Thrashed in Chennai, will Aussies hit back in Hyderabad?

Kersi Meher-Homji Roar Rookie

By Kersi Meher-Homji, Kersi Meher-Homji is a Roar Rookie

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    Mitchell Starc has broken the 160kmh mark. (AAP Image/Tony McDonough)

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    Previewing the Chennai Test for The Roar, I wrote, “Australia has selected her XI as if the Test was to be played in Brisbane or Perth rather than in Chennai. What, three quickies and only one spinner, I asked myself in horror?

    “England had won the series in India a few months ago thanks to their spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panessar. But Nathan Lyon does not fall in their category.”

    Prophetic?

    In the first Test in Ahmedabad last November, England made the same mistake Australia did in the Chennai Test this month – they picked only one spinner, Swann.

    And just as Australia lost by eight wickets yesterday, England had lost by nine wickets in the first Test three months ago.

    In the subsequent Tests, England added offie Panessar to their spinning arm and won the second and third Tests by huge margins and drew the fourth Test to win the series 2-1.

    Although Lyon, Xavier Doherty and Steve Smith are not in the same class as Swann and Panessar, having two spinners will give Australia a better chance to draw the series level in the second Test in Hyderabad, starting on its spinner-friendly pitch.

    If I were a selector I would drop Philip Hughes and include Usman Khawaja in the Hyderabad Test and include Doherty or Smith at the expense of Mitchell Starc.

    Although the Chennai pitch favoured spinners, it was not the reason for Australia’s eight wicket loss. Face it, they won the toss and thanks to skipper Michael Clarke’s superb 130 and debutant Moises Henriques’ 68, totalled 380 despite spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s seven wicket haul.

    The pitch started deteriorating on the third day but in spite of this Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and captain MS Dhoni played confidently – especially Dhoni. His magnificent double century will be remembered for a long time. That was on day four.

    The above four are exceptional batsmen, however even debutant fast medium bowler Bhupendra Kumar, batting at no. 10, hung around for 167 minutes, adding 140 runs for the ninth wicket with Dhoni (224 runs with 24 fours and 6 sixes).

    On the same pitch, Australia lost 9 for 175 before being rescued by Henriques (81 not out) and no. 11 bat Lyon’s 11 off 77 balls. If a 10th wicket pair can add 66 runs, the highest partnership in the innings, why can’t the others?

    The dusty pitch took spin but that was not the only reason for defeat. Good footwork as shown by Dhoni, Henriques and tail-enders Kumar and Lyon on day four showed that the pitch was not unplayable.

    The Aussies were psychologically paralysed.

    Just as the Australian team of 1956 had developed ‘Lakeritis’ after England’s off-spinner Jim Laker had taken 19 for 90 in the Manchester Test, Clarke’s men should not suffer from ‘Ashwinitis’ in this series.

    If Henriques can conquer the spin-top pitch, so can others.

    Kersi Meher-Homji
    Kersi Meher-Homji

    Kersi is an author of 13 cricket books including The Waugh Twins, Cricket's Great All-rounders,Six Appeal and Nervous Nineties. He writes regularly for Inside Cricket and other publications. He has recently finished his new book on Cricket's Conflicts and Controversies, with a foreword by Greg Chappell.

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    The Crowd Says (181)

    • February 27th 2013 @ 5:51am
      Frankie Hughes said | February 27th 2013 @ 5:51am | ! Report

      Lets be honest we where lucky to get 380.

      Clarke was out on 50 odd but the ump wanted to make a game of it.

      The real total would’ve been closer to 250-300.

      Phillip Hughes has been in excellent form in recent times. He shouldn’t be dropped.

      For me Cowan should go. He’s gets these little 20s 30s then gets out.

      I’d got for Maxwell, Doherty and Johnson for Cowan, Siddle and Starc.

      A left arm fast bowler is needed to create rough outside the right handers off stump.

      If the pitch is like the last Test in Hyderabad (2012 vs Nz) then we got no chance.

