The Australians were back on Wednesday morning on the centre pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium where they were vanquished by the Indians in the second Test on Tuesday.
“The more practice the better,” said Australian coach Mickey Arthur after his team had trained for three hours at the venue.
“Our morale is still very good. The boys worked enthusiastically this morning. There is need for a massive effort now since we are trailing 0-2 in the four-match series,” Arthur said.
When told that the next two Tests in Mohali and Delhi would be on pitches which may be unlike the ones in Chennai and Hyderabad, Arthur’s response was: “Well, on day five, any wicket in the subcontinent will take spin. So you need lots of practice. And, only Clarke and Watson have played earlier here. So, the longer the players train on these pitches the better.
“There were no specific areas of focus during this session. We need to keep improving. Especially while batting against spin,” he said.
Was it lack of patience against spin which saw the Aussies lose two Tests in this series? “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 batters — about playing in these conditions,” was Arthur’s reply.
On Michael Clarke talking at length to the young players in his team the coach explained: “When Michael talks, the other players listen. Because of his experience. So he made sure he connected with every batsman and gave them all the advice he could during the net session today.”
“The youngsters are still learning. I don’t think Shane Warne’s observations to the Aussie spinners after the Chennai Test dented their morale. He reminded them that even he and Muttiah Muralitharan struggled against Indian batsmen,” Arthur said. “Shane gave us some information which added value and didn’t play on any of our spinners’ minds,” he said.
Arthur also said Watson knew he had to come good like any other top-order batsman on this tour.
“It is a matter of balance for him now. When he was bowling, he was our No.1 all-rounder. He is now one of our six batsmen and with that comes responsibility — and run-scoring ability — to keep his position,” Arthur said. “We are all waiting for a big innings from him.”
Referring to possible changes in the Australian line-up for the next two Tests, the coach said: “I’d be lying if I said we won’t contemplate any changes. We’ve got two Test matches to retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy which is important for us.
“So, we’ve got to assess conditions there and think about what is the best possible combination to win. And, if that means making some changes, then we will make them.”
On the interactions many former Aussie stars like Matthew Hayden are having with the players on this tour, he said the team management and the players welcomed it.
“We are also open to the idea of former India left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi talking to the spinners in Mohali,” he said. “We have a chance to reflect because of the nine-day gap.
“After a two-day break in Mohali, we will resume practice on Sunday,” the Aussie coach concluded.
Keywords: Australia's tour of India