A key reason behind Australia’s 0-4 loss to India was the poor batting exhibition of their batsmen, some experienced and many who were on their first trip to India, and were completely found out under the tough conditions. As Australia ponder upon their failings, and try to build for the future, we take a closer look at the performance of the visitors’ batsmen over the four Tests.
Michael Clarke: The Australian skipper kicked off the series with a brilliant century at Chennai, and followed it up with a 91 in the second Hyderabad. By this time though, he had developed a dislike for the innocuous bowling of left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. The Saurashtra youngster dismissed Clarke in both the innings at Hyderabad. At Mohali, Jadeja had the Aussie captain stumped first ball, and had the better of him in the second innings as well, getting him caught for 18. After a great start, Clarke’s form slumped, and since he was the lone confident batsman it was a body blow for Australia. Himmissing the last Test due to a persistent back injury only made matters worse for the side.
David Warner: The aggressive left-hander’s technique was going to be tested in Indian conditions, and the batsman came second best. He began the series with a half-century at Chennai, but could not convert the start into a bigger score, and it became the pattern of the series for him. His highest score of the series was 71 at Mohali, but Warner also registered scores of 23 and 26 in a couple of other innings. He reserved his worst of the final Test at Delhi, playing poor shots in both the innings to be dismissed for 0 and 8 respectively.
Ed Cowan: Over the course of the series, the left-hander demonstrated enough to prove that he had the technique to survive in Indian conditions. At the same time, like his opening partner, Cowan could not carry on from starts to get the big hundreds. And so, while he looked assured during his stay at the crease, his contribution wasn’t significant enough to have a major impact on Australia’s fortunes. Cowan made 29 and 32 at Chennai, 4 and 44 at Hyderabad, 86 (his highest score of the series) and 8 at Mohali and 38 and 24 at Delhi.
Phillip Hughes: This is one series Hughes would like to get out of his psyche as soon as possible. Up until the sixth innings of the series, he had no clue idea how to deal with the Indian spinners. He was bowled comprehensively on more than one occasion and the tentatively prods often landed safely in the fielder’s hands. At Mohali in the second innings, he hit his way out of trouble, making 69. By then, the series was beyond Australia’s reach. Hughes ended the series, like he began it, falling cheaply to the guile of Ashwin.
Shane Watson: After Clarke, it was the burly Aussie that the team looked up to. Self-admittedly, Watson failed (and we are not referring to the paper test!). In the three Tests that Watson featured in, he registered scores of 28, 17, 23, 9, 17 and 5. Watson’s lack of runs hurt the beleaguered Aussies very badly.
--By A Cricket Analyst