A good test for the fringe players
When we embarked on the tour to India, we knew we were in for a fight. Now, with four matches gone, we are extremely happy to be 2-2, with no clear winner in sight as yet.india Updated: Nov 03, 2009 23:36 IST
When we embarked on the tour to India, we knew we were in for a fight.
Now, with four matches gone, we are extremely happy to be 2-2, with no clear winner in sight as yet.
At Mohali, we pulled off a gutsy win. At the halfway mark, we were quite disappointed to end with the total we did.
The conditions were perfect and we ended at least 20-30 runs short.
In the end though, we fought very hard and our bowlers did a tremendous job in restricting the Indians. It was tough and that we came through is really heartening.
We were well poised to get more runs than we did in the last 10 overs but credit must also go to the Indian bowlers who did a good job.
Praveen Kumar is one who plays the game hard and sometimes can make things difficult for the opposition. He is a thoughtful bowler and makes a lot of changes to his pace. He is quite skilful too.
It was the dew factor that prompted the Indians to chase rather than set a target. In the earlier matches I have played at Mohali, the dew has made a difference.
On Monday night, there was a lot of dew but somehow the conditions weren't as wet as in Delhi.
More than the victory, what is satisfying is that we are testing our bench strength and yet holding our own.
Around six-seven of our first eleven are missing and that is a huge gap to follow.
Coming to India is always one of the biggest challenges for an Australian cricketer as the conditions are totally different to what we get back home.
For our youngsters to step up and deliver not just in these conditions but in front of such huge crowds is a real test.
What helps is our domestic system, which is one of the best in the world if not the best. I haven't seen too much of our first-class cricket in the last couple of years and so won't be able to talk about any new talent in the wings — or even lack of it for that matter — but what our system does is try and narrow the gap between first-class and international cricket.
Take Nathan Hauritz's case for example. He's an improved bowler over the last year or so. There was a gap to be bridged and he's done that part now.
There's a lot of self-belief that has kicked in and he feels that he belongs at this level.
We now move to Hyderabad, where the conditions are supposed to be great.
It will be a long journey from the north to the south but we Australians are used to such distances. A 3-2 lead will only make the journey that much sweeter.