      Ashwin ran riot in that Test, 12 wickets in the match.

      • Roar Guru

        February 27th 2013 @ 8:04am
        JDP said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        On performances I would drop Watson rather than Cowan.

        • February 27th 2013 @ 1:29pm
          Renegade said | February 27th 2013 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

          On performances??

          • February 27th 2013 @ 1:51pm
            John Philipson said | February 27th 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

            Cowan outscored Watson in both innings.

            • February 27th 2013 @ 3:13pm
              Renegade said | February 27th 2013 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

              So based on two innings in the same match, we’re going to determine who the better player is?

              I’d pick Watson before Cowan for any team i pick…..and i’m not slagging Cowan off.
              Watson is simply by far the better cricketer and if you judged on overall performances you will find the same.

              • Roar Guru

                February 27th 2013 @ 7:58pm
                JDP said | February 27th 2013 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

                I hope you read the comment below re Watson’s actual performance stats.
                Vastly overrated player.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 8:09pm
                Renegade said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

                I don’t really care what range of stats you try and use to justify you’re comment….whether you use the last two innings or since katich retired or since Watson has returned from injury or since he got married….don’t really care.

                Watson is simply a better cricketer than Cowan and this is why he has played a hell of a lot more international cricket in all forms of the game.

                I would pick him everytime and i believe majority of people would.

              • February 28th 2013 @ 12:59am
                Timmuh said | February 28th 2013 @ 12:59am | ! Report

                Renegade, Watson may be a better player o verall, but he is no better right now – which is what counts for the next Test.
                I don;t really think he is any better as a batsman anyway. Its true, he did have that patch of good form wioth the bat; but that might well prove to be a freak run where everything went right for him for a short time. Not bowling, he probably would not be in the team if there were any options in form at first class level (the same goes with Cowan. They are arguably both there through lack of options, not through being good enough in their own right).

            • February 27th 2013 @ 3:43pm
              matt h said | February 27th 2013 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

              Are we talking about #$%^ vs slightly less #$%^?

              Watson is leaving after this test anyway. So if Khawaja is to replace a batsman it would have to be Watson. there is no point in dropping either highes or Cowan, only to bring them back for the next test. Watson will not be dropped, so we stay as is in my view.

              But if there is an absolute determination to drop someone, then it should be Cowan. Hughes is fragile enough. I would imagine steady Eddy would come back for the third test and still contribute his usual 30 odd. That’s his level. If Hughes can get in (and he hasn;t on tour so far I know) he can score big.

              And we should not consider Maxwell or Smith as viable batting replacements. We got lucky with Moises who surprised most of us. Lighning does not strike twice and the difference between Henriques and Maxwell/Smith is that Henriques actually has a decent batting technique.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 5:08pm
                James said | February 27th 2013 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

                watson is just so frustrating to watch, he almost always gets in and then gets out somewhere between 25-55 which would be fantastic for a number 6 but for an opener is just really so annoying. at least cown looks like he could make a few high scores.

          • February 27th 2013 @ 6:30pm
            St Mark W said | February 27th 2013 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

            The reality is that Cowan has the better batting average than Watson since Katich was retired,

            Cowan’s career (from 26/12/2011) average is 32.6

            Since Katich was retired Watson’s averages are:
            Overall — 29.4
            Opening — 28.1
            since 26/12/2011 — 30.1

            So, although Watson looks more stylish than Cowan, statistically Cowan has out performed him over the last two years and therefore on actual performances Watson gets dropped before Cowan.

            • Roar Guru

              February 27th 2013 @ 7:58pm
              JDP said | February 27th 2013 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

              Exactly.

            • February 28th 2013 @ 1:29am
              AndyMack said | February 28th 2013 @ 1:29am | ! Report

              So over a short time frame, you judge Cowan to be better than Watson, based on about a 3 run differential??

