Australia take the positives

  • Last Updated: February 28 2013, 13:15 GMT

Australia will go into the second Test against India in Hyderabad on Saturday buoyed by their showing in the opener despite an eight-wicket defeat.

Moises Henriques: Impressed on his Australia debut
Moises Henriques: Impressed on his Australia debut

That is the view of coach Mickey Arthur, who conceded the conditions in Chennai were very challenging for his side but saw enough to give him confidence for the rest of the four-match series.

Arthur wrote on www.cricket.com.au: "Things didn't go quite according to plan in the first Test, but there are still plenty of positives to take out of the game. We certainly know we're good enough to beat India on their home soil.

"There has been a lot of discussion about the conditions we faced in Chennai. It's true that they were very foreign to what we see in Australia but that is the great challenge of Test cricket.

"We knew we were going to come up against conditions that were unfamiliar but the sign of a good team is one that can adapt to different conditions and play well.

"That is the ultimate challenge of Test cricket and something we need to conquer if we want to be number one in the world again. We already can't wait to get into the second Test and to level this series."

One of the main positives was the performance of debutant batsmen Moises Henriques, who scored half-centuries in both innings.

Arthur said of the 26-year-old: "I recall Greg Chappell saying that he was the most talented player he had seen go through the Centre of Excellence since Michael Clarke.

"We should hardly be surprised, then, that he was Australia's highest scorer on debut since Clarke against India in Bangalore back in 2004.

"Moises showed that he could adapt his game to suit the conditions and batted smartly for his half-centuries."

A blow for the Australians, though, is the news fast bowler Jackson Bird has a stress fracture in his back and has been ruled out of the rest of the series.

The 26-year-old Tasmanian was sent home earlier this week and the injury could affect his preparation for this summer's Ashes series.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the star of the show in Chennai with his double century in the first innings, and the result was a welcome tonic for India after their home series loss to England.

The hosts won the first Test in that series, too, and their recent record in longer series will ensure there is no complacency among Duncan Fletcher's men.

Since beating England in 1981-82, India have managed only two wins in series of more than three Tests and lost 15 times, although one of their victories did come when Australia were the visitors in 2008-09.

Looking ahead to the second Test, Sachin Tendulkar recalled a one-day match on that tour in Hyderabad when he scored 175 but India still lost by three runs.

He said on www.bcci.tv: "I have been asked on a few occasions to compare the 175 with the back-to-back hundreds against the same team at Sharjah in 1998.

"I don't think a comparison can be made. The expectations were way higher at the final stages of the tri-series in Sharjah. The Hyderabad hundred was scored in the middle of a bilateral series, and hence the circumstances were very different, physically and even mentally.

"It was certainly one of my best innings, but I would have gladly traded those 175 runs for a victory."


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