Stung by the huge innings defeat, one of the worst, in the second Test, the Michael Clarke-led Australians did a bit of soul searching on Tuesday and coach Micky Arthur said that the team has recovered from the loss.
“The team has got a huge amount of work in these conditions. The morale is very good. The boys have trained exceptionally hard, did a bit of soul searching last night and they’re all very good this morning. We’re all very good at the moment,” said Arthur, after the team had a long practice session on the same Test wicket on Wednesday.
The coach pointed out that the immediate task was to improve their game against the spinners. Although Mohali and Delhi may not be expected to be rank turners like the wicket here or of Chennai, Arthur felt that the young Australians need to practise on a worn-out wicket. “Only (Shane) Watson and Clarke are among our top batsmen to have ever played here. The more experience our young players can get the better for them in their careers.”
Arthur defended out-of-form Watson, who is recovering from injury although the all-rounder has a restricted role as a batsman. “He’s put all his eggs in one basket. When he was bowling he was our No.1 all-rounder. He’s now one of the six batsmen and with that comes some responsibility, scoring runs to keep his position.
“He knows that, he’s very aware of that. I think he’s played on this tour so far without excelling and I think we’re all waiting for a big innings from him at some stage. Nobody knows that more than Shane.”
With the batting being too weak, the coach indicated that Clarke would be up the order although it is early days. “I do think we’ve got to reassess. We’ve got two Test matches to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy which is a big thing for us. So we have got to reassess conditions there, again think what is the best possible team to win. And if that means making some changes we should.”
Asked whether the nine-day gap is too long and it could have been if there could been a two-day or three-day match, Arthur said the rest could give mental freshness. He felt there was massive difference between Australian and Indian wickets.
“The ball obviously assists the spinners here, the ball turns and keeps low. There is also rough created by the bowlers. Like I always said it’s like North pole and South pole. In Australia the game’s quick, quick, quick and then it gets slower as the wicket flattens out. In India it’s slow, slow, slow and then goes quick on day four and five,’’ he added.
The coach said there was lot to learn from Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara’s batting, who were involved in a huge stand of added 370 runs in the match. “I’ve asked our batsmen to learn from the way Pujara and Vijay played. The way they went about their innings was a lesson to all our batsmen about playing in these conditions.”