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    Indian failures no indication of Ashes debacle: Arthur

    Australia's coach Mickey Arthur on Friday said his team's failures in India are no indication that it will fare the same way against England in the Ashes as the conditions at both places are very different.

    Arthur also rued the inexperience which his team has to deal with on the current tour after the retirement of their two most capped players - Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey - one after another. The Aussie coach said they were certain that both the players will be part of the Ashes squad, but their departure from the scene has suddenly left a big void. "It [performance in India] is probably not that fair a barometer," Arthur told ESPNCricinfo.

    "I was pretty scared when I looked at the schedule because we'd been building a top-six and a team. We were nearly the finished article, then we lose 300 Test caps. In my thinking Ponting and Hussey were coming to the Ashes. We had them pencilled in to come to the Ashes so we had some stability in the top six. We thought we had experience, some good young players and it was the perfect blend. We then lose both those players.

    "Then I thought we've got to go to India, and on every tour to India I've been on there's been casualties. We don't want those casualties going into the Ashes because we've got to back what we think are our best players. We've got to keep the team as stable as we possibly can. We can't go into the Ashes thinking 'what's our best top six?' We can't be using the first couple of games as a trial. We need to be clear in our mind as to who those players are. I was clear in my mind ... but I'll talk to you again after the next two Tests."

    Australia have struggled so far on the tour, losing both the Test matches with big margins. Apart from captain Michael Clarke, none of their top six batsmen has average more than 30. The third Test will begin in Mohali on March 14.