Australia succumbed to yet another Test defeat in India yesterday against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s hitherto tormented team. For a team that prides itself on grit and determination it is near-unbelievable that the Aussies have not won a Test in Indian conditions since 2004.
Had India been subjected to a similar jinx, the Australian media would have used this as a template when it comes to documenting India’s foibles. It’s a gap which should haunt the 90 Tests-seasoned Michael Clarke because his career was merely three Tests old when his country last won a traditional battle in India (Nagpur 2004).
Indeed, India have done well to keep their prickly opponents at bay for long at home and captain Dhoni has played a significant role here. The India vs Australia rivalry in world cricket is second to only the Ashes, reckon cricket pundits. If this great rivalry has to flourish splendidly then there has to be keen competition which reflects a healthy win-loss ratio.
Clarke seems to be the only top order batsman who can tackle spin well and his fellow batters would do well to show some spark, sense and solidity in the next Test at Hyderabad. Clarke’s side is packed with talent and can be backed to come back hard at India. Shane Watson is too good a player not to score big runs. And David Warner knows how to get runs quickly to make an impact on the game. However, Phil Hughes appears to be misfit in Indian conditions.
Clarke has some serious pace machinery but he would be viewed as stubborn if he opts for only one specialist spinner again. The shoe is on the other foot now and it’s time for Australia cricket lovers to say, ‘C’mon Aussies, set that record straight.’ And yes, take a bow, Dhoni!