Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey identified an area for India’s batsmen to improve upon in the Test series in Australia, calling them to take a big and decisive stride forward to avoid edges.
India were bowled out for 36 in the second innings of the first Test in Adelaide, their lowest score in Test history, with multiple batsmen stuck at the crease and nicking the pacers behind.
“Indian batsmen in general don’t like to get that big stride in forward, which sometimes you need to do on Australian pitches. They were sort of getting the half stride forwards. Virat Kohli is probably the exception; he is someone who is very confident with his footwork,” Hussey said on ESPNCricinfo. “But when the bowlers are getting the ball a lot fuller, and there is not a lot of footwork from the Indian batsmen, that’s where lies the opportunity to get a lot of nicks and that’s what happened.
“In Australian conditions, when the pitches are liveliest, your first 15-20 balls are the most difficult. Once you get through that, then you feel like you can start scoring some runs. But negotiating those first 15-20 balls can be very difficult and if your footwork is not quite right, you’re going to find yourself walking back."
Meanwhile, former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who had plenty of success down under, explained that a batsman has to look for scoring opportunities in Australia and use the pace and bounce to his advantage.
“People talk about steep bounce and pace. Steep bounce and pace mean that the good length area for the bowler becomes small. It becomes that much tougher for the bowler to find that ideal spot. So if the batter goes out to bat with a positive approach… looking to score runs than just keep blocking, there are many scoring opportunities," he said in a video on his YouTube channel.
“I looked at it that way. Early on it was about getting on top of the ball, but as time went by, my thinking evolved. I thought why do you always have to get on top off the ball. When there is no third man, you can get under the ball and use their pace. If they falter on the shorter side, I would go over slips, or gully, and even if I don’t get it right because of the pace and bounce, it was going to carry."
The second Test starts on December 26 in Melbourne.