Australia had neither the class nor the patience

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 28, 2013 06:13 hrs

As Australia look back on a tour where defeat wasn’t unexpected but the severity was, they will restart the search for a quality that the modern world doesn’t quite hold in the same esteem any more. Resilience was a quality that won many battles.

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In life, as in Test cricket, you wouldn’t know of the calm ahead if you weren’t able to withstand the storm. Often when you hang in there, the future doesn’t seem as terrifying, but Australia had neither the class nor the patience to hang in there.

That was the difference between them and England. Maybe they were seduced by the brilliance of Kevin Pietersen’s brilliant attacking century in Mumbai, and they thought David Warner or Shane Watson would deliver one of those, but when you bat first in India, and Australia batted first each time, you don’t need to hurry. I am not sure Australia were willing to back their defence, or maybe they were aware they didn’t possess it, but India hardly ever had to wonder where the next top order wicket was going to come from.

Maybe the absence of the twin qualities of skill, even if specific to a situation, and resilience explains why Australia lost wickets in a heap. Far too often in the series an hour of poor application would change the course of the match, and it was ironic that this was on display in a contest named after two masters of resilience. Allan Border and Sunil Gavaskar, again products of a different era, were champions of battling the conditions and the opposition, and some of their finest innings were those where defiance was the outstanding feature.

It is something that both teams will have to chew on another day because another kind of cricket is upon us. Cricket moves from the need for resilience to the lure of the instant result; from one player batting out 350 balls to an entire innings lasting 120 balls. It has its own charm, but possessing one skill but not the other makes for an incomplete cricketer.

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