              I really think most people agree that Watson is a better batsmen, regardless of the fact he is so frustrating, in fact the reason he is so frustrating, is because he can be anything, but goes through periods of time where he does not cash in.

              People are not frustrated with Ed because we all know he is playing to his level.

      • February 27th 2013 @ 8:14am
        Varun said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:14am | ! Report

        There is no doubt that khawaja has to come in and for me it has to be Cowan too, Hughes great recent form is hard to ignore and Cowan just hasn’t impressed either against the Sri lankans nor in the first test. Johns point on openers who don’t capitalist on starts in India is also a very valid one

        • February 27th 2013 @ 12:35pm
          Nick Inatey said | February 27th 2013 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

          third comment in, and varun chimes in with khawaja!! 😉

          this time, i agree with you! 🙂

          • February 27th 2013 @ 4:56pm
            Sunil said | February 27th 2013 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

            Got to love Varun, at least he is consistent(lol)

      • February 27th 2013 @ 8:35am
        Wolfie said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        Thank goodness you’re not picking the teams then FH.

        Cowan, whilst not the greatest player of spin, looked like Sachin compared to Hughes. Hughes has worked on his game in Australian conditions but still looks highly inadequate in India. Watson also looked rusty considering his IPL experience.

        If you’re considering everything in context for the 1st test, Cowan deserves to keep his place over every batsman except Clarke.

        I wont even go there with respect to Maxwell and Johnson. If Starc and Lyon aren’t getting wickets, bringing in those two won’t help in the slightest.

        • February 27th 2013 @ 8:49am
          Sunil said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:49am | ! Report

          Cowan was out lbw on 0 in the second innings, almost got caught twice by the close fielders, so no he wasn’t the second best batsman after Clarke. If someone like Hughes or Khawaja was averaging 31 after 14 tests we would be all over them, but for some reason Cowan is immune to such critism. Time for Cowan to go.

          • February 27th 2013 @ 9:10am
            ronedog said | February 27th 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

            Wow Sunil you’d better contact the ICC and alert them Cowan was out LBW on 0 because their records show he made 32. What a mistake by the scorekeepers!

            • February 27th 2013 @ 9:25am
              jameswm said | February 27th 2013 @ 9:25am | ! Report

              Sunil is right – Cowan was very lucky to make it to 1. Very lucky.

            • February 27th 2013 @ 10:42am
              Sunil said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

              Ronedog i didn’t say he was given out, but that he was plumb lbw, the commentators including AB all agreed he should have been given out. Cowan has to go.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 1:42pm
                Wolfie said | February 27th 2013 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

                Every batsman rides the wave of luck and umpires decisions. Lucky here, unlucky there.

                I’d be more concerned about Watson’s impatience and Hughes’ inability to play spin than Cowan right now. He’s not immune to criticism at all, it’s just noone is kicking the door down and making an irresistable case to replace him. Khawaja case in point

              • February 28th 2013 @ 1:33am
                AndyMack said | February 28th 2013 @ 1:33am | ! Report

                Wolfie, agree a bit of luck here or there is important. Problem is if Cowan didnt get that massive slice of luck on 49 at the Gabba (he went on to make 100+), he would prob be out of the side by now. Seems luck is going his way, and he still only averages 30 odd. And i like Ed.

          • February 27th 2013 @ 9:12am
            B.A Sports said | February 27th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

            Sunil

            Check your numbers on Cowen.
            And Watson averages just 36 over an 8 year period and his spot doesn’t appear to be in danger. Immunity isn’t restricted just to Cowen.

            • February 27th 2013 @ 9:27am
              Disco said | February 27th 2013 @ 9:27am | ! Report

              Watson’s regarded as a world-class batsman by the ‘ brains’ trust.

