Well done Aussies!
I didn't know if we had the ticker to deal with a batting line up that deep, particularly given our inability to take 20 last summer, but as it turns out at least that element of the team is working well.
Clearly it was a challenge for all batsmen over the 4 days- only 7 half centuries and no tons, although 17 scores 20 or over shows that a start could be made.
I still find the 'traditional' 2nd dig collapse a concern and hope more 'batting camp' time can be found, although i doubt it is lack of ability and hinges a little more on playing themselves in.
What is left to be said about the Australian bowlers? Not only did they execute their plans perfectly, they improved their length so much so that it gave little respite to the Indian batsman.
I think this "new length" and the ability to hunt in packs, along with Clarke's astute changes has been the big difference. We are still a seamer short though as that workload WILL take its toll, but at least Clarke feels confident to rotate them before they tire and lose their attack or composure.
A bit is being said of Patto being a little too aggressive, but i don't buy into this; a young fast bowler should have a bit of mongrel about them. As long as he knows when and where it is appropriate more power to him! If he cops a few around the ears or into the ribs in Sydney and he acknowledges it with a smile and a nod then it is carte blanche for mine. Of course if he gets upset copping it from bowlers then he shouldn't do it to bowlers in the first place. On the TV Binga said you didn't walk down and stare/get lippy with Sachin because he'd make you pay, well as long as Jimmy P knows this and picks his target he can go for his life for mine.
Unless an injury happens i predict no change to the team; but we all know one that should happen. For all of Haddin's getting out in front of the media as vice captain and speaking well enough, he is still failing on the field. If he isn't dropped going in to this Test (and fails again) a Mickey needs to put his hand on Haddin's shoulder on day 4 and tell him to make the retirement announcement in front of the home crowd.
Lyon must be hoping for a tradition SCG pitch given his meagre returns, and the expectation that he will be more in the match should also hold Christian out of the side a while longer. But if he fails to get a bag, he may see himself left out for Perth and replaced by Christian or a fit Cummins or Watson. Personally i'd love to see in Perth: Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Pattinson, Cummins- that would have some sting to it!
But that thought is for another day- onwards to Sydaney!