Aussies must learn from India to fix shattered morale

Mark it down as one of the truly chastening results in Australian cricket history.

Australia's bloodied wounds and state of shock are even more acute because there is not a solitary excuse and no place to turn for obvious improvement.

Sorry folks, but there is no heroes arriving on horseback.

This is it.

Australia got essentially their best squad to throw their best punch - and they got knocked cold.

Australia lacked a killer punch all series. They cornered India time after time but could never crush them.

On the final day of the series it was as if Australia and India had morphed into each other.

Australia, red-faced, scrambling and desperate, resembled so many beaten and bashed touring teams to Australia on the last day of the final Test.

And magnificent, indomitable India did a very plausible impersonation of any number of great Australian sides by hustling and bustling and thinking "win'' when most others would have dropped anchor for the draw.

That mindset shift is the really jolting thing.

When an opposition team loses three of four tosses, their captain, seven players through injury and still spank your regal backside you down you've got problems.

But the real problem is that there are no answers. While Indian played everyone bar the bus driver out of necessity, Australia at some stage played every plausible option, albeit with a couple of injury enforced changes.

There is not a single player outside those tried who could make a significant difference going forward for Australia who have been force-fed the message they are not as good as they thought they were.

The road forward is challenging.

Dropping Matt Wade for South Africa is fine but for whom? Travis Head? Really?

The fast men are running on gas but there is no hard luck case outside the Test team.

Debate will rage on about Tim Paine. His tactical nous is under fire and it is a worry that he has not been able to inspire his men.

But who is your next captain? Australia is not overly keen to go back to Steve Smith and it makes no sense to appoint Pat Cummins while is he as overworked as a drovers dog.

Apart from that rousing, bolt from the blue morning in Adelaide when India were bowled out for 36, Australia looked flat for most of the series.

They had no presence in the field. No growl or snarl. No stare. No intent. India were the louder team on stump microphones and that is unheard of in Australia.

Sadly some of the themes of Australia's last home loss to India two years ago were revisited. Australia got just one lbw in four Tests last time. This time they got just three.

They should be a semi-regular occurrence. What's wrong with aiming balls at the stumps?

Australia, in rebuilding their shattered morale, can learn much from India.

Will Australia ever produce another batsman with the fibre, tenacity and patience of India's magnificently old-fashioned Test match warrior Cheteshwar Pujara?

We asked the same question two years ago and after yesterday we must ask it again.

The answer is still the same. Perhaps not.

And Australia must have secretly drooled watching young opener Shubman Gill, the gifted rookie who moves with the grace of a ball room dancer and the panache of a soldier with a bayonet.

India have raised the bar in cricket. The scary thing is it is likely to keep going up.

Originally published as Desperate Aussies must learn from India to fix shattered morale



Veteran meets with teens who vandalised M’boro war memorial

Premium Content Veteran meets with teens who vandalised M’boro war memorial

A Fraser Coast ex-serviceman has spoken with a the young men involved in damaging a...

WATCH: Police raids net alleged drug trafficking syndicate

Premium Content WATCH: Police raids net alleged drug trafficking syndicate

17 arrests were made in two days and 68 charges laid after 13 search warrants were...

Man threatened to drive car into power pole in DV incident

Premium Content Man threatened to drive car into power pole in DV incident

A magistrate has described a highway domestic violence incident as frightening and...