India will struggle at WACA: Mickey Arthur

Mickey Arthur said it would be interesting to see how the India batting line-up adjust to the bouncy wikcet of WACA Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Sydney: Jan 7, 2012

India were unable to cope with the relatively easy-paced wicket for the second Test here and Australia coach Mickey Arthur can’t see how they can turn it around on the dreadfully quick and bouncy WACA track in Perth during the third Test starting January 13.

“They didn’t look comfortable in the first innings. In the second they did but then this wicket, along with the one in Adelaide, is similar to the sub-continent. But WACA is different. It has pace and bounce and sideways movement. It’s interesting how they go there,” was Arthur’s challenging verdict delivered at a press conference here.

The Indians have lost the first two Tests of the four-match series by 122 runs and by an innings and 68 runs respectively. The final two Tests of the series will be played in Perth (January 13-17) and Adelaide (January 24-28).

The Indian batting, despite the big names in the ranks, has failed to rise to the occasion leading to suggestions that it might be over-rated and more a group of talented individuals. But Arthur begged to differ.

“I would never say that. They are the World Cup holders.

Not very long ago, they held the number one slot in Tests. I would never ever say they are a team of individuals. They have really good individual players but lately they have played as a team and have had some success as a side. I wouldn’t say it (team of individuals) at all,” he said.

Arthur’s move to bring his batters for a clinic just before the Melbourne Test has been seen as a master-stroke on the part of the Australian coach. His Indian counterpart, Duncan Fletcher, on the other hand, looks impassive and uninspirational.

“He’s (Duncan Fletcher) a fantastic coach. He’s one of the best I’ve spoken to. He knows the game inside out. I am sure he would definitely be planning to comeback at Perth. He is a great man, he wouldn’t be taking (these defeats) calmly.

He’s a very proud man and he would make sure his team is ready, come Perth.

“As for the batting camp, we wanted to be best we possibly could be in terms of preparation for the India series. I felt a little bit rushed into New Zealand series. We had just arrived from South Africa,” Arthur said.

“I wasn’t happy, I wanted to tick every box and so we went a little bit early in Melbourne, so we could look at Indian bowlers, study them, and simulate them in nets.

“So we had a solid game plan in place. Our batters certainly benefitted from the couple of days we had (in Melbourne).”

The men who made the most out of it were Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey even though question marks seem to hang over Shaun Marsh who has been a failure at the number three slot. Arthur though gave the young left-hander his whole-hearted support.

“We require a lot from Shaun. He plays when he leaves (deliveries outside off-stump) well. He probably has been a little tentative since his comeback. But it takes one innings, 25 minutes or 20 balls to rediscover that touch and form and get that confidence back.

“As I keep saying, form is temporary and class is permanent. He’s a fantastic player and he would get a lot of runs for Australia.”

Arthur described Clarke as a truly dynamic player who has worked hard on his game.

“First and foremost, he has an aura around him in the dressing room. Every good leader has that. He is dynamic. He looks a complete package, complete captaincy package as well.

He truly is inspirational.

“He was disappointed at MCG; and at Hobart after all the good work he did in Brisbane. He has worked extremely hard to technically get everything working again.”(PTI)