With the Australian Test team going into the third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Indore trailing by 0-2, former Australian captain Mark Taylor has questioned the execution by the Australian batsmen on ‘Unique’ Indian pitches. With Australia losing the first Test in Nagpur by an innings and 132 runs followed by a six-wicket loss in the second Test in Delhi, Taylor also termed the pitches in India as unique.
“Yes, conditions in Australia are different. Yes, the Australian side goes there more often these days with the IPL. But the pitches there are unique. There is not a doubt about that. They are putting out slow low turners, which suit their type of play. And we are not used to playing on those types of pitches. We went over there with a mentality to be positive to take it on, be aggressive which is not a bad mentality to have. But you gotta have a technique for that. The execution was poor in the second Test,” sad Taylor while speaking with Wide World of Sports.
While Australia has been suffering from a selection dilemma in the four Test series, the side has left without captain Pat Cummins. The pacer has gone back to Australia citing a family emergency and Steve Smith will be captaining the side in his absence. Taylor, who played in 104 Test matches for Australia amassing 7525 runs, recalled Australia’s comeback in the last match of the three-Test series in India in 1998. With Australia losing the first match at Chennai by 179 runs followed by an innings and 219 runs in Kolkata, the then Taylor led Australian team scored an eight-wicket win in the third Test match at Bangalore.
“I did not play a lot of Test matches in India. In 1998, we got beaten in the first test at Chennai in a pretty good game. Second Test, we played at Eden Gardens and got absolutely hammered. It’s not unique what has happened to the Australian team, it’s happened in the past too. We got beaten by an innings and 220 runs in Eden Gardens. It’s not too much fun. That’s what happened this time. All the sudden, you find the game moves ahead very quickly. As we saw with Australia on Day three in the last test match. All of a sudden, things start going in the wrong direction, it’s hard to stop the momentum. That’s happened with us in Eden Gardens. The good news for us was that we did turn it around in the final test in Bengaluru. We won on a much better even pitch. You can turn it around but it’s not easy when the pitches are as they are now,” said Taylor.
While Taylor has blamed the pitches, the former Australian captain praised the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. “Those pitches are unique as I said. They suit the two Ravis ( Ashwin and Jadeja) very well. You always bowl stump to stump and they are always challenging your front pad and stumps. That’s why the sweep and reverse sweep are dangerous. You miss the ball and you are going to be out. It’s a high risk shot,” said Taylor.
Taylor also believes that the Australian selector will take a decision about the future of opener David Warner. While Warner will miss the remaining two Test matches in India after an elbow injury, the Australian opener has shared that he wants to continue playing till 2024. “Dave has come out and said he wants to be around until 2024, so he wants to go to England later this year, he wants to play in Australia next summer. So he has really thrown the ball over to (selectors) George Bailey, Tony Dodemaide, (and captain) Pat Cummins, the selectors to say ‘OK what do you want to do?’.To me, the selectors have got to make a decision. Whether they take David Warner and one of probably Bancroft or Renshaw to England, Dave would be the first opener picked. Or they make a decision now and say righto, we’re going to take the two younger guys… we’re going to make a change right now,” said Taylor.