Usman Khawaja © Getty Images
Usman Khawaja © Getty Images

Having lost the first Test at Dhaka, Australia are almost on the brink of handing Bangladesh their maiden Test series win over them. Australia slipped to No. 5 from No. 4 in the ICC Test rankings. Another loss would potentially see Australia slipping to No. 6, their lowest ranking since 1988.

Mark Taylor, former Australian skipper, feels the batsmen need to find reliable ways to score the initial 10 runs on subcontinent conditions. Taylor even pinpointed Usman Khawaja who finds it difficult to adjust to the subcontinent conditions. He averaged 14.62 from five Tests in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Taylor cited the example of Matthew Hayden in 2001 and told Channel Nine’s Sports Sunday, “In India, we were there only a few months ago, we lost that series 2-1 but showed good signs. But the side is not better than that at the moment. They need to keep getting better and they need to find a way, a bit like Matthew Hayden did in 2001. As a batsman, you’ve got to come up with a theory that’s going to work for you (when) playing these spin bowlers. Particularly when you first go in, because you’re nervous – this Australian side hasn’t played for a while – and they’re all not sure exactly what they should do to make those first 10 runs. Once you do that, it’s a hell of a lot easier.”

“Usman Khawaja is someone who’s under a bit of pressure at the moment. He’s used to the ball coming onto the bat, and when it’s not coming onto the bat, you need to find a way of making those first 10 runs. Hayden in 2001 decided to sweep, and religiously sweep, nearly every ball, and it worked for him. I think Khawaja and co. need to do something similar,” Taylor added.

Adding some light on the Matthew Wade’s role, Taylor also backed Peter Nevill’s return, “I think Matthew Wade should be (in the team) provided he’s making runs. And if he’s not making runs – he’s only averaged 21 since he’s been recalled to the side – you get your best ‘keeper in, which is Peter Nevill.”