Australia coach Mickey Arthur plans to let his embattled team take a two-day break to recover from the pummelling dished out by India in the first two Tests.
After an eight-wicket loss in the first match in Chennai was followed by a crushing innings-and-135-run defeat here on Tuesday, the Australians drastically need to regroup before the third Test in Mohali, beginning next Thursday.
Arthur said the squad would travel today before taking two days off to recharge their batteries, as much for their psychological wellbeing as their physical. “It’s really important the guys refresh mentally,” Arthur said.
“The guys have trained the house down, albeit we haven’t got the results, the guys have trained exceptionally well. They’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. It’s a tough place both mentally and physically when things aren’t going well. That’ll give us four days training ahead of what, for us now, is a massive Test match.”
Arthur said his side’s surrender in Hyderabad was particularly galling, and was more disappointed with their batting effort in the first innings — where they posted 237 — than their 131 in the second dig. “It was very hard to take,” he said. “It was a particularly disappointing loss.
“I didn’t look too much into the second innings. Our second innings, it’s really tough batting — 180’s about par in the second innings.
“But to be 280 all out or 230 all out on day one, that’s killed us. Your first innings has to be substantial, has to be big. That’s where you put pressure on India and we didn’t do that.”
Arthur said there would definitely be changes ahead of the third Test, but did not want to rush to any conclusions.
“Look, I would be lying if I say that we are not contemplating changes. We need to do some real hard work before the next Test match. A couple of guys have massive points to prove. I would be very disappointed if we didn’t get some response from the players — certainly they need to know that they are under pressure.
“Our batting hasn’t performed on this tour and we need to sit down now and reassess. (Captain) Michael (Clarke) and I will put our heads together and we’ll come up with what we think are going to be the best possible combinations going forward.”