            • February 27th 2013 @ 10:48am
              John Edgar said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:48am | ! Report

              I just don’t get this, ok lets ignore that Cowan should have been lbw on 1. But what we can’t ignore is that this guy hasn’t proven himself after 14 tests in a row, how many chances do we give him, surely its time to bring Watson to opener who average in the mid 40s as opener. And the second point was Cowan dropping a sitter off Kumar the 4th ball he faced when the lead was only 26, he catches it and the lead ends up 50. How is it that Cowan continues to get picked despite poor performance? It really is ridiculous. Siddle should not be playing either. Just because these two are seen as good bloke’s does not get them a spot. Watson, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Moses.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 6:46pm
                St Mark W said | February 27th 2013 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

                The only reason Watson has an average of 36 overall and 43 opening is because of the golden period he had opening with Katich where he averaged 51.7.

                Katich was retired more than 2 years ago and Watson’s batting form since then, even when opening, is worse than Cowan’s.

          • Columnist

            February 27th 2013 @ 10:13am
            Brett McKay said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:13am | ! Report

            Seriously, umpiring mistakes are now the fault of the batsman and will be held against them?? Whatever suits the argument, I suppose….

            • February 27th 2013 @ 10:51am
              Felix said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

              I think it’s valid to consider those decisions when judging at a batsman, Brett. If it was a sitter edged to the keeper or if a batsman is dropped 3 times on their way to a decent score, it says a lot about their comfort at the crease and their innings. Conversely if it’s a dud decision everyone waxes lyrical about how they were robbed. You’re correct though, it isn’t their fault and anyone can get out to a good’n or a dud decision early.

              • Columnist

                February 27th 2013 @ 11:17am
                Brett McKay said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:17am | ! Report

                That’s precisely my point Felix. This all reeks to me of clinging to whatever’s available to get Ed Cown out of the side, which has now overtaken the oerwhelming number of comments on – and still ultmately leads to – getting Usman Khawaja in the side.

                By all means, criticise Cowan for the shot, or for his feet placement, but he’s hardly responsible for the umpire’s finger not going up…

                (And even then, if Cowan’s shot selection and footwork is going to be criticised, then we need to do the same for Messrs Hughes and Watson, especially considering the latter is leaving the tour early…)

              • February 27th 2013 @ 12:52pm
                jameswm said | February 27th 2013 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

                He’s not responsible Brett, but I don’t think you could look at bare statistics without considering other factors. And it’s not like his bare statistics are great anyway.

                It’s a futile argument though – Cowan will be there for the 2nd test and Khawaja will come in at 4/5 when watto goes home for the birth of his baby.

          • February 27th 2013 @ 11:35am
            Ian said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:35am | ! Report

            Hughes is averaging 34 after 21 tests – not that much better than Cowan. And Cowan hasn’t been sheltered from Steyn and co like Hughes was.

            Watson is averaging only 36 after nearly 40 tests, so he’s not exactly top shelf either.

            One thing Cowan is mostly doing is sticking around for a while. Hughes and Watson’s records suggest they are a pair of flat track bullies only.

            • February 28th 2013 @ 1:37am
              AndyMack said | February 28th 2013 @ 1:37am | ! Report

              Would agree that “sticking around for a while” is handy is say Aust or Eng when the ball is moving around early, but in India, getting to 30 and getting out is killing the team. Use the best batting conditions to get a start and not go on with it??

        • February 27th 2013 @ 10:01am
          Frankie Hughes said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

          Hughes got a snorter in the second innings, would’ve got any left hander in world cricket out

          Even in the first dig Hughes chopped on a long hop that didn’t bounce properly.

          • February 27th 2013 @ 12:53pm
            jameswm said | February 27th 2013 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

            Hughes made the ball look a lot better than it was. It bounced a bit, that happens. He was playing the wrong shot to it and racted poorly.

            • February 27th 2013 @ 4:24pm
              Christo the Daddyo said | February 27th 2013 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

              Bounced a bit? Geez…Also remember that a couple of balls earlier the ball had virtually rolled along the pitch. So in that variable bounce context it was a very unfortunate ball to get as a batsmen. All the commentators at the time were describing it as virtually unplayable.

