'Sub-continent presents a lot of challenges'

'Sub-continent presents a lot of challenges'

Australian coach Mickey Arthur is not complaining that India has prepared rank turners, where some of his players stand “exposed” against spin, as he feels the host nation must prepare tracks that suit their strength.

Australia are trailing 0-2 in the four-match series after being outplayed in Chennai and Hyderabad.

“I would be disappointed if we come to India and India didn’t prepare these (turning wickets) conditions. Sub- continent presents a lot of challenge for some of our players and they’ve found out how hard it is over here. Likewise, when India go to Australia… and that’s world cricket,” he said.

“We have learnt a huge amount on this tour so far, with some players coming here for the first time. You have to say that some of our batters have been exposed slightly to the turning ball. It’s pretty unusual for them to play anything like that. Like in Chennai and Hyderabad. I hope that they gain from this experience all the time,” Arthur said.
The Australian coach said if they harbour hopes of becoming number one in Test cricket, his players must learn to perform in alien conditions.

“I think the key to getting number one is that you have to learn to win away from home. It’s ok, you win at home as most sides do that. All the top 4-5 teams do that. But its winning away from home that counts and matters and that’s what you’ve got to get better at,” he said.

Arthur refuted suggestions that his side took the week-long break between the second and the third Test easy, with some players playing basketball while others visiting a zoo and other places.

“No, absolutely not (we are not taking it easy). We trained (on fifth day-track at Hyderabad) before we came here. We gave players two days off here to get mentally fresh. We trained yesterday, we trained today and we got two training sessions before the next Test. We are going to be prepared in every way possible,” he said.

Since the PCA has promised a competitive wicket, Arthur is hoping that the track for the third Test offers help to his pacers.

“It’s pretty exciting to be here. Last time I was here was when South Africa beat Pakistan in the Champions Trophy. I think (the wicket here) is quite hard and there might be pace and bounce and we are hoping that it does.”

On coaching Australia, he said, “It’s a massive challenge to coach Australia. I have to say that this period has been the toughest I have had to face in my coaching career. And it’s not going to get easier. But it certainly makes you stronger. It’s really important that we get it right and perform well.”

Australian media has written that heavy defeats in the first two Tests was certainly not good news for Australia ahead of Ashes series but Arthur said he was not thinking about future at the moment.

“If we look at the Ashes, we are getting far too ahead of ourselves. We got a massive series here. We are playing this Indian team that’s playing to the best of their ability at the moment. They are very formidable in their home conditions and that’s our challenge.  We run the risk that if we think too far ahead, we might not get there. But we certainly got to be ready for what is coming up right now,” he said.