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Visiting teams need to be 'near perfect' to challenge India at home: Andrew McDonald

Head coach says Australia lost chance to retain trophy due to one hour of chaos in the second Test in Delhi

PTI Ahmedabad Published 06.03.23, 04:50 AM
Australia head coach Andrew McDonald.

Australia head coach Andrew McDonald. File picture

Australia head coach Andrew McDonald has admitted that visiting teams need to be “near perfect” to challenge India in their own backyard, something they sought in Indore by “doubling down” on what they had set out to achieve initially.

Hammered by the hosts inside three days in the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, Australia fought back strongly to claim the third match on an Indore pitch that offered vicious turn and variable bounce.


“You have almost got to be near perfect against India in India. I think this game (Indore Test), besides that 6 for 11 (collapse in the first innings), was near perfect,” McDonald was quoted as saying ESPNcricinfo.

According to McDonald, the team’s success in the Indore Test showed there is a core group of players who are learning what it takes to win in the subcontinent and can help the side taste greater success in the future.

“Everyone’s journey starts at some point in time on the subcontinent, and I think there’s a core group of players that will come back here more experienced and, in theory, better equipped for the challenges.

“We’re talking about a series here where we’ve had certain conditions that probably aren’t relatable to any other subcontinent tour over time, so it’s always a different challenge when you do arrive here.”

He said Australia lost the chance to retain the trophy due to one hour of chaos in the second Test in Delhi.

However, on a pitch rated “poor” by the ICC, the visitors rode on star off-spinner Nathan Lyon’s 11-wicket match haul to humble the visitors by nine wickets and confirm their place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

“We had a little bit of luck. Marnus (Labuschagne) getting bowled off a no-ball, how critical was that at that point in time, (and) that allowed a partnership to flourish. We took our opportunities as well. Usman’s flying catch and then Smudge (Steve Smith) winding back the clock with that one at leg slip. You compare that to the Delhi game where Smudge dropped one at first slip and then we dropped one at leg slip in Matthew Renshaw, and they were critical.

“We had one hour of chaos there and that cost us that Test match when we’d played pretty good cricket. We came here and doubled down on what we’d set out to achieve at the start of the tour,” McDonald said.

Carey’s focus

New Delhi: Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey’s neat glovework in the third Test against India has earned him praise from coach Andrew McDonald. The 31-year-old now wants to be equally effective with the bat in the final Test in Ahmedabad beginning on Thursday.

“I had some confidence out of the first game and then getting out defending. Am I happy with that? Not really,” Carey said on Sunday.

“So my focus is to back my strength and score with the sweeps and manipulate a little bit more that way.

“I look forward to another opportunity in Ahmedabad and maybe getting the broom out again.”

Carey spoke to several former Australia wicketkeepers before coming to India, which he feels has aided his wicketkeeping.

“I speak to guys regularly who’ve played for Australia in terms of (Brad) Haddin and (Adam) Gilchrist, and Ian Healy’s always in the corner there,” he said.

Written with Reuters inputs

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