Australia’s batting lineup for India (tour preview)

60 Have your say

    Here’s a quick look at our likely top seven, their statistics, how they play spin and how I think they will play in the upcoming Indian tour.

    1. Ed Cowan (30):
    Tests: 13, innings: 22, runs: 722, average: 32.81, 100s: one, 50s: five, highest score: 136

    How he plays spin:
    Cowan, on the few occasions I have seen him play spin, tends to play the ball with hard hands and is quite vulnerable to nicking well-flighted deliveries ripped into the footmarks. It was encouraging to see during the second Innings of the SCG Test he tried not to let Rangana Herath dictate the play, sweeping the Sri Lankan on a few occasions.

    However Cowan is not a natural sweeper of the ball, and he has a bad tendency to lunge forward to spinners but not get his pad outside the line of off stump.

    How he will go in India:
    Ed needs a big score. His 136 against South Africa, while on a road, was nonetheless impressive. That bought him extended time in the Test side, but I feel that time is already expired.

    If he makes it to India (and I believe he will play the first Test and be reassessed afterwards), he must show the selectors he is capable of scoring against a turning ball.

    Is he? I’m not so confident… but time will tell.

    2. David Warner (26):
    Tests: 15, innings: 26, runs: 1068, ave: 44.50, 100s: three, 50s: five, HS: 180

    How he plays spin:
    Is it actually possible to describe how Warner plays spin? He possesses a large array of shots – he is very good at the cut shot, but he is chance for bat pad if the ball is spinning a lot as he is sometimes caught on the crease being indecisive about his stroke play.

    He has shown he can use his feet to the spinners to hit over the top of the infield, however this often results in his ultimate downfall. He does sweep from time to time, although again you wouldn’t say he is a natural sweeper of the ball, but he plays the paddle and switch hit shots with incredible skill and strength.

    How he will go in India:
    With the shots and strength Warner has, he should make some runs in India. He generally plays better to spin when in an aggressive frame of mind, but playing his natural game can also be his downfall – as we all know.

    All in all I think he will do okay.

    3. Phil Hughes (24):
    Tests: 20, innings: 37, runs: 1305, ave: 36.25, 100s: three, 50s: five, HS: 160

    How he plays spin:
    Not great. A lot of the time Hughes is neither forward nor back, often caught in no man’s land and is a candidate for numerous lbw appeals. In saying that, he plays some of the most brutal cut shots you will ever see and jumps on anything that is short.

    Hughes rarely sweeps, if ever, so he will have to bide his time against the spinners and wait for the right ball to hit. It is pivotal for Hughes he works on his footwork as well.

    How he will go in India:
    Seeing as this is the first time Hughes will play on the sub-continent, as goes for most of the batting line-up, a big score for Hughes early in the series will be a huge confidence booster. He has had a good comeback to the Australian side and has many credits in the bank.

    Unfortunately I’m not sure whether Hughes has the technique or strength required to make a big score in India.

    4. Michael Clarke [c] (31):
    Tests: 89, innings: 148, runs: 6989, ave: 52.54, 100s: 22, 50s: 25, HS: 329*

    How he plays spin:
    Very well. Not much more can be said, Clarke is by far the best player of spin in the side, if not perhaps the world.

    He often dances down to the pitch of the ball and uses his placement to pick off ones and twos early in his innings, before getting in and looking to pounce on shorter deliveries and creating half volleys with his footwork.

    If one weakness can be said of Clarke’s game to spinners, it seems he has no real sweep shot in his arsenal, but I’m really just clutching at straws.

    How he will go in India:
    He’s proven himself in India before, and has played some magnificent innings over the past 18 months. While I am concerned that he is mentally tired from carrying our batting performances on his own bat, I still believe Clarke will be our most successful batsmen in the upcoming tour.

    5. Usman Khawaja (26):
    Tests: six, innings: 11, runs: 263, ave: 29.22, 100s: zero, 50s: one, HS: 65

    How he plays spin:
    I must confess that I have not seen much of Khawaja, let alone how he handles spin bowling. However he seems to me to have all the tools required to have a successful international career at number five. India will be the beginning of his rise towards becoming a very good player.

    How he will go in India:
    He uses his wrists well and likes whipping anything leg side down towards fine leg. He possesses a good square cut, and has swept quite often in the recent BBL. He has a good solid technique and likes to make a clear movement forward when batting.

    All in all he should improve on his current average.

    6. Glenn Maxwell (24):
    (First class stats): matches: 15, innings: 24, runs: 924, ave: 42.33, 100s: one, 50s: eight, HS: 103*

    How he plays spin:
    From what I’ve seen in the Ryobi cup, Maxwell seems like quite a dasher, and has no issue in taking the spinners on.

    He has good footwork and will dance down the wicket to get to the pitch of the delivery and send it back over the bowler’s head. Whether he has a sweep shot or not I’m not sure (does anyone know?) but he likes playing the paddle shot and can cut the ball well.

    How he will go in India:
    Maxwell could do anything on his given day, but if he was to make his Test debut in India, I would forecast more bust than boom at this point in time. That’s not to say he won’t play some brilliant rear-guard action cameos with Matthew Wade down the other end.

    7. Matthew Wade (25):
    Tests: nine, innings: 16, runs: 510, ave: 42.50, 100s: two, 50s: two, HS: 106

    How he plays spin:
    Wade, while no Clarke or Mike Hussey, can handle spin pretty well. His 106 against the West Indies came on a rank turner of a pitch, where no one bar Shivnarine Chanderpaul got a score.

    He likes to get on the front foot early to full pitched deliveries and looks to work them behind square for quick singles; he cuts and drives extremely well.

    Wade can also play the sweep shot, both the slog and paddle, however whether it will be successful in India or not is another matter – during his short career it has bought him quick runs but also cost him his wicket on a few occasions:

    How he will go in India:
    Wade will go okay, he will score runs and maybe even a big score is not unrealistic. His keeping to Lyon will be of more interest however, but playing a match saving innings in case of a top order collapse is not beyond him.