“If people go away from their plans they’re going to get in trouble, as we saw,” says Australian batting coach
Batting coach Michael Di Venuto on Tuesday said Australia made a mistake by trying to push the scoring rate in the second Test, which the visitors lost to India by six wickets while he said Australia’s batting plans were working well until a dramatic collapse in which they lost eight wickets for 28 runs.
Batting coach Michael Di Venuto on Tuesday said Australia made a mistake by trying to push the scoring rate in the second Test, which the visitors lost to India by six wickets.
Di Venuto said Australia’s batting plans were working well until a dramatic collapse in which they lost eight wickets for 28 runs.
Steve Smith’s dismissal to the sweep shot triggered the collapse as Australia was all out for 113 in 31.1 overs, giving India just 115 runs to win the Test, which the home side completed in 26.4 overs to take a 2-0 lead and secure the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“Plans certainly weren’t wrong. Our plans are good, but if people go away from their plans they’re going to get in trouble, as we saw,”Di Venuto said here on Tuesday.
“We were almost ahead of the game, and the feeling just looking at it was ‘geez, if we just get another 50 runs real quick’ which you can’t do in this country. We’ve spoken about that, so it’s not like it’s something new.
“But pressure does strange things and we saw a lot of people go out and try and sweep their way to a score. It’s not all doom and gloom, but the 90 minutes of batting certainly wasn’t anything special.”
Many Australian batters ceased while trying to sweep and Di Venuto acknowledged that the shot carried a high percentage of risk for players who aren’t skilled at playing it.
Di Venuto expressed most of the Australian batters blundered in involving the shot as a technique for attempting to get off strike rather than trusting their defense to survive.
“It was pretty obvious where we went wrong. With batting, it’s a pretty similar analogy – you’ve got to swim between the flags (play safe) in this country (India). If you go outside the flags in your game plan, you’re going to get in trouble.”
An opener Usman Khawaja was praised for the skill with which he swept his way to a series average of 150-plus in Pakistan last year and over 50 on the subsequent Test campaign in Sri Lanka.
“Uz (Khawaja) played beautifully in the first innings (at Delhi), and has been through Pakistan and the subcontinent. It (sweeping) is part of his game, but he also picks the balls to do it,”Di Venuto said.
“It’s smart, he’s not using it as a form of defense and I think that’s what happened towards the back end (of Australia’s second innings). People didn’t trust their defense so started trying to sweep, which is the wrong way to go about it.”
Di Venuto said that these things occasionally occurred under pressure and when players pressed the panic button.
“When you’re under pressure and you panic, and you do not trust your defense, sometimes it is ‘I’ve just got to get up the other end’ and how do you do that? The sweep shot the other day seemed to be the way they were trying to do it, which is not the ideal way on a spinning wicket with variable bounce. It’s common sense, but that’s pressure.
“If you’re coming over here, and you’re not a sweeper but you’re trying to sweep, that’s not going to work and I think we had some good examples of that.”
Di Venuto also described Smith’s dismissal, which triggered the Australian collapse as “unusual”.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet about that, and where he’s at. But he’s excited about these conditions, he loves these conditions. It will be a frustrating thing for him at the moment that he hasn’t had the impact he would have liked.
“He was certainly disappointed when he got out, and he made it known in the dressing room it was a poor shot.
“I think most people would have heard that, so they should have had a fair idea of what not to do,”the batting coach said.