              • February 28th 2013 @ 10:45am
                Finny92 said | February 28th 2013 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                I find it hilarious how everyone is so desperate to find players capable of winning the ashes back for you, but fails to see that bar Pattinson and Clarke you have a very average team.

          • February 28th 2013 @ 11:56am
            Blackie said | February 28th 2013 @ 11:56am | ! Report

            Like you Frankie I am a big Hughes fan.

            How anyone think about dropping the youngest man ever to score centuries in each innings of a test match beating a record set by the Black Bradman – George Headley.

            The only Australian to score a hundred on debut in a ODI. The person with the best batting stats in the last English County season in 40 over and T20 cricket.

            The current domestic cricketer of the year. The list of achievements goes on.

            He can play spin as he showed playing Herath the most successful spinner internationally over the last year as well as anyone in the last summer.

            He got a ball tha stopped on him in the first dig which he dragged on. The ball in the second innings was unplayable. He had to play some shot as it could have just as easily shot along the ground.

            Hughes record indicates that he will find a way to score runs even on a raging turner.He just needs to be persevered with.

      • February 27th 2013 @ 9:22am
        jameswm said | February 27th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        Frankie I was waiting to hear from you. Hughes hasn’t scored a run in India and certainly hasn’t mastered the conditions. I’d have no problems with picking him anywhere else.

        However, his position has to be scrutinised now.

        Nice call by the way – pick Mitchell Johnson to create a rough for Ashwin to bowl into. Good plan.

        • February 27th 2013 @ 9:59am
          Frankie Hughes said | February 27th 2013 @ 9:59am | ! Report

          Rough outside the right handers off stump would help Doherty and Lyon as much as Ashwin

          As I see it our spinners need all the help they can get.

          • February 27th 2013 @ 10:17am
            jameswm said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

            No, it helps the spinner who’s the better bowler more. So it will help Ashwin more than Lyon.

            And that comment shows how much you know. Doherty would be spinning it the other way, so the rough there is of no use to him at all. It’s only of use to bowlers who spin it back into the right-hander.

            • February 27th 2013 @ 10:29am
              Frankie Hughes said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:29am | ! Report

              If Doherty is spinning the ball away from the Indians, he won’t be getting smashed over his head for 6.

            • February 27th 2013 @ 10:50am
              Sunil said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              Hughes should never have been protected from SA, its no use bringing him against a weak bowling attack in Sri Lanka and then expect him to dominate. I hope he does well in this series as he is a gutsy player but it doesn’t look good.

            • Roar Guru

              February 27th 2013 @ 11:15am
              JDP said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:15am | ! Report

              Actually footmarks can help a leftarm orthodox bowler coming around the wicket a great deal.

              Especially Doherty who bowls quite a straight line and doesn’t turn the ball much at all.

              For example if one stays low and straight, LBW and bowled come right into the equation.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 11:40am
                Frankie Hughes said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:40am | ! Report

                Thank you a man with sense!

              • February 27th 2013 @ 12:57pm
                jameswm said | February 27th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

                So bowling into a rough helps someone who doesn’t turn it? How do you figure that? Because the occasional one keeps low? If Doherty’s coming round the wicket to the righties, then the straight on ones will be hitting the batsman outside off, so no LBW.

                Doherty when coming round the wicket will be aiming to land it on around off stump if he can turn it.

                Don’t agree John, the footmarks are there to help

                It’s taken you a while Frankie to find someone to agree with you. Doesn’t change that the premise of your argument was flawed.

                Intersting too that someone spinning it away can’t be hit for 6. So it’s simple – pick Doherty and all will be fine. He’ll keep the runs down because he can’t be hit for 6.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 3:51pm
                matt h said | February 27th 2013 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                Johnson’s (or Starc’s) footmarks won’t help Ashwin as much simply because we have a truckload of left handers in the team – Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Wade, Johnson/Starc

              • February 27th 2013 @ 4:59pm
                Sunil said | February 27th 2013 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

                Good point John

      • Roar Guru

        February 27th 2013 @ 10:18am
        sheek said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        FH,

        Ashwin took 12 wickets, he didn’t run riot. Those 12 wickets conceded 202 runs. And only Jadeja was seriously competing for wickets.

