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Mickey Arthur


Arthur: Positives in Hyderabad

27 February 2013 21

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.

Despite the result, we still feel we picked the best team to win us the first Test.

Our quicks took the majority of wickets for us but in hindsight it is easy to look back and reflect on whether two spinners would have had more impact.

A lot of our batsmen got starts and that is probably the hardest part of batting in India. The challenge for the, now is to go on and convert those into meaningful scores like Michael Clarke, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

There is no doubt that the last session on day three is where the game got away from us.

We talk about day three as moving day in a Test and MS Dhoni drove the game firmly in India's favour. He was simply outstanding and whether we had one spinner or three, I don't think it would have mattered with MS in a mood like that.

He came out and attacked our bowling at a time when the match was still in the balance. If we pick him up early we're a chance of taking a lead into our second innings but to his credit he played brilliantly and we didn't capitalize on the chances we made.

One major positive to come out of the match was the form of debutant Moises Henriques. He has certainly been on the NSP radar for quite some time.

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.

After the match, Michael Clarke invited Shane Warne to come and speak to some of our players about playing in India.

Shane spoke to our spinners about the conditions and his experiences in such conditions while he also spoke to our batsman about what a spin bowler is thinking about before they come in to bowl and what sort of plans he would have had in mind.

His knowledge of spin bowling and insights for our batsman on what spin bowlers are thinking provided some valuable insights and I'm sure our guys will take those points on board before the next Test.

There has already been lots of media speculation and fan discussion about what our team might look like for the Hyderabad Test but we certainly haven't made any decisions on what the final X1 will look like until we see the conditions in Hyderabad.

We train tomorrow morning at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, the venue for the Test, and we'll then get a better idea of what our side might look like for the second Test.

We have a large squad on the ground here and that gives us plenty of flexibility depending on what those conditions look like.

There is also some talk in the media today about James Pattinson. James bowled brilliantly in the first Test and was our leading quick.

While I've said we haven't settled on our line-up for the second Test at this stage, James has certainly done everything right to ensure he is in the frame to back-up again for the second Test starting on Saturday.

We have plenty of work to do between now and then and we're looking forward to hitting the training track again tomorrow.

We already can't wait to into the second Test and to level this series.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
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