Australian's weakness against spin was exposed at Chennai
Australia were given a very rude reminder of their batsmen's failure to play spin bowling and lost the first test match convincingly by 8 wickets (You can find the Indian analysis of the match here) and now go to Hyderabad with plenty of questions and headaches to figure out. The match was mostly about the Indians but the Australians did find some heroes in Michael Clarke, Moises Henriques and James Pattinson and will take heart from their performances. However there is much to be desired from both the bowling and batting of the Aussies and it is vital that they find their feat soon and adapt to the Indian conditions. Here's the performance analysis of the Australian performance at Chennai.
Australian Player Performance Analysis - read as name: TWP performance score (1st innings; 2nd innings) (DND = did not bat, * = not out, pass = 4/10) Ed Cowan: 4/10 - (29 runs; 32 runs) Ed Cowan is still looking to cement the opening role in the Australian team and he was one of the few Aussie batsmen who looked at relative ease when at the middle. He got starts in both innings and the fact that he threw them away must hurt him and it certainly hurt his team. He sure would be looking to make amends in the next test. Shane Watson: 3/10 - (28 runs; 17 runs) Shane Watson the all-rounder did not turn up in India. Instead Watson the batsman turned up due to injury and a recovery fitness program that keeps him away from bowling and Australia certainly missed his bowling and the change up variety he brings with his medium pace. Watson the batsman was aggressive and looked dangerous in the first innings but like so many others in his team he threw away a good start. In the second innings where he was promoted to open, he again got going with a flurry of boundaries before he fell. His footwork against spin is simply not there and he sure has work to do if he is to contribute to the Australian cause purely as a batsman. David Warner: 5/10 - (59 runs; 23) Warner in the first innings looked like he would take the game away from the Indians and played some breath-taking shots. Again with Warner as with the story of the Australian batting was his performance against spin bowling and his confidence simply wasn't there. His feet was stuck to the crease and looked all at sea.
Phil Hughes: 0/10 - (6 runs; 0 runs)
Hughes had a forgettable match and though in the second innings he must count to be unlucky to be dismissed by a ball that behaved radically off the pitch, there's still not many excuses that can be made for just 6 runs from 2 innings.
Michael Clarke: 8/10 - (130 runs; 31 runs)
The Australian captain who last year had perhaps his greatest in his career, took forward his grand form and scored a brilliant century. He was the one Australian batsman who played the Indian spinners with complete confidence and attacked them and made them submit to his demands. He stepped out to them, swept and cut when the bowled short and drove on the up when they pitched it up. It was great batting and the Australian batsmen around him would do good to watch the replay and learn from him. He was lucky, but that's just parcel of the game and despite all his best efforts, he couldn't stop the Indian victory.
Matthew Wade: 1/10 - (12 runs; 8 runs)
Matthew Wade didn't have the best of times either in front of the stumps or behind it. It takes a wicket-keeper a couple matches to get used to the low bounce of the Indian tracks and he'll eventually adapt to that as a keeper. But what about the utter lack of application against the spinners? Will he able to adapt his batting to that?
Henriques on debut saved Aussies the humiliation of an innings defeat
Moises Henriques: 8/10 - (68 runs & 1 wicket; 81* runs)
Henriques debut would have been everything he would have dreamed it to be. Well almost everything considering Australia didn't win. He was a revelation and on debut managed to pick up his first test wicket, and score fifties in both innings and helped Australia salvage some pride by taking the game to the last day and making India bat again. Watching him battle the Indian spinners in a mix of caution and aggression was an absolute treat and if this performance is anything to go by, Australia might have just uncovered a gem here.
Mitchell Starc: 0/10 - (3 runs; 8 runs)
Starc like the Indian fast bowlers returned with a big fat zero in the wicket columns and his failure to pick any wickets and support Pattinson's effort was one of the major reasons for India piling on 500 plus. Why Australia went into the match with four seamers on a spinner friendly track? No one knows the answer to that and it was sad to see the pacers toil under the Chennai sun for no spoils for their efforts.
Peter Siddle: 1/10 - (19 runs & 1 wicket; 2 runs)
Siddle like Starc was very much uninspired and their figures might resemble if not for the lone wicket that he managed to capture. The Australian bowling failed to make any impact and Siddle along with Starc provided Pattinson no support whatsoever and they have much to think and questions to ponder over the composition and their approach.
Pattinson bowled his heart out on the desert that was the Chennai track. He quite literally did just that as he gave it his all and returned from the match with 6 wickets and also as Australia's best bowler. He lacked any considerable amount of support from any of the other bowlers and worked as a lone man fighting the Indian batsman. Pattinson can take much heart from his performance and though his team lost, his performance is one that would give the visitors a reason to smile.
Lyon as the lone spinner in the side was made to bear a huge load and he did a decent job considering the various factors. He picked up 4 Indian wickets, but they did come at an heavy cost and he kept leaking at an hemorrhaging rate. In both the innings his economy was near 5 and the Indian batsmen who were brought up playing spin certainly found cannon fodder in him. He has much thinking to do and hopefully Australia will lessen his load and play another spinner in the next match.
Overall team Australia's average - 3.7/10
Australia have plenty of problems with both their batting and bowling units and the difference in the averages between the Indian team which was 5.6 and Australia's 3.7 speaks a story by itself.The Chennai test will be something that they'd want to forget. However it is vital that they learn the lessons from Chennai and play a better bowling composition and play spin with a little more confidence. The Australian batsmen will slowly adapt to the Indian conditions and will put up a stronger fight at Hyderabad.
Check out the mini-session analysis of the match here.