Damien Martyn has accused Australia of lacking fight in its second Test capitulation in India, and queries the methodology behind the selection of a ”bits and pieces” touring party.
The former Test batsmen was the player of the series in Australia’s historic 2-1 win in India in 2004, scoring two centuries and topping the scoring tally with 444 runs at an average of 55.
Martyn said Australia’s batsmen had failed to heed the lessons about playing in the subcontinent.
”I was more disappointed probably by our second innings – the wicket was hard to bat on, yes, it’s doing a bit more and turning more,” said Martyn, speaking on an online panel, The Cricket Club.
”But to be bowled out in a session – it’s just disappointing in the sense that, where was the fight? I’m not saying we need to make 400 or whatever, but just in our shot selection and running between wickets.
“Batting in India, or batting on any wicket, the harder the wicket is, the longer you bat it becomes easier because you’re used to the conditions, you’re used to the ball coming on.”
Martyn also took aim at the make-up of the squad in India. He said the shortage of depth in Sheffield Shield cricket was a major problem but believes selectors are not picking the best side possible.
“What is Steve Smith there for anyway?” he said. “We have a squad here of players who do bits and pieces. Nothing personal against them. Yes, they might be great one-day players and Twenty20 players, but in that line-up the (Glenn) Maxwells and all these guys, what’s their main thing?
“That’s what I want to know. Is Maxwell going to be our main off-spinner in England? Because if he’s not, then don’t worry about him, get (Nathan) Lyon back in.”
The chances of that happening in Mohali are not high. Australia are likely to revert back to a line-up of three fast bowlers in India’s north on a wicket tipped to favour their seamers more than Chennai and Hyderabad.
Australia head coach Mickey Arthur said Maxwell had been too expensive in the second Test despite taking four wickets. But asked whether Lyon was in contention to be recalled by next week, Arthur was non-committal.
“To answer that truthfully, I’m not sure,” he said. “We will have to have a look and see where he is over the next couple of days. I’m not sure on that, time will tell I guess.
“I think Nathan still has a massive future and he probably he is up there as our best spinner at the moment, but you fluctuate in and out of form and he’s learning the game at international level, which is a really tough gig for him.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.