So was it a shortage of intent or insufficient skill that saw Australia hurtle despairingly, and with such great haste, towards a most forgettable defeat? With Australia, not just in cricket but in all sport, absence of intent is rarely a concern.
They have now lost five Tests in a row in India, their worst away record is six in South Africa but even that had a twenty-four year interval in between. These five have now come in five years and must point to a deeper illness.
There has been a lot of talk about Australia’s bare spin bowling cupboard post Shane Warne. That is an issue, but an even greater one, I suspect a more fundamental one, is a severe decline in batting.
Michael Clarke has said he will now bat at number four, a position where he averages in the twenties, and that was inevitable. Just as critical would be to put Shane Watson back where he belongs, at the top of the order where he has seen maximum success.
I won’t be surprised if I see a few moves in that batting order!
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