Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Days 1 to 5 of the French Open

This year the French Open was moved to Chennai and like the annual tournament Australia was unable to adjust sufficiently to be more than 'competitive'. Dhoni's demolition of the attack was no doubt one of the most precise and inspired batting seen for a few years; however, that should not act to gloss over Australia's ineptness against spin. The pitch was prepared to assist the home side, which in this author's view it should. To be a test cricketer one must be able to adapt and surely if the new bloke, Henriques (with one first class ton to his name), can work out a method to handle indifferent bounce and turn others should too. But of course this side doesn't have the experience that previous touring sides have had. How Clarke must have been begging Hussey to reconsider his retirement. Hayden formulated a plan ahead of 2001 which brought him a joint man of the series award. I wonder how Cowan, Watson, Hughes, Wade and Warner prepared? Traveling to New Zealand or South Africa so soon after a home summer with little acclimatising may be sufficient but for most of those who batted in Chennai I doubt they'd seen anything like a classic dust bowl breaking on day one. Welcome to test cricket in the subcontinent boys. Ask Moises how it's done. Selection for the 2nd test will be over-discussed because so much of it will feel moot. When Dhoni went after him Lyon responded with full tosses and half-trackers but would you drop him? No. Doherty is in the touring squad; drop a quick and pick two spinners? Aus won in 2004 with the same approach it's taking now; albeit with more experience and Warne. I think it's worth taking the when in Rome approach. Of the three it seems Siddle was least effective but I'd wager Pattinson will be rested and that is a shame. Arguably the best bowler of the test for the tourists there is anxiety about his loading. Watson could well be given a cup of concrete too and given the ball; reminded he hasn't exactly proven his worth as a specialist batsman. Much talk surrounded capitalising on starts and several batsmen failed to do so. There's every chance India will drop a quick and pick Ohja so Australia needs to be make a trip to Paris and get on a clay court or else it may find itself 2 zip down.

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