A cocktail of inexperience and incompetence has put Australia in the sorry space they are in. They arrived India having lost top players through retirement and injury, a team in transition, but still full of typical Aussie cockiness. Experts thought the side was underdone and underprepared but such suggestions were brushed aside.
Now after two crushing defeats they look more like a ragged Bangladesh, not the world beating side they once were. As things stand, Australia is like a marquee film that had a poor opening, suffered awful word of mouth and tanked. Or a much hyped television serial rejected by the audience after the initial episodes itself.
Whats worse, Australia does not seem to have the heft, the muscle or the spine to succeed. The bowling lacks quality, specially spin . England had crafty Panesar /Swann to test the Indians on spinning surfaces and ask uncomfortable questions .
What Australia has on offer in spin is not challenging even at Ranji level, Lyon and Doherty wont trouble someone with the batting ability of Ishant Sharma. Pace is in more competent hands, Pattinson specially is persistent and disciplined, but the fire of the quicks is blunted by the flat surfaces they bowl on.
Captain Clarke has batted like Bradman for one year but apart from him, none of the others inspire respect let alone fear. The rest ( Warner, Watson ) are seriousÂ T20 /ODI players but not impactful as yet in the 5 day format. In the context of tests it is unlikely they make the cut at the highest level .
Failed batsmen would like to blame the pitches for their woes but that argument is flawed. If the tracks were so treacherous would Indian batsmen cruise to over 500 in each test ? In Chennai the ball jumped and turned alarmingly but Hyderabad was a normal low-slow track that demanded application, not adventure from batsmen. Pujara and Vijay scored big ,both put their head down andÂ highlighted the prime virtue of patience.
Test cricket is about the art ofÂ occupying the crease, playing out dot ballsÂ and subduing bowling through intelligent defense. This lesson seems lost on Australian batsmen as manyÂ succumbed to indiscretion, induced into playing shots they would regret later on .
In a way, the real test starts now andÂ the question is : will Australia show spunk to get up from the mat after getting knocked out, or will they dig a deeper hole for themselves.
Note: The author's views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of NDTV.