MARTIN Garoni doesn’t believe things are quite as bad as most would have you believe in Australian cricket circles.
Despite India claiming their first-ever series win in Australia, the Cricket NSW Mid North Coast development officer conceded Virat Kohli’s men had the best of the conditions in three of the four test matches.
So it came as little surprise they won two of those and batted for almost two days in the other.
The absence of Australia’s two best batsmen in Steve Smith and David Warner was magnified through the strong performances of Indian duo Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara.
“Outside of (Rishabh) Pant in the last test, those two were the top scorers for India; if you take them out of the Indian side, Australia probably win the series,” Garoni said.
While the Australians appeared to be a long way behind the Indians throughout the series, only a 31-run result in Adelaide provided the difference between the two teams.
With a bit more application with the bat in Adelaide who knows what might have happened.
As a result, Garoni admitted Australia’s batsmen needed to put a higher price on their wicket.
“We do need to learn how to bat time, but I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom,” he said.
“Batting time is about having the confidence you belong at that level and we do have a few batsmen that are still learning their trade."
Australia’s inability to bat time meant their bowlers had minimal rest and enabled the Indians to take full toll – the earliest Australia batted after losing the toss was on day two.
“Our bowling stocks didn’t have the same rest as India because we were always bowling first except in Perth,” Garoni said.
“There is a lot of good talent out and about, so I don’t think things are as bad as they seem.”
Players such as Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Hughes, Joe Burns and Taree’s Nick Larkin are all knocking on the door of selection some time down the track.
“Nick Larkin is a classic example; if he continues to make runs like he did before Christmas he could come into the mix,” Garoni said.
“But once you get into the side it’s harder to get out of it.”
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