        • February 27th 2013 @ 10:31am
          Frankie Hughes said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          If you read carefully I said in the last Test at Hyderabad which was against NZ – Ashwin took 12-85.

          • Roar Guru

            February 27th 2013 @ 11:48am
            sheek said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            Okay, my bad. Uppercut self-administered!

        • February 27th 2013 @ 2:31pm
          Scuba said | February 27th 2013 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

          sheek, I’d be more than happy if we had a spinner capable of getting match figures of 12/202!

          • February 27th 2013 @ 3:52pm
            matt h said | February 27th 2013 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

            Well we got past the 202 ok, so we are half way there 🙂

        • February 28th 2013 @ 1:31am
          AndyMack said | February 28th 2013 @ 1:31am | ! Report

          Sheek, 12/202 gives him an average of 16. If he finished the series with an average of 16 i would say that is “running wild” and will be up for player of the series in a 4-0 win (unless Dhoni knocks out another 200+ innings)

    • Roar Guru

      February 27th 2013 @ 7:49am
      Rabbitz said | February 27th 2013 @ 7:49am | ! Report

      Hi Kersi,

      From my perspective it looks like the Australian batsmen have a mental block, or fear whenever the ball moves. Their weakness when facing swing bowling and then the apparent inability to handle the moving ball in India makes me wonder if they are showing the results of growing up on “chairman’s” pitches that are designed to be batsmen’s paradises.

      They haven’t done their “apprenticeship” in First Class Cricket battling Test and fringe bowlers on sub-standard and difficult wickets. So they have never learned their craft.

      I suspect the next Test will resemble the first.

      • February 27th 2013 @ 3:55pm
        matt h said | February 27th 2013 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

        I have no idea, but could this also be due to these players going through the age ranks and A sides rather than through club as much? Does that mean they have generally played on better wickets?

        The failure to play the moving ball was always the reason that SA batsmen struggled to be rated, as they play half their season on the Adelaide Oval. Conversely Qld (and now Tassie) batsmen get more of the seaming, swinging ball to contend with. That’s why I think Cosgrove has shwon himself to be a real talent, moving to Tasmania and still maintaining his average. Also why Bailey may be a better batsman than his average suggests. And als why Joe Burns is special. And … hang on what was this article about?

      • February 27th 2013 @ 5:02pm
        Sunil said | February 27th 2013 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

        Good point Rabbitz, the likes of Hughes and Khawaja can score against quicks, but we don’t have many young batsman who can handle quality spin.

    • February 27th 2013 @ 7:51am
      Lancey5times said | February 27th 2013 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      I wouldn’t touch the batting lineup. Yes Hughes was bad but players shouldn’t be dropped after one bad test. Wade should go but there is no one to replace him. The bowling is where the changes will happen. I’ve just read that Pattinson may be rested which I find remarkable given that Bird is on his way home. Doherty for Starc and Pattinson plays. Take out Dhoni’s double and that test could have been a lot closer. If we get smammered in the next test ring the changes

      • February 28th 2013 @ 7:33am
        Ads said | February 28th 2013 @ 7:33am | ! Report

        By that logic, take out Clarkes 100 odd and it would have been a humiliation….

    • February 27th 2013 @ 7:58am
      Felix said | February 27th 2013 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Cowan looks so solid most of the time,remember against SA he came forward with real confidence against Steyn & co got a hundred,he may just be struggling on slower tracks like Ponting remember but that didnt make him a bad player

      • February 27th 2013 @ 8:08am
        John Edgar said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:08am | ! Report

        My issue with Cowan is that after 14 tests he has failed to cement his spot, and in India openers who fail to capitalise are most guilty and he needs to go. Watson and Warner will be better openers with Clarke up to 4 and Khawjaa at 5. Cowan was plumb lbw on 0 in the second innings and was dropped twice as well so very lucky he even got going

        • February 27th 2013 @ 10:41am
          James said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          Agree, but I’m not quite sure who in the team has cemented their spot.

