IND v AUS: Panicky Australia under fire from media, ex-players

New Delhi: Australia’s cricket team landed in India at the start of February 2023 with optimism and confidence of winning their first Test series in the sub-continent. But, as of now, they were headed to the third match in Indore, starting from March 1, with a 2-0 deficit and their chances of winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy up in smoke.

Australia’s tour of India has been nothing short of a disaster, with injuries to key players, baffling selection calls and usual batting capitulation in the face of quality spin bowling making headlines back home. All of this comes especially after opting not to play a single tour match.

When Australia were skittled out for 91 in the second innings of the first Test in Nagpur, it happened because the batters failed in trying to defend off the trinity of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.

In the second Test in New Delhi, Australia had a slight edge at the end of Day Two. But on day three, they became over-proactive and panicky when six batters fell while playing the sweep shot on a slow pitch with low bounce and crashed to 113 all out in their second innings, which India chased down with six wickets in hand.

The Australian described the second Test loss in their headlines as, “Delhi disaster has Cummins & Co reeling”, “Swing and Miss in Delhi debacle”, and “Pat found wanting in biggest test”, apart from calling the second innings implosion “among lowest days in modern Australian cricket”. The Daily Telegraph had “swept away” written in bold with “hopes shot in a dire collapse” and “read it & sweep” adding up.

With results not coming, former cricketers back home have slammed the Test team for not opting to play a tour game. Australia’s preparation for the tour of India consisted of a scuffed-up pitch at North Sydney Oval and a preparatory camp in Bangalore, where they got a bowler from Baroda who had an action similar to Ashwin.

When they last visited India in 2017, Australia had a two-week training camp at the ICC Academy in Dubai and a tour match against India ‘A’ at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai ahead of the first Test, which they won by 333 runs in Pune.

“Never again tell me we’re not playing a tour match to begin, at least two, there are no shortcuts to Test match success,” legendary wicketkeeper Ian Healy said on the SEN radio show.

However, head coach Andrew McDonald rejected suggestions that the Test team was not well-prepared for the tour of India.

Image courtesy of (Indian Express)

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