Spineless Australia having a laugh

Mark Murray Roar Rookie

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    Enjoy Clarke in ODIs while you still can. (AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER JOE)

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    Nothing is more infuriating than watching Australian cricketers having a laugh with opposition when the situation is 277 without loss, as David Warner was yesterday in Mohali.

    How easy and un-intimidating Test cricket must feel for Indian debutant Shikhan Dwahan, who treated the Australian attack like they’d been pulled out of a country pub due to a player shortage.

    The left-handed opener brought up his ton in just 85 balls – the fastest in history on debut – before finishing the day unbeaten on 183.

    The ease at which he and Murali Vijay (83no) toyed with finger spinners Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty was utterly embarrassing for the pair.

    However, even more pathetic is the demeanour of the Australian team.

    They have about as much grit as a polished brass knob.

    No, spineless is a more appropriate description.

    Phil Hughes is a rabbit in the headlights. I can’t remember seeing an Australian top order batsman look so meek at the crease – his Test career looks shot.

    Doherty should never play red ball cricket for Australia again after Vijay and Dwahan clobbered him for 57 off 10 overs.

    There should be a Royal Commission into how he was selected for this series in the first place.

    Nathan Lyon is about as threatening as Jeff the Wiggle. He and Doherty could be the only spin bowlers in India that don’t want to bowl, and these wickets are genuine turners! He didn’t look like getting a wicket.

    Opening pair David Warner (71) and Ed Cowan (86) probably gave each other a pat on the back behind closed doors after their 139 run opening stand, but when are they going to learn that once you get a start you must go on and score big hundreds?

    I wonder if Warner cares enough, and the problem with Cowan is once he got to 86 you still felt he was 90 minutes away from reaching a ton. He lacks intent.

    There are only two Aussie cricketers who show the sort of aggression, competitiveness, fight, mongrel – call it whatever you like – that the Australian public expects from its players.

    Coincidentally they’re both Victorians – Peter Siddle and James Pattinson.

    Granted Siddle has been disappointing in this series but at least he bores in and looks like he cares. He shows heart. He’ll dig in when the chips are down. Most of his team-mates are downhill skiers.

    Michael Clarke is a superstar and has proved himself in a crisis with the bat but the time for smiling in the field is over. A fish rots from the head and he too needs to harden up when the pads are off.

    Steve Smith can hold his head high after showing positive intent at the crease for his 92, and although he got smacked when he bowled at least he showed some emotion and looked genuinely irate about what was happening.

    He let fly with a few F-bombs and gave Ed Cowan a nice old spray when his overthrow at short-leg let Vijay off strike in the final session.

    Mitchell Starc’s 99 batting at nine deserves praise, but the manner in which he got out doesn’t.

    After playing and missing outside off stump for two consecutive deliveries, you’d have thought he’d leave the third one alone. Snick. It was dumb cricket.

    India finished the day 0/283 in reply to Australia’s 408 to all but stitch up the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

    If there was a mercy rule in cricket I’m tipping Australia would enforce it given the complete lack of defiance among the majority of this touring party in India.

    Mark Murray is a Melbourne-based journalist and lifelong sports nut. He is currently on the subcontinent covering Australia’s cricket tour of India. Follow Mark on Twitter @markcmuzza

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    The Crowd Says (71)

    • March 17th 2013 @ 6:50am
      Ziggy said | March 17th 2013 @ 6:50am | ! Report

      Cannot argue with any of the views expressed. The truth hurts. Time we dumped all the prima donnas and concentrate on those who have the hunger to succeed.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 4:00pm
        Varun said | March 17th 2013 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

        Good article, agree fully

    • March 17th 2013 @ 7:15am
      Indian cricket fan said | March 17th 2013 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      The Indians have scored 283 n.o. on a pitch that Cowan declared as “already playing tricks” on the first day of play. As long as the Aussies keep looking for excuses, everything, including pitches, will be playing on their minds. Good luck with the forthcoming Ashes series.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 8:03am
        Steve said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:03am | ! Report

        This. Even reading Cricinfo commentary at the start of Australia’s innings, you could tell it was a flat track. When I heard Ed Cowan say that, I immediately thought “who is this guy kidding?” Either he as just bullshitting, or in fact he was kidding himself.

        • March 17th 2013 @ 4:01pm
          Varun said | March 17th 2013 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

          Well said

      • March 17th 2013 @ 9:39am
        Jon said | March 17th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        How do you expect an opening batsman to comment on the pitch??? “It’s a beautiful batting deck, runs are easy to come by, anyone could make runs on this pearl of a wicket”???