          Cowan – no
          Warner – close to
          Watson – no
          Hughes – no
          Clarke – definitely
          Henriques – too early to tell
          Wade – if he can learn how to keep to spin
          Starc – no
          Lyon – no
          Siddle – no
          Pattinson – probably to be rested

          Doesn’t leave much of a team left.

          • February 27th 2013 @ 10:51am
            Sunil said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

            I think we have to look to the ashes and for the ashes Watson should be opening with Warner, leave Hughes at 3, bring Clarke up to 4 and Khawaja at 5.

            • Roar Guru

              February 27th 2013 @ 11:18am
              JDP said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:18am | ! Report

              Why do you love Watson so much? HE does not have the mental or physical fitness to do what an opener needs to do – bat deep into the innings. This is evidenced by his ABYSMAL conversion rate.

              He reflects a very handy middle to lower order batsman who should be bowling as well.

              Only problem – he doesn’t bowl.

              I hate to say it but he should be redundnat by the Ashes, it is unfortunate for him, but injuries and an identitiy crisis robbed him from being great at test level.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 12:42pm
                Bayman said | February 27th 2013 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

                Agreed!

              • February 27th 2013 @ 5:16pm
                James said | February 27th 2013 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

                Sunil must be an english supporter like me if he wants watson opening with warner for the ashes. watson if he was 5 years younger and batted at 5 or 6 would be a worry but as an opener he is terrible. the role of an opener is to get to 0/100, not only does watson get out in the 20s of 30s more often than not, his running between the wickets is shocking. i think he is a really good batsmen just no concentration. openers should be warner (not that i rate him that much its just there is no one really else) and hughes maybe or cowan. and kwarja needs to be in the side, he along with clarke are the only australian batsmen who seem to have the basic techinique to be able to bat on anything other then a flat flat pitch.

            • Columnist

              February 27th 2013 @ 11:19am
              Brett McKay said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              The Ashes? How about being competitve in Hyderabad first? The long term thinking needs to be shelved for the moment, in favour of working out how to bat in India this weekend…

              • February 27th 2013 @ 11:36am
                Ian M said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                Spot on Brett, if Australia can find an XI that can be competitive in India, the same XI will do the job in the Ashes. Through the late 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s it was us Poms that obsessed about the Ashes and got hammered anyway, that should be a clue that kind of thinking doesn’t work.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 1:10pm
                Red Kev said | February 27th 2013 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

                Batting in India or Sri Lanka without Shaun Marsh is a little odd. I think Hughes and Khawaja are much better players than him for pretty much anywhere else in the world, but for the subcontinent, Shaun Marsh is almost a must have.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 1:36pm
                Renegade said | February 27th 2013 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                +1 Brett.

                Also agree with Red Kev….i;m a fan of all 3 and Marsh probably is better suited to these conditions.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 3:37pm
                Richard said | February 27th 2013 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

                Long term thinking should be on the aganda! We already made the stupid mistake of having only 1 spinner. Pattinson and co only have so many overs before they get injured just in time for the ashes. If we can’t win with spinners then we don’t deserve to win in India, save the fast men for England.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 3:57pm
                matt h said | February 27th 2013 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

                Pity Marsh has done his hammy anyway.

        • February 27th 2013 @ 6:57pm
          St Mark W said | February 27th 2013 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

          Cowan’s never been given out when he wasn’t? Most agree that this even’s out over time.

          • February 28th 2013 @ 1:41am
            AndyMack said | February 28th 2013 @ 1:41am | ! Report

            Not when u have DRS sometimes and not other times….

