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At least the spin lessons from India went well

India's Harbhajan Singh, pictured here in better form and in better days. AP Photo/Bikas Das
Roar Guru
6th March, 2013
65
1060 Reads

Before 23 million Aussies commit hari kari, could we just take stock for a minute – Australia finds itself 2-0 down in a four Test Series.

That means we have two Tests to play, so cheer up!

And yes, we lost by an innings and 134 runs.

Other than that, I thought the spin lessons from India with bat and ball went swimmingly in sunny Hyderabad.

Not having been to India, but being married to a lady of Indian descent, I can see the swell of pride in Indian players and fans, and it is a very positive thing.

MS Dhoni has assembled a spirited group of assassins for this series. But even they looked a trifle embarrassed at the procession of wickets.

Maybe they had misgivings about the amount of spin and bounce the wicket took.

India’s spirit might not have been so high when England came back from losing the first Test in January to claim the series 2-1, so it is a timely boost of confidence for India.

Does this mean Australia will come back and draw this series 2-2? Of course we can (well, mathematically anyway).

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So, what did we learn?

We learnt it is not good to be 0/74 and all out for 131.

We learnt that Watson and Henriques were dead unlucky and that we have exposed two more players to Indian conditions, and they came through very nicely.

We learnt that Australian batsmen are fairly limited when it comes to playing spin on a track that was very tough to score or defend on, provides up and down bounce, and spins sideways at 45 degrees.

We learnt that we have only passed 300 with the bat once in four innings, and India has spanked us for 500 runs in both their first innings.

We learnt that preparation of wickets in India could come under scrutiny from the ICC.

And we learnt that Australian cricket is going through a rebuild, but that it has some fine young talent to work with.

The question I would pose is this – if we transported these same two teams to Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or perhaps even Sydney, would Australia do a lot better, and would India do a lot worse?

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I think we know the answer is yes on both counts.

Unfortunately we do not have that luxury. We must bite our lip and soldier on.

I can’t remember the last Australian team which played spin like India plays spin. Maybe 1948. And the current crop need a crash course today!

Spin has been a very dirty word in Australia since Shane Warne retired. We like real men bounding in and hitting batsmen in the goolies or the helmet, not some lithe Swami bamboozling batsmen with bountiful breakers.

To heck with Bill O’Rielly, Richie Benaud, Jack Iverson, Tim May and Johnny Gleeson – and you too Warney.

All we need now is two Indian wickets which are green and seam sideways. Shouldn’t be a problem!

I’ll just send Curator Cam Shepherd over from Perth to do the job in the Punjab and at Kotla Stadium.

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