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Questions lingering from Aussie Test loss

Australia's 2-1 series loss to India in their first home Test cricket series without David Warner and Steve Smith left more questions than answers.

Questions lingering from Aussie Test loss

Australia's 2-1 series loss to India in their first home Test cricket series without David Warner and Steve Smith left more questions than answers.

THE BURNING QUESTIONS FROM AUSTRALIA'S TEST SERIES LOSS TO INDIA

Who will remain when Australia's batting mess is cleaned up?


That 10 players averaged between 20 and 40 shows all of Australia's recognised batsmen got starts but no-one could capitalise. Marcus Harris is safe after two scores in the seventies, while Usman Khawaja has enough credits in the bank. Travis Head has likely done enough and Marnus Labuschagne should get another chance. But it mightn't be so easy for Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb and the already-axed Aaron Finch.

Who are Australia's other options?

As Tim Paine put it on Monday, there's no "Michael Hussey's, Michael Bevan's, Jamie Cox's" floating around in the Sheffield Shield. Instead Joe Burns, Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell are all worthy contenders for the Sri Lanka series - each averaging between 49 and 53 in the past three Shield seasons.

Can Steve Smith and David Warner help Australia retain the Ashes?

Smith and Warner's absence was always going to hurt Australia but it was keenly felt in Melbourne and Sydney, where Australia couldn't fire on batter-friendly wickets. The pair are free to return from their bans on March 29 and there is now nearly no doubt they will be selected for the Ashes.

What to do with Australia's fast bowlers?

Batting was always going to be Australia's problem this series but the fact India became the first touring team in history to declare three innings in a row closed in Melbourne and Sydney shows how much their host's vaunted attack faded. Australia's inability to make the ball swing stopped them from attacking the stumps, and particularly hurt Mitchell Starc. It's hard to imagine any personnel change for the Ashes though.

Is enough being done to promote good wickets?

The MCG and SCG can be thankful for Australia's batting woes otherwise more questions would have been asked of the one-sided decks. There are plans to revive Melbourne's drop-ins but the SCG has now had draws in each of the four Sheffield Shield, Test and tour matches played there this summer. Tim Paine also lamented after Melbourne that the batter-friendly pitches had perhaps suited India more this summer.

Is this India's greatest ever win?

Even accounting for Australia's absences, this win will go down as one of India's most significant in history. It was not only their first in 12 attempts in Australia - dating back to 1947-48 - but of any team from the sub-continent. It was also their first win outside of Asia and the spin-friendly Caribbean this decade. Perhaps only their wins in England in 1971, 1986 and 2007 or the 1971 West Indies triumph were better.

AAP


AAP




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