With the Australian batting line-up looking rather frail after the first Test loss, coach Justin Langer has passed on the advice of the legendary Allan Border to his batsmen as they look to halt their worst streak of performances.The enormity of the challenge that the Australians are facing at this point, after conceding a 0-1 lead to India in the on-going Test series, is laid bare by the fact that they have crossed the 300-run mark only once in their last 13 innings.
Langer said Australia’s batsmen had to check their aggression and be careful about when they look to attack the opposition bowlers.
“Allan Border used to say there’s more time in Test cricket than you’ll ever imagine … you can bat so much time,” he told cricket.com.au
“That’s one of the messages to our young batsmen.
“One of the things we talk about is partnerships and patience, building pressure on the opposition … it’s one of the important virtues of being a successful Test cricketer.”
The last time Australia endured a streak like this was in 1984 when they scored in excess of 300 only once in 19 innings. All but one of those innings was against the intimidating West Indian side comprising the likes of Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner.
Tim Paine’s side crossed the 300-run mark for the first time since Durban only after a massive effort from Usman Khawaja in Dubai as they salvaged a draw against Pakistan in October.
Australia’s record since the series opener in South Africa is zero wins, five losses and one draw.
Finding the balance between attacking and being patient is something that the Australians are still working on.
Sachin Tendulkar recently expressed surprise at Australia’s slow scoring in Adelaide but Langer believed that was mostly a product of the conditions.
“The wicket was really tough to score on,” he said.
“If you look at India, Virat Kohli got 30 in 120 balls or something – that’s telling you something. He’s the best player in the world.
“There was no plan to bat slowly, it’s just how the game went. Sometimes that’ll happen. Sometimes you’ll get 350 in a day, sometimes you’ll get 200 in a day.
“India bowled well, we bowled equally as well in the first innings and it was hard to bat on with the slow outfield.”
First Published: December 12, 2018, 9:38 AM IST