      • March 17th 2013 @ 1:14pm
        Disco said | March 17th 2013 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

        Indeed the pitch is a road. The difference is that even India’s weak attack is superior to Australia’s. 400 was well below par.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 7:28am
      Christo the Daddyo said | March 17th 2013 @ 7:28am | ! Report

      Rubbish article. You criticize a batsman for getting 86 a bit slowly and then praise a bowler because he lets fly with a few swear words – despite getting carted for eight an over!

      Who cares about their demeanor – what we need are some bowlers who can take wickets. If the team management is going to suspend the best performing bowler because he didn’t do some homework then they can’t be surprised when the remaining guys don’t perform.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 9:28am
        Col said | March 17th 2013 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Here here.

        Body language and showing that you care are important, but geez, how do you get stuck into a bloke (who is clearly out of his depth) for getting stuck in and scoring 80, yet praise a bloke who served up tripe and lets a few f bonbs fly??

        Also slating a bloke who scored 99 for the manner in which he got out, yet praise the skipper and not mention his mode of dismissal???

        And if Nathan Lyon has looked as threatening as Jeff the Wiggle then one of your “aggressive” Mexicans – Peter Siddle – wouldnt look out of place on the set of Play School.

        Bizarre read.

        • March 17th 2013 @ 9:36am
          Brendon said | March 17th 2013 @ 9:36am | ! Report

          Having a go at Peter Siddle is bizzare, have you seen the pitches over there? the new ball does nothing, it takes 50 overs to scuff then starts to reverse, which is why Sharma got all his wickets late.

          Siddle was the best of the bowlers yesterday, Lyon bowls the same darn ball every time, even I could have played him, I have been a fan of his, but this test has shown up some major issues.

          The author is right, there are blokes out there that aren’t taking this seriously, there are also blokes that think their job is done because they scored 70 or 80, openers need to go on when they reach that sort of score, that’s why they get paid so much.

          • March 17th 2013 @ 11:48am
            Matt F said | March 17th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

            I thought Siddle was OK yesterday. t least he kept it tight. He’s not the kind of bowler that rips through attacks but one who gets wickets by keeping it tight and forcing a loose shot. Unfortunately it’s hard to do this when every other bowler has an economy rate above 4 an over. His overall series hasn’t been good though.

            Starc is the definition of a “horses for courses” bowler. On the right kind of wickets he’s devastating but on flat wickets he’s completely useless. He should go to England because there more his type of conditions but should only play if the pitch is friendly for fast-bowlers.

            I’d like to see us with a fast-bowling attack of Bird, Pattinson and Siddle/Harris for the first Ashes test.

          • March 17th 2013 @ 4:02pm
            Varun said | March 17th 2013 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

            Agree fully brendon

      • March 17th 2013 @ 9:46am
        Sandy said | March 17th 2013 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        Rubbish article, that makes 3, don’t go for 4.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 5:33pm
        Brad said | March 17th 2013 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

        Australia are a timid rabble. Lyon often has a silly grin on his face after he gets walloped to the boundary, or over it! That is nothing to smile about. The way half of them prance around is a disgrace, where has there sense of entiltment come from. Cowan HAD to go on and make a big hundred but didnt again. 80 odd is not good enough!!!! And you couldnt argue that the way Starc got out wasn’t plain dumb!

        I think this is a terrific and honest article!

    • March 17th 2013 @ 7:44am
      Bradm said | March 17th 2013 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      So now Starc is averaging only second to Michael Clarke with the bat this season and better than all specialist batsmen? If this doesn’t show how bad our batting selections have been, not sure what will it take?

    • March 17th 2013 @ 8:12am
      bruski said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      Love the line “Nathan Lyon is about as threatening as Jeff the Wiggle”.

      I do agree that the boys should be showing a bit more grit, Cowan, well his job is to blunt the attack, nothing wrong with soaking up balls. There should be a bunch of other blokes that can make runs too, this is where team comes into it.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 8:40am
      Mat docker said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      -dumb cricket from the 9th batsmen because he edged out on 99?
      -loved how how you chucked in “coincidently they’re both victorians”…what does that have to do with anything?
      -good bowling Steve smith you swore and got angry, you should be congratulated. no.
      -cowens innings was great for an opener and did his job seeing out the new ball with a very respectful 86, if clarke and hughes had of done something with the bat you would not be writing that….and who cares if he “looked like he was 90 minues away from reaching his ton” . its just a number, i dont see why he should bat with more intent just because he is closing down on a century, its test cricket not 20/20

      • March 17th 2013 @ 2:06pm
        Pat said | March 17th 2013 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        Good to see someone telling it like it is! Couldn’t agree more with this article, Aussies are as soft as butter and need to toughen up.

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