No Pat on the back

Australia captain Michael Clarke is missing tricks in India, say Mark Butcher and Angus Fraser.

Last Updated: 23/02/13 at 13:40 Post Comment

Fraser (left) and Butcher were critical of Michael Clarke's captaincy

Fraser (left) and Butcher were critical of Michael Clarke's captaincy

Sachin Tendulkar was at his brilliant best on day two of the first Test in Chennai - striking an unbeaten 70 to help India to 182-3 in reply to Australia's first innings of 380.

Clarke was the batting lynchpin of the tourists' opening salvo, his fantastic 130 ensuring a respectable total despite Ravichandran Ashwin claiming 7-103 with some cunning off-spin.

Former England stars Mark Butcher and Angus Fraser believe Clarke is misfiring as a captain, though, as James Pattinson took all three wickets on day two despite bowling just six overs.

Butcher told Sky Sports: "It's been all India and all Sachin Tendulkar. He looked so in control as did Virat Kohli, who's also a class act. It was a little bit of a surprise when Pujara left, because they were rebuilding things nicely.

"There were one or two tacticaly issues with regards to Michael Clarke. Maybe Pattinson was underused. Also, why Mitchell Starc bowled so long around the wicket, and why the off-spinner didn't then bowl into the foot marks that he'd left from his first spell."

Workload

Former seamer Fraser, who worked tirelessly during lengthy bowling spells during his county and international career, was even less impressed by the decision to bowl Pattinson in short, sharp bursts.

He added: "We're in an era in which bowler's workloads are looked at, there are rota systems et cetera. It's ridiculous really because he's the only bowler that has looked like getting a wicket.

"India have cruised on to 180-odd and Pattinson's bowled only six overs. You've got to win a game of cricket out there so your best bowler's got to bowl some overs. I can't work it out.

"He's bowled 36 balls in two sessions. That's a gentle jog around the ground and not a heavy workload. I'm amazed. It's staggering.

"The pitch has played pretty well and is holding together a bit better than we imagined. The batsmen have played really well. Australia haven't bowled badly but they haven't looked very penetrative.

"We've watched Ashwin take seven wickets and Nathan Lyon isn't in the same class. He hasn't caused too many problems."

Adapting

Butcher feels that Australia must follow England's lead if they are to emulate their series victory in India, but accepts that their options in personnel are more limited on the spinning front.

The former opening batsman said: "The pitch is exactly the same as it was when we batted on it. You'd have two top-class spinners bowling on it if you had them and Australia don't have them. That's pretty much the difference between the sides.

"I think Clarke is starting to worry about the third innings of this match. That's perhaps why Starc hasn't been bowling over the wicket because India have two off-spinners and he doesn't want to create rough for them to bowl at.

"It's quite incredible but this is not an Australian side of old where they'd back their spinners against your spinners. They don't have that in their armour. A pitch like this is a real anethema to them.

"If you think about how England won the series, they did things that were un-English. They went in with two spinners and tried to beat India at their own game. Australia have tried to play their own game and it's not working for them here."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e might be on a hiding to nothing, but I cannae feel any sympathy- You want to know why? Shakira. That's why.

hairpolice
Pique Taking Blame Burden Again...

A

nd this season must feel like one long sigh at the Emirates . Yep, exactly that. Except for Alexis Sanchez, he's ace.

cheshire-gooner
Is Mario Balotelli's Talent Even That 'Obvious'?

H

ey! At least put our first clean sheet in a gazillion years in the winners section. Curse you F365 *shakes fist*

fouloleron
Is Mario Balotelli's Talent Even That 'Obvious'?

Footer 365

Real Madrid and Spain legend Raul joins New York Cosmos

Real Madrid legend Raul has agreed a deal with North American Soccer League side New York Cosmos.

Premier League: Brendan Rodgers plays down concerns over Mario Balotelli

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he has "no concern" about controversial striker Mario Balotelli.

Transfer News: Hull's Tom Ince joins Nottingham Forest on loan until December 28

Nottingham Forest have signed Tom Ince on loan from Hull City on a deal until December 28.

Mail Box

'Pride' Didn't Stop Wenger Signing Flamini

Arsene Wenger's 'pride' in signings is quite rightly pulled apart. We also have a stupidly long email on going back, and one Mailboxer whooping about the FA Cup first round...

Wenger Kept His Pride By Turning Down Cesc

What message would it have sent if Wenger had allowed those that walked out to stroll back in? Plus, why Pochettino needs to adapt and the folly of limiting yourself...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property