Watson's captaincy was top class

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 24, 2013 05:06 hrs

A totally one sided series seems to be coming alive with an improved performance by the Australians. The Australians have been run over by the Indians and it was only on the final day at Chandigarh that the fighting spirit of the Aussies was seen as they made India work hard to get the small target that they were chasing to complete a win and capture the series too.

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The manner in which Siddle and Starc bowled was more like what is expected of the Australians. In the earlier Tests, they were not charging in or seeming to give it everything and the batsmen too were happy to just get pinned in the crease.

The batting has not improved by much, though the lower order batsmen have shown a greater resolve than the top order ones, but the bowling certainly has taken a new life. It is not just the new ball bowlers who are prepared to bang the ball in short, but also the spinner Nathan Lyon, who has made the adjustment and has flattened his trajectory and is bowling slightly quicker than he has in the previous Tests.

Lyon was also bowling over the wicket and did not look comfortable going around the wicket. Here at the Kotla, he went round, and, getting the ball to bounce and turn, he cramped the batsmen for room to play the big shots.

Shane Watson also gave him a good field by having two men in the deep for the lofted shots and so that increased his comfort level. When a bowler gets hammered his confidence drops and his bowling suffers. The in and out field gave him the close in fielders to take the catches as well as put the pressure on the batsmen.  

Watson’s captaincy was top class and the only fault that one can find with him is bringing on Nathan Lyon a tad late. He could have tried him before lunch but did not do so and lyon was brought on after 20 overs had been bowled, by which time India had got off to a flying start. Lyon immediately began creating problems with the turn and bounce he got, and with Mitchell Johnson keeping a tight lid at the other end, runs were hard to come for the Indians.

The pitch is crumbling and puffs of dust are coming after just about every delivery so batting in the fourth innings is not going to be easy. India may well regret the extra runs that the last three wickets scored for Australia.

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