There are not many positive things about Australia’s performance in this test.
Not only they lost to India by 137 runs.
But they failed to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy this time around on home soil.
Pat Cummins has to be the standout bowler who brings fantastic ability with the change of pace & variation.
The way he targets the stump whether if it’s short or straight, he’s able to make the batsman play.
That makes Cummins the winner rather than endure frustration when a batsman rather than use the feet & whack past the fielder.
Apart from that, the entire performance of the ball both seam and spin looked sub-par.
Josh Hazlewood has performed okay with some wickets in hand.
But for most of the time, Hazlewood’s bowled a lot of short ball stuff & not straight.
Alongside Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc who despite picked two wickets in the 1st innings has begun to feel huff and puff.
The way he gives a few loose balls plus freebies and not unleashing the 150 to 160 KM/H mark is disappointing.
With not much pace to scare off the Indian Top 7, surely his selection in the Baggy Green is still questioned.
We’ll have to wait and see if Starc can get the job done during the New Year’s Test in Sydney.
Otherwise, someone will have a chance in Starc’s position later in January when Sri Lanka play here for two Tests.
Mitchell Marsh was only a backup bowler to these Starc, Hazlewood, and Cummins.
Unfortunately, he looked to be a waste of space when he gets a spell & didn’t pick up a wicket at all.
Let’s move on to the spinners now, Nathan Lyon did take one wicket in the 1st Innings.
But for most of the time, the flat pitch didn’t help Lyon rack up the number of wickets he wanted in this test.
At times, he’s bowling to somewhat broad & short to where Tim Paine’s keeping.
That poor area allowed the batsman to profit their runs off full balls by pushing it forward and whack across the ground.
Lyon needs to target the off stump or even where the batsman takes his guard in the middle.
That way Lyon will do well next time and pick up the wickets he wanted to achieve.
Marcus Harris’s performances as an Opener looks okay when he’s able to begin off simpler and score runs off a straight bat.
But Harris should play more of this next time by blocking 100s of balls and go for the bad balls when you can cash in on the runs.
That way Harris can stick around in the crease much longer.
On the other hand, Aaron Finch doesn’t look like a Test Opener to me.
Mostly, his shot selection is purely white-ball cricket based and the way Finch tries to score off from the air, or the middle of the crease doesn’t work like that in the most extended format.
So Finch either should bat in the middle-order or get dropped in four days.
If Finch survives, then he will do well, and score runs gently off the old ball.
That’s where he thrived many times for his state Victoria in Sheffield Shield.
Usman Khawaja can too bat for long periods and has demonstrated some decent shots.
His concentration looks good each time he whacks by keeping his head still.
Plus his full presentation of the flat and dancing around forward with the feet does help Khawaja’s natural game.
But again, don’t risk too much next time when Khawaja should move his feet a bit and block in the middle of his crease.
And don’t jump around when defending the bat forward far from the pad.
Khawaja needs to avoid the LBW if he defended the straight bat close in with the pad together.
Let’s move onto No.4, and his name is Shaun Marsh.
S. Marsh may not have fired enough during the 2nd Innings on 20.
But he did improve a bit more two innings later with a near chance towards the half-ton mark.
The head position kept it still each time S. Marsh opened his straight bat shots down the ground look decent.
Though, his defensive work needs work rather than let his bat block the ball.
When he got LBWed two times, His refusal of moving his feet helped S.Marsh lunge forward before getting hit in the pad.
Travis Head too followed and batted the same approach as S. Marsh having scored runs on the board.
But he shouldn’t be too hesitant when Head whacked without presenting the open flat bat.
It’s where Head isn’t waiting for the ball to come to him before he swung and got blown into the stumps.
Moving to Mitchell Marsh now at No.6.
M. Marsh made some cameos with one four during the 2nd & one six in the last innings.
But he shouldn’t be scoring runs off the middle of the stumps where it proved too risky to take.
Yes, he may have produced the right shots.
However, if the bowler targets the stumps, then M.Marsh should block it.
So that way he can survive for long periods as long as he whacks the loose balls.
Tim Paine continues to bat classicly at seven where he’s the highest scorer of Australia’s 1st Innings on 22.
Paine didn’t have to whack too hard or go deep where the ball is pitching.
He only executed his variety of shots well as long as it swung fully open & planting the foot closer to the ball.
However, he has problems executing the cut shot.
No matter if it’s on the back or front foot, He’s not moving his feet a little bit.
That mistake is a nothing shot where it’s difficult to execute as it edged straight to the fielder.
Out of this test, Paine got dismissed by Rishabh Pant in both spells with the bat.
It’s not the first time that this feat happened in Melbourne.
You may revisit the first test in Adelaide where Pant caught Paine twice on that occasion.
And last but not least at No.8, Pat Cummins.
Like his bowling, Cummins like to keep his game simple.
He always moves around with the feet as well as keeping his head focused.
Plus his shot selection isn’t bad as long as Cummins rotates the strike to trouble the Indian bowlers.
All he has to do is wait for the ball to come to him before Cummins planted his front foot and executed with an open bat face.
That way life isn’t too hard for Cummins when he’s able to stay in the middle for a long time.
Very well done on keep hammering the basics when Cummins achieved his half-ton.
Most of the top order’s shot selection comes from the air which proved too risky.
Why can’t they keep it simple?
They should hang in there by blocking 100s of balls no matter how fast the bowler pitches up.
Plus if they want to score runs quickly, then play with a straight bat.
If they want to play with a cut or pull, then that’s fine.
But not all the time since it’s Test Cricket.
Though move the footwork a bit and execute that shot, so it’s not hard for you to get dismissed.
Don’t forget that you should use the shots that hit down the ground and rotate the strike.
And if you want to keep your wicket.
Just defend with the bat and pad close together so you can avoid the LBW.
You can’t do that when you put your bat forward while jumping out to let the ball stop.
Instead, it lets the ball clipped edge somewhere to the fielder.
It cannot stress that enough as Australia’s batting performances looked a lot worst.
The bowling looks a little bit of the same as their batting.
There are plenty of freebies as well as bowling too full and straight.
So they’re not attacking enough with plenty of fire to make the batsman play.
They should always bowl straight or at least the three stumps, so it’s hard for the opposition to score off runs.
For now, Australian Cricket needs plenty of fixing between now and Sydney in four days.