Even if on paper, many rooted Australia to lose against India in the Nagpur Test, not many would’ve pictured them bowing out inside eight sessions by a whooping 132 runs and an innings, leaving them 1-0 behind in the four Test series.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has now warned the visiting side to switch their attitude in order to make a comeback in the series.
“I want to start off with a strong piece of advice for the Australian team. Save the English manners for the Ashes. What you need are good old Australian manners here in India to bounce back from the defeat in Nagpur,” Shastri wrote in his column in the Sydney Morning Herald.
He further added, “I want to see them come out and be their aggressive selves in Delhi. To back their ability and play with intent. I was surprised by the lack of it, especially in that second innings, where they were rolled for 91. If you lose, go down throwing punches. Not in the timid, almost un-Australian, fashion that they surrendered against the Indian spinners at the VCA Stadium. But the punch has to be thrown immediately, and they need to hit India hard from the very start in Delhi. If Australia don’t get at India right away, the possibility of a 3-0 or even a 4-0 series defeat looms large.”
Shastri, who is part of the broadcast team for the 2023 Border Gavaskar Trophy, further emphasized the need of Pat Cummins and co. dropping the warm shoulder against the Indian players, many of whom they feature alongside in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“I would also ask the Aussies to leave their Indian Premier League buddies behind and keep them for later. It felt like there was a bit too much bonhomie on the field in Nagpur for my liking. I want to see that characteristic hard-hitting Aussie intent come to the fore in Delhi. I can say this with confidence: the Indians will be relentless, as they are always in India. This is as good a bowling attack as they’ve ever had, both in terms of the fast bowlers and the spinners. India have never had a spin trio where all three are all-rounders. It’s not all lost for the Aussies though, and they need to tell themselves that. Look yourself in the mirror and realise that you’re not as bad as what transpired on Saturday. It was one day, one session where you messed up,” he wrote.
The 60-year-old, who coached India in their 2-1 series triumph against Australia down under in 2020/21, also dropped the deuce on the visitors, suggesting for possible motivation to be taken from the Indian team that marked a comeback in Australia three years back after losing the first of four Tests in Adelaide.
“It is rather like when the Indian team was bowled out for 36 at the Adelaide Oval in 2020. It was understandably one of the more challenging days for me as coach. The only difference, though, was that the Indian team had dominated the first two days of play in Adelaide before that incredible collapse. In Nagpur, Australia had few positives, except the sensational debut for young Todd Murphy,” he said.
Australia’s shocker of a defeat last week came after captain Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bat first on day one, bundling out for 177 on the very same day. India’s 400 in the second proved to be one too many as Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja wreaked havoc, picking a sum total of 15 wickets across the two innings leading to Australia being bundled out for 91 in the second.