 400+ runs in the first innings of both the test matches but still lost. Where did they fail? Let us go through the team members that formed the composition of the Australian team?
  1. Openers - Simon Katich and Shane Watson. The most consistent among the batsmen. Only the last innings in Bengaluru was when they failed to raise a huge stand. They managed to counter the threat of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth with the new ball but could not manage to score a larger one. Watson did not ball as much as he could have - that might be the only complaint against him in this series.
  2. Ricky Ponting - The captain himself agreed that he let the team down by not scoring centuries. He was effective in countering the threat of Harbhajan but not successful in continuing further.
  3. The Two Michaels - Clarke and Hussey. While the first one was a complete failure in this series, the second one made starts but again, did not score big (one dismissal was unfortunate in the first test though). It was quite surprising to see Clarke fail since he plays spin so well.
  4. Marcus North - He was always under the sword but managed to regain his spot with a century. But still, one feels that he is not convincing as a test cricketer.
  5. Tim Paine - One of the successes of the tour - being a replacement of Haddin, he performed well both in front of as well as behind the stumps. Very good prospect for the Aussies.
  6. Nathan Hauritz - another failure on this tour. He was not helped by the bad field placement in the last innings of Bengaluru but at no time did he manage to trouble any of the Indian batsmen. Steve Smith will fancy his chances for the Ashes series.
  7. Mitchell Johnson - Was the senior-most bowler of the squad but did not behave like one. His performance was up and down in both the tests. Only when he is back in the old form he is known to have, can the Aussie team manage to win test matches with the ease of old.
  8. Ben Hilfenhaus - bowled better than the other bowlers and showed that swing was not his only expertise. He could bounce out Sehwag and provide breakthroughs regularly.
  9. Doug Bollinger - Injury forced him to miss the latter part of the first test but he showed glimpses of talent that can make him a permanent bowler in the squad.
  10. Peter George - Another exciting prospect who learnt test match cricket the hard way. He will have to be tested on home soil once as well.
Overall, the team was talking more of the Ashes rather than the series on hand - maybe that was one of the reasons for the bad performance. There are talks of Ricky Ponting's bad captaincy but who is the next option? Michael Clarke, who had a poor series? These are troubled times for Ponting when he doesn't have the services of all the greats (Mcgrath, Warne, Gillespie, Gilchrist, Hayden) - imagine what would have happened if Clive Lloyd had the current crop of West Indian bowlers as part of his team!

Will the Aussie team bounce back? Definitely. They will show the world that they are still strong at home by beating the English team at the Ashes series.

Watch the Betfair page for betting on the Ashes series.
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