A team in transition

A lot is being said and written about how the Australian team is in transition after the recent retirements. Let us compare the Australian and Indian batting. Oz has got in its batting line up Hayden, Ponting, Hussey and Clarke, all not exactly newcomers if one may say so. Simon Katich also has close to 30 tests under his belt. Now typically this is the case in most if not all test teams. The Indian batting line up could be an exception at the moment, but take out Ganguly and probably Dravid as well and we are in the same boat. India probably has the edge in Dhoni over Haddin. In the bowling department as well Lee for Harbhajan. Take Kumble out and our bowling is also in transition so to speak with rookies Ishanth and Mishra.

On paper the Australian team has much more batting depth with White coming in at 8. So it is not as if the Indians are already a superior side or are the no 1 side in the world. What we need to understand is that India has been the only side to get under the skin of the Aussies in the last decade or so. I don’t think the Australian side was in transition though that entire period. India on the other hand has had more captains, opening batsmen and fast bowlers in their line up during that period. Even in the crrent series India is playing under a new captain.

When teams continue their winnng habit nobody talks of transition. The moment the team starts to underperform there is a pressing need to justify and find excuses. Transition is the current excuse. A poor performing bowling attack is not highlighted so much. A couple of months back when India lost the series in SL we only blamed ur batting failures. We never went around looking for other excuses like the review system or saying “India ahs always done badly in Sl” like the way some other teams say when they tour India. Bowlers who tour India and perform badly invariably say that the sub continent is difficult for bowlers. We never find our own bowlers saying that bowling in Australia is difficult or batting in Australia on bouncy tracks is difficult. Of course it is difficult and the professionals are expected to adapt themselves.



4 responses to “A team in transition

  1. Australia was in transition even during India’s tour of Down Under. The signs were clear. But for Melbourne test, India almost dominated the series. Sydney test should have been a draw. A good Australia team never loses a test at WACA – except for the bowling of Ambrose, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts. Even Shoaib Akhtar, Shane Bond, Steve Harmison could not win at WACA against the Australian team. India did.

    Gilchrist was still playing that series. Australia are missing McGrath, Shane Warne. Shane Warne could bowl 30 overs per day – one end – and still could get 3 wickets. McGrath always kept even the greats – Rahul Dravid, Brian Lara – guessing where their off-stump is.

    For any team, bowling is clearly the strength of a side. There are 4 bowlers and 5 + 1 batsmen. So, all the 4 bowlers have to be good. The great WI is measured by their bowlers – Roberts, Holding, Marshall, Garner.

    For current Australian team, their bowling is very much in transition. They have to find a good spinner – who can bowl 20 overs. Pace attack is also a question mark.

    Brett Lee has been washout this series. Mitchell Johnson, not sure what to make of his bowling. Clark or Shane Watson have been pedestrian. Spinners of Australia can not take a wicket. I thought Stuart Clark was compared to McGrath.

    In contrast, with McGrath at one end – Brett Lee bowled a lot more pace. one cut bowler Andy Kasporwicz, kept the batsmen guessing with his cutters. Then Shane Warne with his appeals for LBW.

  2. During the SL tour of India, I could not understand/believe that some of great players of “spin” bowling like Ganguly and Sehwag were outfoxed by Ajanatha Mendis.

    To an extent the SL tour failure was the reason, Ganguly was feeling the pressure and felt that he had to retire.

  3. @gnbmdr

    I have no idea how your comments contribute to the thrust of this Post.

    If I understand right, the thrust of this post is that the Australians and the Australian media is trampling each other in a bid to find excuses to explain the teams’ poor performances: transition, pitch, conditions, toss being some of these excuses.

    When India loses transition, pitch, conditions and toss are never singled out as reasons. Reasons are found and they stick. An example would be the recent loss in SL.

    Hope I got the thrust of the post right. Confirm Sanjay.

    Excuses distract Australia from the main admission being that India is a team in ascendancy. I agree. Whether or not India regains the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, I agree with that statement. And the sooner Australia start to admit that, the better.

  4. @Raghuram,

    The thrust of my post, to give Bashyam to you, Australia is a team in transition, even when they won the series against India @ Australia. Their team is weaker due to the retirements of Warne and McGrath and it is not an excuse.

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