Australian batting

The Gavaskar-Border Trophy Test Series between India and Australia started with the 1st test in Melbourne on Boxing Day (26th Dec).

As I write this, the 3rd day's play is on, and Australia are 260/5 in their 2nd innings, leading India by 400 odd runs.

Having watched both the Australian and India batting, the first thing that strikes me (or any one for that matter) is the attitude and approach. Australian batsmen come to the crease and bat for runs - runs, runs and only runs - nothing else. They look for the slightest opportunity for taking runs - whether it is singles, converting singles to twos or running threes and fours. Very rarely are balls left to the keeper. This is not just the feature of one batsman, but all the batsmen. Loss of wickets does not change this attitude.

I got up early yesterday (27 Dec) to watch the Indian batting. It was a study in contrast. Dravid took around 50 balls to get off the mark - that too after he got a couple of lives (a dropped catch and a dismissal off a no-ball). What seemed to be evident was the batsmen were just looking to stay in the crease, with no thought on why they are there - to score runs. There was no attempt whatsoever to look for singles, easy twos were ignored and threes were a rarity, even when the ball was almost in the boundary line.

And what did this achieve? Pressure and increased pressure on the batsmen.

Accepted that the Australian bowlers were bowling well. Their fielding was on the alert and so on. But then our batsmen are no novices. Statistically, we are stacked up much better than Australia! So what's the problem?

For all the efforts that the bowlers put in on the first day to take Australian wickets, the much vaunted Indian batting line-up put up a spineless display.

No wonder that our wins are causes for major celebrations - being a rarily! We will always be lions at home and lambs abroad.