Anil Kumble

I don't think our batting failure in the loss to Australia can be blamed on fatigue or IPL overkill. India had a four-day break before this. What caught us on the wrong foot was that old bogeyman — short-pitched fast bowling.

We have this strange approach to tackling a problem that hasn't been solved with that same approach: our batsmen seem to be dead sure that if they try and hit a fast ball as hard as they can, their problems will mysteriously vanish with the imagined six.

We showed the same attitude in England in the World T20 last year and what happened? West Indies came and bumped India, England did it and we still went after their bowling.

But no one can do anything if the batsmen stay in denial mode or allow their egos to get the better of them. Nobody — not the best batsmen in the world — wants to face consistent short-pitched bowling. It will make you look awkward. It will leave you somewhat uneasy, wondering whether the next one will have you ducking or clumsily protecting your ribs.

Takes patience

If you don't accept that you'll need to wait this out — instead of trying to smash the guy who's bowling in your face for 15 runs in that over — it will pass. Once you play out 10-15 balls, fast bowlers stop bowling that way.

And whatever people say about Twenty20 cricket being a superfast game, there's still time. In a Test, that awkward period can last 12-13 overs, in a one-day game, it could be six overs — in T20s, it could well be six balls. All it takes is just a little patience.

Australia, with three pacemen who can bowl consistently in the mid 140s, were always going to pepper the Indian batsmen.

But likewise, to counter that, you needed more Rohit-like innings. Get set and then go. First make sure you have your bottomline — wickets in hand.

India could learn from Friday's second game by studying how Sangakkara and Jayawardene played. Jayawardene has comprehensively showed the naysayers that orthodoxy has its place in what is a very non-conventional format of the game.

He's been on a roll ever since he got pushed to the top of the order in the IPL. He looks to use the pace instead of clashing with it, and manoeuvre the ball, even against the spinners. He doesn't look to get 60 off six overs; he opts to get a solid foundation and then go on the attack. He still managed a strike rate of 175 or so.

India would do well to learn from him.

Hawkeye Communications

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