Australia last played Test cricket in India four years ago.
MJ Clarke was captain. SPD Smith was not even in the team for the 1st Test. M Arthur was coach.
S Tendulkar played his last series.
Pundits were not confident of Australia’s chances.
The first Test Australian team, in batting order was:
EJM Cowan, DA Warner, PJ Hughes, SR Watson, MJ Clarke, MS Wade, MC Henriques, MA Starc, PM Siddle, JL Pattinson, NM Lyon.
Over the series, selection was varied and selection was confused. Factions, roles, personalities, all played parts. As did form. In the 2nd Test, Australia’s bowling line-up was JL Pattinson, PM Siddle, MC Henriques, XJ Doherty and GJ Maxwell.
1st Test, Chennai: Australia 380 and 241; India 572 and 50/2 (11.3 ov, target: 50) – India won by 8 wickets
2nd Test, Hyderabad: Australia 237/9d and 131 (67 ov); India 503 – India won by an innings and 135 runs
3rd Test, Mohali: Australia 408 and 223; India 499 and 136/4 (33.3 ov, target: 133) – India won by 6 wickets
4th Test, Delhi: Australia 262 and 164; India 272 and 158/4 (31.2 ov, target: 155) – India won by 6 wickets
Look at those Indian first innings totals: 572, 503, 499, 272.
Look at those corresponding Australian totals: 380, 237/9d, 408, 262.
Coughing up leads of 200, 260, 90, 10.
Skip forward four years.
India coming off a home series win over England.
Australia beaten at home by South Africa, then defeating Pakistan.
What have the players learned?
What have the selectors learned?
Some are writing off Australia.
But who will write of the Test series?
Put your hand up to file a report, a story, an observation for the Footy Almanac, below.
Day 1, Thursday – maybe Paddy
Day 2, Friday – Smokie, maybe Paddy
Day 3, Saturday –
Day 4, Sunday –
Day 5, Monday –