      • February 27th 2013 @ 10:55am
        Felix said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

        It seems we have a second Felix running around the traps now…

    • February 27th 2013 @ 8:06am
      John Edgar said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      There is something not right with selection at present.Wade must be feeling the pressure from Paine and Haddin.Kreza, SOS and Haurtiz are surely the best options as the second spinner.Can’t do anything for the good players who are not in the team now.Hughes cannot play spin.Ed Cowan is just getting out in 30s and i can’t understand why we keep persisting with him.Hughes can be dropped in the 2nd test but give him one more test to show that he can handle spin. Khawaja has to come in now and Clarke should back him for the full series rather then just give him 1 game as he always gets. Clarke,Henriques are the only batsmen comfortable in playing spin,rest of them r simply struggling to play spin.As per the present available team
      AUS team for the 2nd test should be

      1.Warner 2.Hughes 3.Watson 4.Clarke 5.Khawaja 6.Wade 7.Henriques 8.Pattinson 9.Johnson 10.Doherty 11.

      • February 27th 2013 @ 8:15am
        Varun said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:15am | ! Report

        I would be ok with this lineup and yea that catch from Cowan was very important as the lead may well have been cut in half

        • February 27th 2013 @ 8:48am
          Sunil said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

          Wow Varun, you got through one comment without mentioning Khawaja, well done mate. I would have Khawaja in the second test but not expect him to get 100, he always comes in and is expected to get a century and gets dropped after 1 game. I haven’t been impressed with Cowan to date and there is no doubt that Watson and Warner will be opening come the ashes, so make the move happen now.

          • Roar Guru

            February 27th 2013 @ 11:20am
            JDP said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:20am | ! Report

            Neither Watson or Warner are test quality openers – neither have the patience or mental fortitude to better England’s attack.

            It is a real predicament, but I am hoping someone (anyone) in the Shield beats down the door…

            • February 27th 2013 @ 11:51am
              Disco said | February 27th 2013 @ 11:51am | ! Report

              Rogers.

              • February 27th 2013 @ 4:00pm
                matt h said | February 27th 2013 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

                That boat has sailed. Warner’s record to date says he should be persisted with. I’m starting to think that we could do worse than give Cosgrove a run (or at least a gentle jog). He is probably close to the most talented batsman in the country. He has been opening in Tassie on bowler’s wickets and if it gets a but nippy in the northern summer he is well insulated.

            • February 27th 2013 @ 1:43pm
              Renegade said | February 27th 2013 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

              Watson and Warner will be fine against the Poms…..moving one of them down the order and opening with Hughes may be a better option than dropping one or both.

    • February 27th 2013 @ 8:24am
      Kersi Meher-Homji said | February 27th 2013 @ 8:24am | ! Report

      It may not be practical, but the selectors should send an SOS for off-spinner Steve O’Keefe and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin who can play spin much better than Wade.

      Instead of playing in the Hyderabad Test, O’Keefe will be speaking at the Australian Cricket Society, NSW tomorrow.

      • February 27th 2013 @ 9:10am
        Fivehole said | February 27th 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        Spot on Kersi – but it wont happen, selectors would rather lose than look bad.

        • February 27th 2013 @ 9:27am
          jameswm said | February 27th 2013 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          There are apparently personality issues with SOK – a free thinker who speaks his mind, Stuart Clark style. I thought under Clarke that might be allowed, but apparently not.

          • February 27th 2013 @ 10:12am
            Disco said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:12am | ! Report

            Nah, too much of a threat – a la Katich to Ponting.

      • February 27th 2013 @ 10:12am
        Roy said | February 27th 2013 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        Haddin may play spin ok, but he’s not a great keeper to spin. His keeping in SL a few years back was pretty inept.

        Surely the biggest issue with Wade is that he stinks at wicketkeeping to spin, so perhaps it makes better sense to replace him with a keeper who’s likely to rectify that. Haddin may be less bad than Wade, but i reckon we have better options.

        But yep, won’t happen, moot point.

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