Cricket Australia Items/Blogs/mike-hussey/2013/10/14/indian-fear-factor-fading

Mike Hussey

Indian fear factor fading

14 October 2013 5

It was really important for Australia to start the one-day series in India well to get their confidence up.

India is a great front running team. When they get in front they play with even more momentum and enthusiasm.

To take an early lead in the series following the exciting game one win is very important and it’s certainly going to put the pressure back on the Indians, but they’ve got some class players and you’d expect them to respond.

It’s a brilliant start and if we can win the next one there’ll obviously be a lot of pressure on India.

George Bailey played a fantastic innings through the middle. It needed someone with a cool head and he batted very smartly. He knew when to attack, when to work the ball and build partnerships. It was a crucial innings there in the middle order.

It looked like Australia decided to attack Ashwin, who’s probably their number one spinner, and that probably set back India’s plans a little bit because they got on top of him early. It managed to put a lot of pressure back on the Indian team and it showed, especially in the latter stages of Australia’s innings.

I don’t know if that was a strategic thing or that it was just the batsmen in at the time felt like they could go be more positive against him, but it certainly turned out to be a master stroke last night.

I never really like to go after specific bowlers. I liked to see what the situation of the game was in the middle and I think that’s something George Bailey does really well.

He knows when to attack and defend according to the situation of the game. That’s crucial through the middle. Adam Voges is another one who plays that particular role really well.

We also started really well with the new ball. Mitchell Johnson was bowling really fast; upwards of 150km/h!

Mitch has to be pushing for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. His confidence is right up at the moment.

He’s bowling fast with new ball, controlling it well and getting a bit of swing back to the right-handers. When he’s doing that he’s up there with the best bowlers in the world. It’s just good to see him playing with confidence and enjoying himself.

Clint McKay was again outstanding. He’s such a good bowler. He’s so disciplined and gets just enough movement either way and he showed his class. All the guys did a job and were backed up in the field. All round it was a really good performance.

You’ve got to appreciate a win like that in a country unlike any other in the world.

It’s just so different from anything we’re used to. You have to get in there and get on with the job. Get in the nets, try to get used to the different pace of the pitch and as I said last week score in different areas of the field. 

The crowds are the most passionate in the world and I just think you have to embrace it. Just enjoy it and enjoy the ‘wow’ factor of India. 

You don’t experience this anywhere else in the world. The hardest thing is not to get distracted by it. You do want to look around and soak it all in, but at the right times you’ve got to be able to switch back on and focus on what’s important and it does take time. 

The Indian Premier League has almost completely eliminated the fear of playing in India, on a number of levels.

Playing in India you get to talk to Indian players a lot, see how they go about playing certain spinners, and see how they play the conditions and get tips off them. 

The crowds and the culture can be a distraction, but with the IPL it’s right in your face every day. For the IPL players to have experienced that they know when to switch it off and when to enjoy it and take it all in. Having that IPL experience has got to be beneficial.

Brad Haddin’s unfortunate eye-poke from James Faulkner has me thinking we should leave the high-fives to the West Indians, they would probably be the best in the world at it. It’s not ideal to lose your keeper for any reason, let alone a poke in the eye. We definitely need to show more caution!


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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