Australian batsmen improve vastly but bowlers continue to struggle

Brian Zhang Roar Rookie

By Brian Zhang , Brian Zhang is a Roar Rookie

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    Many people found the selection of Steve Smith for the third Test as wrong and even stupid.

    But Smith answered the critics in almost the best possible way with a 92, eight short of his maiden Test hundred.

    A re-adjusted technique helped Smith play an innings filled with class, control, focus and determination. It was a big day for Smith who had not played a Test match since January 2011.

    Smith combined with Starc for a 97 run partnership after Australia were in trouble at 7/273 after day two.

    Starc himself contributed with 99. The bowler continues to shine with the bat and fell one short of becoming just the fifth Australian batsman to score a century batting at no.9 or below.

    Despite no one going on to get the triple figures, Warner, Cowan, Smith and Starc all contributed good scores to help Australia to a healthy first innings of 408, a huge improvement after Hyderabad.

    But with all the positives that came out of the Australian innings, the bowlers once again struggled on the flat Mohali track as India reached 0/283 at stumps on day 3.

    The tides turned after lunch as Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay recorded the biggest opening stand in any Test match against Australia.

    Dhawan became the 13th Indian to score a century on debut and also recorded the fastest century on debut by an Indian off just 85 balls. Vijay played a more settled and defensive innings with 83* off 181 balls.

    Australia lead by 125 runs and may still have a chance at victory despite the batting onslaught displayed by the Indian openers.

    Other than Peter Siddle, all of the Australian bowlers were expensive with Starc 0/46 off 11, Henriques 0/38 off 7, Lyon 0/69 off 15, Doherty 0/57 off 10 and Smith the worst of all with 0/24 off 3.

    The figures emphasise Australia’s inability and lack of experience to take wickets on flat Indian tracks and the fact that Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty are nowhere near the standard of the Indian spinners.

    After yet another single digit score, Phil Hughes must make a sizeable score in Australia’s second innings or face the axe come the fourth Test next week.

    Australia will be hoping for early wickets on day four to maintain a lead going into their second innings

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • Roar Guru

      March 17th 2013 @ 8:44am
      nick richardson said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      can’t agree more. I was very happy to see smith make some runs. I have always wondered why smith got a bad wrap. sure he dint perform on his first run in the aus squad or in the best form but, he is still very young and would hate to see a talent wasted(cam white comes to mind). Also think he should keep on trying with his leggies maybe talk to warne or macgill. Because he will be a very handy all rounder with a batting avg over 40 and handy with the ball.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 1:26pm
        Clavers said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

        Absolutely agree that Smith should persevere with his leg spin.
        He should be spending two hours a day in the
        nets bowling at a small target, like Benaud did to become world class.
        And if Warnie is not free, he could do worse than get on a plane to Brisbane sometime and do some technique sessions with ex Qld leggie Malcolm Francke.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 12:03pm
      Anne Tremayne said | March 17th 2013 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

      I’ve never been able to work out our selection process,what ever happened to Ryan Harris,he was a great bowler,but got rested never to be heard from again.
      I’d like to see a Mixed games played,The Australian Women’s team playing along side the Mens’,there are many countries that have Women’s teams these days,why can’t we trial it for a few limited over games?

      • March 17th 2013 @ 2:08pm
        brian said | March 17th 2013 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

        he wasn’t rested

        after the west indies tour last year he suffered a shoulder injury and required surgery. he may be one of the most unluckiest players in australian cricket because despite his brilliance in bowling, his body is far too fragile for international cricket

      • March 17th 2013 @ 2:37pm
        The Gospel of Luke said | March 17th 2013 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

        Harris has been injured for a while so can understand why he wasn’t picked. But he should be first picked on the plane to England.

        • Roar Guru

          March 17th 2013 @ 2:45pm
          JGK said | March 17th 2013 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

          I reckon Harris will go to England.

          Siddle might be playing himself out of a spot. He hasn’t really been the same since the Perth debacle.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 12:21pm
      pope paul v11 said | March 17th 2013 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

      Well done to Cowan, Warner, Smith and Starc but you know when your no.9 gets 99 it’s a pretty good track.

      Still much improved.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 2:39pm
        The Gospel of Luke said | March 17th 2013 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        Really just shows how bad Hughes is playing atm if Starc and the Indian openers can make the pitch look like the road of all roads and Hughes makes it look like a snake pit.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 2:50pm
      Steele said | March 17th 2013 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

      Agree, he is as suitable a middle order bat as anyone at the moment, when you look at his competition it’s hard to understand the hysteria. Also hes still young, fields great , plays spin well and can bowl a bit, so what’s so bad about that?? I think we need a horses for courses selection process at the moment as guys like Hughes can’t play spin and guys like Starc can’t bowl on flat pitches.

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