Very few short balls were bowled by the Indian bowlers despite the fact that Michael Clarke’s injury, says Brett Lee © Getty Images

Dec 10, 2014

Brett Lee  known for his hostile style of bowling questioned the defensive tactics employed by Indian bowlers in first Test after day 2 of the first Test saw Australian batsmen continue to dominate play at the Adelaide oval. The bowlers were taken for 163 runs in 30.4 overs on a day when rain played spoilsport with only one wicket to their credit.
Very few short balls were bowled by the Indian bowlers despite the fact that Michael Clarke injured his back in his attempt to evade a short delivery by Ishant Sharma on day 1. The Aussie skipper made most of the weak bowling effort and bravely battled on to score his 28th Test century. Clarke was able to resume batting today, thanks to a pain killing injection he was administered on Tuesday evening. However, the discomfort was evident whenever he attempted to evade or pull a short ball, according to

The lack of aggression by the Indians became more evident when, leggie, Karn Sharma was handed the 15-over-old second new ball. Karn Sharma, who looked far from threatening on day 1, looked no different on day 2. Clarke was able to capitalise and clawed his way to his seventh Test century at Adelaide, a record breaking feat.

It was not the case of the Indians avoiding the short ball in light of the Phil Hughes incident, as Varun Aaron bowled David Warner bowled a viscious bouncer in the third over of the first day. India began actively pursuing a short pitched bowling plan to Michael Clarke only after he had made his way to a good looking 98. Barring that period of play, the short ball was a rarity. However, Clarke by then had his rhythm set and the short ball did little to hamper that. According to Lee it was an example of too little, too late.

“India were on the defensive right from ball one” “It had to be a new-ball wicket, they had to get early wickets against the Australians, who have got such a great top five batting order. “[But] they really just lobbed the ball up on a length. “They bowled wide, they bowled full, there was no aggression, there was no short stuff.

“You’ve got to feel for them too with what they’ve been through.” He said sympathizing with them. “Maybe the whole etiquette of ‘can I bowl a short ball’ [held them back].

“But once that first bouncer was bowled and once Ishant Sharma came on [on day one] … they the seemed to believe that they could get wickets and it was OK to bowl a bouncer, which it is.” “That’s the game of cricket, the game has to go on and I mean that in the most respectful way possible.” “But it’s too late to bowl short balls to Michael Clarke when he’s on 98.”

Clarke came into the test bearing the emotional burden of the loss of his “little brother”, Phil Hughes and the physical burden of hamstring and back injuries, making this century that much more extra-ordinary. “I reckon this will be his most special moment, to score that hundred,” Lee said.

“There’s a lot of emotion just … with the issues with his back, and then keeping in mind what he’s been through over the past couple of weeks with the passing of Phillip Hughes.” “It’s been a very emotional Test match.  He didn’t have much to offer other than his sheer determination to go out there and score runs.”

Lee also noted that, two other very close mates of Phil Hughes, David Warner and Steve Smith, also registered hundreds in the match.

“It’s funny that those three guys who have probably been the closest to Phillip Hughes have all gone out, knuckled down and each got a hundred” he said of them. “There were a lot of question marks surrounding the Australian cricket team 48 hours ago.” “Were they ready, were they ready to take on the battle, was it too soon after what we’ve been through and certainly what they’ve been through.” “But they’ve come out … and cherished it”, said Lee.