Australia face uphill task to avoid defeat in second Test against India, says Ian Harvey
Australia's misfiring batsmen must battle to save the second Test against India, says Ian Harvey.
Last Updated: 04/03/13 4:06pm
Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay's mammoth 370 run stand - India's fourth largest partnership of all time - has put India in control and, despite losing their final seven wickets for 103 runs, the hosts had a 266 run lead at the change of innings.
The tourists made a solid start to their reply but lost David Warner and Phil Hughes in quick succession to finish on 74-2 at stumps, still 192 adrift of making India bat again.
Ed Cowan and Shane Watson are at the crease and former Australia all-rounder Harvey says that pair, along with the experienced batsmen who follow, need to deliver superb performances to save the visitors from defeat.
"Australia are really going to struggle but they need an innings or two, like we saw from Pujara and Vijay," he told Sky Sports.
"They need someone to dig in. They can't keep relying on Michael Clarke and Cowan and Watson have the opportunity. Watson is one of the senior players who really needs to stand up now. He's been put down in the middle order to give it some stability - it's time now for him to put his hand up.
"They're going to have to bat well into the fifth day, if they can. But they have to break it down and set themselves little targets: let's get through the first half hour, then through to drinks...' They can't get too far ahead of themselves."
However, Harvey credited the team for the way they fought back in the evening session of the third day, after ending Pujara and Vijay's stand just before lunch.
"Australia battled really hard in that final session," he said. "They worked really hard to get those final wickets and bowl India out and then they had to work hard with the bat.
"But they'll be disappointed in the manner of the way they lost their two wickets, once again David Warner got himself a start and got himself out and Phil Hughes' troubles have continued."
Former England international Dominic Cork, meanwhile, feels Australia should look to the preparation and performances of the Ashes rivals for inspiration.
England addressed their troubles against spin and secured a first series win in India in 27 years during the winter.
"Australia sent a lot of their players over before the series started to get match practice," he said.
"You know in India you're going to face a lot of spin on spinning tracks and you've got to pick the right options. One thing England did when they became good at playing spin was they picked the right options. Australia aren't doing that.
"They need to think about the best way of combatting a very good spin attack. But, with the odd ball spinning and bouncing you'd expect the capabilities of India's spin attack Australia will have a huge task tomorrow."