'Morale of team is still good'

'Morale of team is still good'

'Morale of team is still good'

When Australian coach Micky Arthur addressed the media at the end of second day’s play of the second Test with India having gained the control by that time, he had dismissed any suggestions of Australia losing the match saying there were still three more days to go.

Much to his disbelief, the match ended in less than one and half days as India established a 2-0 lead in the four-match series with a comprehensive innings and 135-run win on the fourth morning on Tuesday.

The defeat in itself wasn’t surprising, but the manner in which it came must have been shattering for the visiting camp.

Arthur, however, maintained that the team’s morale wasn’t down after doing some soul searching on Tuesday night. “The team has got a huge amount of work in these conditions,” stated the South African as Australia went through a practice session here on Wednesday. “The morale is very good. The boys have trained exceptionally hard, did a bit of soul searching last night and they’re all very good this morning. We’re all very good at the moment,” he remarked.

Australia practiced on the second Test surface on Wednesday but when pointed out that Mohali and Delhi, where the wickets aren’t exactly are the type of Hyderabad and Chennai, Arthur felt it was never too late to prepare against spin.

“Any day we get to practice on a Test wicket, we’ll take it because we need to practice a huge amount on that. I said that only (Shane) Watson and (Michael) Clarke among our top batsmen have ever played here (in India). The more experience our young players can get the better for them in their careers; practising on a day five wicket the better they’re going to be in their careers,” he reasoned.

Further stressing on playing spin, Arthur said: “We just want to keep improving our batsmen against spin. You know when India comes to Australia you know we take them to the WACA and India get to bat there. It’s exactly the same for us here. And as I’ve said our players are still young, they’re still learning. For them to get out there and practice on day five wicket, you don’t buy that kind of experience.”

There is a seven-day gap between second and third Test and Arthur was asked if his team could have done with a practice match or two in between.

“Look I’m not 100 per cent sure what we’ve been given. To be fair we’ve been playing a lot of cricket. We’ve come out of two Test matches.  We thought a couple of days of mental freshness for the guys can be more valuable. And I still believe that. So we’ll travel tomorrow, take two days’ off and start training again on Sunday. I think those two days will give the guys a lot to reflect. It gives all of us a chance to think how we’re going to retain this trophy and it means that when we get back to play on Sunday we come back fresh and ready to go. I think that’s the most important for us right now,” he offered.