Australia will have to use the week long gap before the third Test to find some answers to playing India’s spinners. A lot of teams have come down to India and floundered against spin, notably some English teams of the late 1990s.
However, the Englishmen have hardly been known to be good players of turn, while the Australians who play some spin in their domestic cricket and are more likely to use their feet, cope a lot better. That is why it is a surprise to see them capitulate against the Indian spinners.
It is also a sorry sight, for Australians are known not to give up but there is a sense of resignation about the batsmen as they walk to the crease to take guard. There have been exceptions of course with Michael Clarke being the prime example of a batsman using his feet to get close to the spinning ball.
Now that India are 2-0 up and not in danger of losing the series, the Aussies could do well to use the extra day to ask VVS Laxman who is from Hyderabad for a few tips on playing spin bowling.
VVS played the innings of the last century for India when he got 281 against Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, and along with Rahul Dravid changed the course of the series and also for Indian cricket with that partnership.
Clarke was looking good when Jadeja bowled him with an unplayable ball pitching middle stump and hitting the top of off stump. It was just the kind of delivery that is needed to get the best batsman in the opposition out, and once Clarke was out, the fight seemed to have gone out of the Australians as they caved in to Jadeja and Ashwin.
Jadeja has now got Clarke out in three out of the four innings so far and is getting better with every match he is playing. His body language also is more confident than it was at Nagpur where he made his Test debut. If he can contribute handily with the bat, which he is capable of, then India could well have the all-rounder they are hoping for.
Ashwin also is a determined customer with the bat, so India does have some depth in their batting, and that allows them to have skipper Dhoni batting at number 6 and have five regular bowlers which gives the captain plenty of flexibility.
While India’s bowlers deserve the credit for getting the wickets, the batsmen's contribution must not be forgotten, for on wickets that have challenged them they have come good in both the Test matches. It is because they have got the runs that gave close-in fielders for the bowlers to crowd the batsmen with. It’s been a splendid team effort.
Professional Management Group