Sunday, January 2, 2011

Stage being set for Aus thrashing at SCG

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Australia are hell bent on losing the last test. A captain that's struggling for runs and a debut spinner with six first class matches behind him on a traditionally spin friendly track. Australia appear to have run out of options and are running out the clock on this series to re-rebuild next year.

Usman Khawaja appears to be the lone hope to salvage some dignity for the Aussies that were roundly thrashed at Melbourne. The persistence with Shane Watson at opener is more of a face-saver than anything else. Given that Phil Hughes hasn't lit up the grounds, Australia are resigned to select a risk-free option with Watson. But it seems silly to try to use such a fig-leaf instead of grooming someone new in earnest. India experimented heavily with openers until they found the right combination. Shane Watson appears to be a Sanjay Bangar-like choice with obviously more flash.

Thus, Khawaja, Clarke and Hussey will have to prepare to be batting within the first 15 overs of the game perhaps where the ball and bowlers are still fresh. Test batsmen must be ready for such situations, but the frequency or regularity with which it is happening to them has taken it's toll and resulted in terrible batting averages.

England should duly round off a successful tour with another one-sided victory in Sydney.

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