Prajwal Pariyar/ Zeenews Sports Bureau
New Delhi: The performance of the Australian cricket team in the Border-Gavaskar trophy so far has been an ugly blot on the tradition of Australian cricket. Not that the Australians have never lost two consecutive Test matches in a series, but the meek surrender that has been witnessed in the Test matches at Chennai and Hyderabad has been appalling.
However, with two Tests still to be played in the series, the Aussies would be looking for a change of fortune. The Aussies have made a few tactical errors in the previous matches and it has cost them dearly. Here is a list of five things that the Aussies could do to come back to winning ways.
Axe Phillip Hughes
Phillip Hughes’ form, with scores of 19 and 0 in the 1st Test and 6 and 0 in the 2nd Test, has been a concern for the Aussies. With Usman Khawaja waiting in the wings this would perhaps be a good time to include him in the playing eleven in place of the terribly out of form Hughes. Hughes has had his share of opportunities and has failed to capitalize on them. Considering the way he has handled Indian spinners in the series so far, it could be a wise choice to go with young Khawaja and see if he can do any better.
Clarke should bat at No. 4
Michael Clarke is Australia’s most experienced batsman in the squad. After the defeat at Hyderabad, Clarke himself suggested that he may be left with no option but to promote himself in the batting order. Undoubtedly, Michael Clarke is currently Australia’s best batsmen against spin and his promotion in the batting order may bring much needed stability to the batting line up.
Australia should back their pacers
Australian spinners, barring Shane Warne to a certain extent, have never been able to trouble the Indian batsmen on sub-continental pitches. Hence it may be a wise option for Australia to back their strength and play their top fast bowlers at the expense of ordinary spinners like Doherty and Maxwell. The pace trio of Pattinson, Starc and Johnson could prove to be a handful on the Mohali pitch which traditionally assists fast bowlers.
Show confidence in Lyon
Nathan Lyon is the only quality spinner in the Australian squad. It was preposterous to drop the 25-year-old from the 2nd Test. Granted he went for runs in the only Test he played in the series but he also picked up a few important wickets. The confidence he would have got by dismissing Kohli, Tendulkar and Sehwag in the first Test could have proved handy in the second Test.
Sort out their opening combination
The openers set the tone to an innings and a good opening stand is always desirable. It may be a good choice for Australia to open with Warner and Watson and it may be even better to ask them to play their natural game and take the attack to the opposition. Watson is a good player of fast bowling and his elevation may help him settle down before the Indian spinners come on to bowl.
First Published: Friday, March 08, 2013, 18:57