Australian great Geoff Lawson has blamed captain Pat Cummins‘ lack of knowledge of spinning tracks and assistant coach Daniel Vettori‘s inadequate inputs for the team’s woeful performance in India. India have won the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy inside three days, with their spin-bowling duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja doing the maximum damage. Australia lost the opening Test in Nagpur by an innings and 132 run, while the second match in New Delhi saw the tourists faring a little better but the outcome was the same — a six-wicket win for India.
Lawson, one of the most feared Australian pace bowlers in Tests and ODIs in the the 1980s, added that Cummins has played so little Sheffield Shield cricket and that has also contributed to the captain’s lack of strategising on turning tracks.
“Cummo (Cummins) has so little experience captaining on spinning wickets, in the contemporary game your captain plays very little Sheffield Shield, and he certainly doesn’t play on spinning wickets,” Lawson said on SEN Radio.
“So where does he learn to do all the creative and adaptable things you need to do? He doesn’t, he just gets thrown in the deep end and we watch a lot of videos and make decisions.” With the Border-Gavaskar Trophy successfully retained, India will look to win the third Test in Indore from March 1 to secure a World Test Championship final berth.
Lawson said the Australian bowlers had no strategy on how to break the partnership between lower-order India batters Axar Patel and Ashwin, which contributed to the hosts gaining psychological edge over the visitors, in the second Test.
Axar scored 84 and Jadeja 70 in the first Test, while the former smashed 74 in the second Test and enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Ashwin (34) to take the initiative away from Cummins’ side.
“When Axar Patel (is) having a partnership with (Ravi) Ashwin (in the second Test), we’re not sure how we are going about breaking them down, those couple of partnerships have cost us two Test matches,” added Lawson.
Lawson also took aim at former New Zealand spinner and the current Australia assistant coach Vettori, questioning his inputs to the team’s tweakers.
“The man who’s probably not copping as much as he should is Daniel Vettori who is one of the great left-arm orthodox bowlers in the world, but he should be advising on how we’re going to bowl and how we’re going to play against that sort of bowling,” Lawson said.
“He seems to have escaped a bit of attention here because when I see shots of the dressing room I think, ‘What’s Vettori’s input here, he’s the man who was a great slow ball’. He should perhaps be having more input than most.”
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