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Edward Craig: Aussies experience how the other half lives

November 11th, 2008 by Edward Craig in Australia in India, Test cricket and tagged , , , ,

This Australian side in India looked like England’s moribund set-up of the late 1980s and early 90s. Here are a few things that remind me of Bad England (as opposed to Crass England, which we have now):

Selection issues - Picking players for one Test (Siddle); scrambling around with old players who are a bit past it (Hayden); a desperate search for a spinner that leads to a player batting No.8, bowling 12 overs in the match while spinners clean up everywhere else (White in the last Test).

Run outs - Three in the final Test, all of them crucial. Bowlers only had to get Hayden, Ponting and Hussey out once in that match. It betrays hesitancy and a carelessness due to lack of direction. This is a serious symptom of a wider problem.

Basic, basic mistakes - Ponting getting it all wrong about the over-rates and not bowling Shane Watson; Haddin stopping the ball by throwing his glove at it (costing five runs); over-throws; dropped catches; serious wides. It felt like the 1989 Ashes but in a glorious reverse.

Non-amazing debuts - Australia bring a new player in and they don’t score 100 and even if they do take 12 wickets in the match, they’re so expensive it costs them victory. This is what always happened to England – and the guy would usually get dropped for the next Test. For so long, the Aussies produced a new player who was great from the start. Now Haddin, White, Siddle, Watson are finding Test cricket hard. They probably found out they were playing on Ceefax.

Batting strong, bowling weak - And this led to both being weak with England. If Atherton had been born Australian, he’d have averaged 45-plus (but been a poorer writer). Watch those averages slide …

Taking their foot off the gas (or throat) - Australia got into a strong position and let it slip. England were world-class at this and Australia usually capitalised. In the past, it would take an exceptional performance to win a game once Australia had got in front (VVS Laxman). In this series, it took a tea-break.

Then again, India have been very good. Not only have they made the most of these Aussie failings but also they’ve scored serious runs right down the order and bowled intelligently and with patience. And they’ve had the world-class debutant in Mishra. One side has made another look poorer than it is – for once Australia are the victims.

Posted in Australia in India, Test cricket |

7 Responses to “Edward Craig: Aussies experience how the other half lives”

  1.   Homer says:

    Edward Craig
    Deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer

    Australia 2-0. Because the Aussies always win and the Indians are complacent. Ponting’s inability to score runs in India is a blip – he’s the best batsman in the world and is due to put that record right. I’d love the Indians to do it but their hype and hope is setting them up for a painful fall.


  2.   Edward Craig says:

    I was spot on after the first day of the series…

  3.   Dave says:

    To be fair to Krejza, 12/358 sounds like a lot but works out at less than 30 runs per wicket - or about 15 less than each of Shane Warne’s Indian wickets cost. And he took them more than twice as quickly. As debuts go, it doesn’t sound that bad to me.

  4.   jrod says:

    And how many years did it take for England to fix all these problems, perhaps we should ask Eyelids Pattinson.

  5.   The Village Cricketer says:

    At least in the past the England team wanted to win, but lost due to inadequacies and failings, rather than giving the game away because they didn’t want the skip to get suspended.

  6.   NeutralVoice says:

    Dave said,in November 11th, 2008 at 8:15 pm To be fair to Krejza, 12/358 sounds like a lot but works out at less than 30 runs per wicket - or about 15 less than each of Shane Warne’s Indian wickets cost

    Indians took krejza lightly but to compare his debut effort with Warne would be inappropriate..I think Indians took him lightly..Overconfidence did them in..But the chap has an easy long-run action..Some variations in flight & guile will help his cause..

  7.   Ed's a pimp says:

    Hmm, The Aussies will still whip the Poms next year. And, Hayden a bit past it? Give me a break! England have gone on far too long with their players on the back of past glories; Botham, Vaughn, Giles to name but 3.
    Ed Craig, yet again you prove that you haven’t got a clue!

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