Clarke and Co. Among weakest sides to tour India: Kulkarni

Mumbai: Describing the Australian team currently touring India as one of the weakest sides, former cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni today pointed out that the below-par showing of the tweakers has affected the visitors` performance in the ongoing Test series against India.

"Looking at their performance, definitely it is one of the weaker Australian teams to have toured India in the recent past. The performance is reflected likewise," said the former Indian left-arm spinner on the sidelines of Salaam Bombay Cricket Academy`s tournament.

"It (Australian spin attack) is inexperienced. As a batsman when you get a hundred, it`s a habit, likewise as a spinner you need to pick up a five-wicket haul and that makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, Australia is lacking currently in that department," he said.

In contrast, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed two five-wicket hauls in the first Test match that India won by eight wickets at Chennai and bagged another in the second innings of the second Test that the hosts won by an innings and 135 runs at Hyderabad.

India, who won the third game at Mohali yesterday by six wickets, have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-match Test series against the Michael Clarke-led visiting side.

Kulkarni, who played three Tests and 10 ODIs, said the hosts always had an upper hand considering Australia`s weak bowling attack.

"We always had the upper hand, considering Australia`s weak bowling attack. In India, it is even more challenging because if spinners can`t get you 20 wickets then you are struggling.
"It was expected to a large extent and I am happy that India is doing well. People criticise when they don`t do well, so you need to praise them when they do well," said the lanky 39-year-old former player.

Kulkarni pointed out that England, who defeated India 2-1 their own backyard in the earlier Test series in December last year, had a more experienced bowling attack and put up a far better display, an area in which Australia has lagged behind.

"The key difference was difference of attacks. England had a more experienced attack, unlike the Australians who are struggling; you can`t compare them. What England produced was good cricket and India ended up on the losing side and now they are covering up for it," he added.

The former Mumbai player felt that the only positive outcome for the Aussie bowlers is the experience they have gained from touring India.

"The only thing they can gain out of this is experience, playing in subcontinent conditions. If they tour India again, then they will be better bowlers," he said.