With a cloud hanging over Michael Clarke’s fitness, it appears as though Shane Watson will make a return to the Australian team as captain. It’s been an up and down couple of weeks for the vice-captain, but with his focus and resolve, I believe you can expect a big performance from Shane in Delhi.
I was disappointed to see media reports saying Watto isn’t a team player. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I know for a fact he is well supported by the boys in the Australian set-up and the times that I played with him he was always working as part of the team.
On a personal note, he will be on a massive high coming back to India following the birth of his first child. Hopefully that motivates him to lead with distinction but most importantly score some big runs, which is what Australia really need to be able to put pressure on the Indian batters.
Apart from Watto replacing Clarke, I’m expecting James Pattinson to come in for Mitchell Starc. Throwing in Mitchell Johnson’s left-arm bowling would be tempting to give the side some balance, but Pattinson has performed well in patches and deserves his spot.
India have been very convincing throughout this series. Their bowlers and fielding have been exceptional, but at times it must be said they have looked a bit fragile with the bat, only to be saved by match-winning partnerships. Importantly, they have dominated after taking a lead, which is a sign of a good team full of confidence. MS Dhoni is now in a great position to lead his side to a sweep.
Having already lost the series, Australia are now playing for pride and will do everything in their power to avoid a 4-0 whitewash. They have been their own worst enemy in the subcontinent, with inconsistency killing their chances of winning each Test. Results in the series aside, it’s important for Australia to focus on the positives. They might end up flying home having lost all four Tests, but you have to remember India is a very difficult place to play in.
There are some good things the Aussies will take away as they move towards a huge Ashes series in England. Conditions will be totally different over there again, with the wickets probably more suited to our fast bowling line-up.
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