Pune: There was something about the Australian batting during the Pune Test that looked different. For example, Australia's hard-hitting opener David Warner went down the track to a spinner only once during his 77-ball 38 in the first innings. Interestingly, he didn't even try to clear the in-field even once during that knock.
Not only Warner, the way his opening partner Matt Renshaw and skipper Steven Smith grinded the Indian attack and the length that left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe bowled to the Indians nicely indicated how well they prepared before landing in India for this four-Test series. And they rightly pointed out that the two-week preparatory camp in Dubai ahead of the tour played a huge role in their convincing win in the first Test.
"You prepare for the worst. Then if you get the best, you go for it," Australia's spin consultant and former India player Sridharan Sriram told the media yesterday, ahead of the team's optional practice session.
"I think the preparation in Dubai was excellent. We prepared on different tracks. We made a rough. We made rank turners. We made slow and low pitches. So I think it was a great preparation in terms of trying different surfaces and being prepared for whatever you get." Sriram added.
O'Keefe's 12-wicket haul in Pune may come as a surprise for many, but Sriram understands exactly why the 32-year-old spinner was so successful.
"India is such a big country, there's no one-stop solution. If you say 'this will work and that won't', it is going to backfire. So you have just got to adapt on the go. You have got to see what works for you on that day. And so I think that's where O'Keefe really scored, because he was well prepared," said Sriram.