The Aussies’ penchant for sweeps, opting for three spinners despite Cameron Greene’s unavailability and coach Andrew Macdonald’s defense of the squad’s series preparations have drawn most of the criticism since the Delhi debacle.
Former Australian Test batsman Mike Whitney took aim elsewhere, slipping Nathan Lyon on the strategy employed by the veteran pacer in the second match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.
Lyon responded strongly to their dreadful outing in the first Test, taking 5-67 and 2-49 in Delhi.
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The 35-year-old bowled most of his overs around the wicket and took six of his seven scalps around the wicket.
But Whitney did just that after Australia lost by six wickets in less than eight sessions.
Off-spinners usually bowl to right-handers as it increases the likelihood of hitting the ball at a launch angle.
“Look, I’m never going to criticize Nathan Lyon, he’s got over 450 Test wickets,” Whitney said on 2GB Wide World of Sports Radio.
“But he kept going around the shield to the leg side field.
“I wish he had bowled over the shield, attacking the pads and bowling into the stumps.
“That’s what they do, and they do it really, really well.
“Their pitches are in the right places and we’re constantly under pressure.”
Whitney also disagreed with Matthew Kunnemann opening the bowling on his Test debut.
Pat Cummins and Kunnemann opened the bowling with the bat for India’s first innings and Lyon and Kunnemann took the new ball for India’s second over.
“You see (Ravichandran) Ashwin pick up the new ball and the bowler and we kind of go, ‘Oh, new-ball spinner?’ Man, he has done it 500 times in India, domestic cricket, one-day cricket. Test your cricket,” Whitney said.
“So we throw the ball to Kunemann at the debut and say: “Go away, champion!”
The Indians needed only to draw the series to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having stunned Australia in the 2020-21 summer.
The hosts will aim to take a 3-0 lead in the third Test starting next Wednesday at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.
Whitney was blunt as he steamrolled Australia’s tour of India, saying Cummins and his teammates were in “a world of pain”.
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