Australia’s capitulation a sorry sight

By Sunil Gavaskar

Australia will have to use the week-long gap before the third Test to find some answers to playing India’s spinners.

A lot of teams have come down to India and floundered against spin, notably some English teams of the late 1990s. However, the Englishmen have hardly been known to be good players of turn, while the Australians who play some spin in their domestic cricket and are more likely to use their feet, cope a lot better.

That is why it is a surprise to see them capitulate against the Indian spinners. It is also a sorry sight, for Australians are known not to give up but there is a sense of resignation about the batsmen as they walk to the crease to take guard.

There have been exceptions, of course, with Michael Clarke being the prime example of a batsman using his feet to get close to the spinning ball.

Clarke was looking good when Jadeja bowled him with an unplayable ball pitching middle stump and hitting the top of off stump.

It was just the kind of delivery that is needed to get the best batsman in the opposition out, and once Clarke was out, the fight seemed to have gone out of the Australians.

Jadeja has now got Clarke out in three out of the four innings so far and is getting better with every match.

His body language is more confident than it was at Nagpur where he made his Test debut. If he can contribute handily with the bat, which he is capable of, then India could well have the all-rounder they are hoping for.

Ashwin is a determined customer with the bat, so India does have some depth in their batting, and that allows them to have skipper Dhoni batting at number 6 and have five regular bowlers which gives the captain plenty of flexibility.

While India’s bowlers deserve the credit for getting the wickets, the batsmen’s contribution must not be forgotten, for on wickets that have challenged them they have come good in both the Test matches.

It is because they have got the runs that gave close-in fielders for the bowlers to crowd the batsmen with. It’s been a splendid team effort.