Team India should keep the momentum going

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 02, 2013 04:58 hrs
Clarke hits ton as Australia recover from mid-innings slump

Modern cricketing tours being the compact ones they are, there is little time for both teams to try and get some of the loose ends tightened before the next Test. Both teams have issues but luckily not major ones to address. 

The losing team generally has more to think about in terms of raising the morale of the team and looking to get the team combination better than the one that lost the game. For the team that has won the first game, the challenge is to keep the momentum going and make sure that they
do not allow the opposition to get back in the series.

India had won the first Test against England too, but lost the next two not only because England showed a lot more determination, but also because its work ethic relaxed after the first Test win. India under Fletcher have not been the most enthusiastic of practisers on the days of the game, and while it is understandable that energy needs to be conserved for the day’s play, there is also the need to establish some sort of intensity for the battle ahead. 

That was clearly absent as the Indians wandered into the ground barely 45 minutes before the first ball was bowled, then played some football and took some catches and went back to the dressing room. The entire workout lasted barely half an hour and that was not the best way to
prepare for the day’s play.

In Chennai for the first Test, the Indians had changed for the better. They were getting to the ground earlier despite the heat and humidity of
Chennai, and they were out practising cricketing skills rather than trying to impress any football scouts from Europe. Their workouts were focused and the results showed on the field. Hopefully that will be the norm rather than the exception.

Australia will be looking to add a spinner like England did after the first Test, and hope that their fortunes will change like England's did. However, it is the quality of the bowler that is important, for Monty Panesar had a very good record and he just got better as the Tests went on.

India are unlikely to make any changes to their winning combination unless Ojha comes in for Harbhajan, but Australia may well be influenced by
England’s experience in dropping a proven wicket taker for one who hopefully will do for them what Panesar did for England.

Professional Management Group

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