Australia must score big to avoid series whitewash in India, says Ian Harvey
Australia's batsmen must score big and at a decent pace to avoid a series whitewash, says Ian Harvey.
Last Updated: 18/03/13 1:49pm
Michael Clarke's side crashed to a six-wicket defeat in Mohali and now trail 3-0 with only the fourth and final Test to come, starting on Friday in Delhi.
Australia posted 408 all out in their first innings as Steve Smith (92) and Mitchell Starc (99) led with the bat but still lost even though the entire first day was washed out as India grabbed a first-innings lead thanks to a record-breaking first wicket stand of 289 between Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, who struck 187 off 174 balls on debut.
India needed just 133 in 36 overs to win after bowling Australia out for 223 second time around and they got there with 2.3 overs to spare.
Reflecting on the result, former Australian international Harvey told Sky Sports: "It was a fantastic win for India - they really deserved it because they've outplayed Australia again.
"Australia have got a lot of thinking to do on selection before the fourth Test. The big positives from this game were Steve Smith's runs and Mitchell Starc coming in and getting runs as well.
"But they need a few of the other batsmen to put their hand up and they might start putting some decent targets on the board.
"India's openers set up the win perfectly with the pace that they scored at. We lost the whole first day and Australia got in excess of 400.
"But the pace at which Dhawan scored was absolutely brilliant, while at the other end Vijay casually goes about his business and accumulates runs.
"So I think it's going to be a long time before we see the likes of Virender Sehwag or Gautam Gambhir again."
He added: "Unlike Australia, what India have done is when they get in and they get set they go on and make big scores. They don't just go on and get a hundred, they go on and get in excess of 150.
"Dhawan hit the fastest hundred in the history of Test cricket on debut - it was brilliant to watch and I hope he plays a lot more innings like that because it was a pleasure to watch."
Australia's innings unravelled against spin after Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-31) had removed both openers, with Ravichandran Ashwin (2-72), Ravindra Jadeja (3-35) and Pragyan Ojha (2-46) sharing seven wickets.
Former England spinner John Emburey told Sky Sports that India had made the most of turning conditions to their advantage.
"I think India have been very brave in that they prepared turning wickets before Christmas against England even though England have got two quality spinners in Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann," reflected Emburey.
"They've continued with that theme against Australia, who are weak in their spin bowling department; India have found an area where they can dominate the opposition.
"Ashin, Oje and Jadeja in particular have been very consistent throughout this series. Jadeja has picked up two or three wickets every innings and done a fantastic job."