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Clarke's promotion to No 3 misfired

March 15, 2013 17:51 IST

Australia's major problem in the ongoing Test series against India is their batting.

The young, inexperienced batsmen’s inability to cope with India’s spin cost them dearly the first two Tests, in Chennai and Hyderabad.

- Scorecard | Images

And the trend continued in Mohali, where, after a fine opening stand of 137, they were reduced to 273 for 7 by stumps on Day 2, on a good batting track, in the rain-hit third Test.

Michael Clarke walks back after being dismissedWhile the Aussies must be commended for their decision to axe four players from the squad for the Mohali Test on disciplinary grounds, they certainly erred in the reshuffling of their batting order in this match.

Michael Clarke was the in-form batsman coming into this Test, having amassed 268 runs, including a century, batting at No. 5.
But, with Shane Watson axed, the Australians decided to tinker with their batting and Clarke came in at No. 3, with the struggling Phil Hughes dropping to four. The gamble backfired big time, as Clarke went first ball.

He stepped down the wicket to Ravindra Jadeja, missed and was stumped. That literally turned the innings on its head as, suddenly, from a position of strength they were struggling for survival by the end of the day.

There was a lot of pressure on Clarke to promote himself in the batting order and take charge, but it seems he at his best at No. 5, where he has batted most of his career.

It was perhaps one mistake that proved to be very costly for the tourists.

Photograph: BCCI