Bowlers should work hard at their batting

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 28, 2013 07:56 hrs

​India's win in the first Test came as many expected, but things could have been very different if not for the performances of MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. When I look back at the game, Australia's failure to finish off India's tail order in the first innings really stands out.

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It is a great example of why bowlers should work hard at their batting. Runs at the end of an innings or even just hanging around with a top order batsman can often be the catalyst for winning a match.

Virat Kohli's century set a strong platform for the hosts, but the ninth wicket partnership between Dhoni and Kumar turned the game on its head completely. If Australia closed out the innings only 20 or 30 runs behind, it would have been game on. Instead, they found themselves struggling to survive and the rest is history.

Despite the loss, I believe Australia can still take a lot of positives from the game. Michael Clarke's century showed he is still performing well and leading from the front. James Pattinson's five wickets also indicated his injury problems are behind him.

He is a vital member of Australia's attack and they will be leaning on him to stay healthy for the rest of this tour. He certainly needs to be well supported and I believe all of the bowlers would have learnt a lot about bowling on Indian wickets after that first match.

Another who impressed me was Moises Henriques. Batting in very tough conditions, I thought Moises did exceptionally well. He has been around first class cricket for a while now, but Test cricket is always a different environment and he proved he is ready to perform. He will now have the confidence to know that he can play at Test level so expect him to continue to perform.

Australia's big challenge for the remainder of this series will be dealing with the Indian spin attack. Subcontinent wickets are always going to turn and results are dictated by how the batsmen hold up in the testing conditions. Michael Clarke has proved throughout his career to be one of the world's best, but he needs support from his teammates.

The top order batsmen were reasonable in the opening Test but will need to pick things up against R. Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja this week. In the end it was a comprehensive win for India, built on the smallest of margins - the individual brilliance of their captain MS Dhoni and a ninth wicket, first innings partnership. With little between both sides, I'm really looking forward to the next Test in Hyderabad.

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