India v Australia – Second Test: Two Spinners Please

John Harms thinks a second spinner is essential in Hyderabad, not that it is likely to make much of a difference.

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About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. The Wrap says

    I seem to remember sitting on a barstool at the Grace Darling watching The Pup skittle India over there once before? Sure, Harbhajan returned the favour, but couldn’t he give it another shot?

    But it has to be asked, why didn’t we go into the First Test with two tweakers?

    Actually,the silence of the Tests has diminished a lot of interest in this series. Did we take two spinners over on the boat?

  2. Every time Clarke bowls he hurts his back. He needs to bat.
    Leggies seems ineffective.
    As for off spin…even a waning Sachin could play Lyon with a toothpick on a dustbowl – and he is the best we have.
    I guess that means we play the X-factor…weakens the batting even further, but starc bowled tripe.
    P.S. Hate having the keeper at 6.

  3. They have to give X a go. Lots of queries re other spots as well.

  4. Neil Belford says

    It’s simple. Drop Hughes, jump Moises over wade and play X

  5. Neil Belford says

    And lprobably drop Watson and play Maxwell – at least we would know more

  6. John Sandy says

    I think playing W Brownless is probably the best option!

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    We’ve got a live one here. @John Sandy*

    One mediocre spinner is enough. I’d drop Lyon and go with a four-pronged pace attack. Bring in MJ, get Siddle back on a meat diet, and blast ’em out. I’m serious.

    Warner and Clarke can bowl a few overs of spin if need be. Henriques a few overs of seam etc.

    *takes one to know one.

  8. Mark Doyle says

    Presuming that the pitch in Hyderabad will be similar to Chennai, playing two specialist spinners in Hyderabad is unlikely to result in a better performance by Australia; blokes such as Lyon, Doherty, Smith and Maxwell are all B graders.
    The other issue for Australia is that most of the batsmen, except Clarke, have no idea how to play spin bowling and their footwork is pathetic; Australia can only score in excess of 300 if Clarke makes a century. It was interesting to watch Henriques in the first test at Chennai because although he also does not have great footwork, he did well by watching the ball and playing as late as possible from the crease. However, this batting technique is risky and requires a high level of concentration.

  9. Pamela Sherpa says

    After all the years Australia has been going to India , wouldn’t you think they’d know to go out and have a bit of practice and preparation on a rough patch in a cow paddock before they left?

  10. Jeez Harmsy, you asked for 2 spinners and they only managed to send you 2 batsmen. The other 9 need spine as much as the bowlers need spin.
    If I gave a rats about Test Cricket I’d give them a spray, but seeing the BCCI treats me with contempt and Cricket Australia has so little spine that James Sutherland should be opening our batting – I can’t be bothered to work up a proper rant.
    I’ll just say that I looked up “flat track bully” on Crickipedia and it said “Phil Hughes”. What idiot other than our selectors ever thought that he could play spin on the sub-continent or the moving ball in England with his ‘extravagant’ technique? Bring back Quiney – at least he’d scrap.
    And the call for Watto to open??? So he can fail in every position in the order I guess. He’s good for a stylish 20 and brain fade at anywhere from 1-11. Watto is Invers’ middle aged infatuation, instead of the Ferrari or the mistress. They all look good standing still, but chuck a hissy fit and break down as soon as you ask them to do anything. Very expensive to maintain.
    That will do for now. I can’t work up enough contempt for the ICC etal and the commercial gangsters that run Test Cricket to whip up a more expansive spray.

  11. Peter Flynn says

    Agree with Comrade Doyle.

    Our batting, besides Clarke, do not have the acumen, ability, resolve, hands, footwork, technique or imagination to succeeed in India.

    And for bowling reasons, neither do the bowlers.

    Australia will likely lose 12 away Tests this calendar year.

    A nadir.

  12. Peter Flynn says

    Besides Pattinson who is a gun but will break down.

    The bowling attack for Trent Bridge:

    Old mate Hilfy.

    Old mate Johnno.

    Old mate Siddle.

    Old mate Lyon.

    Lyon won’t be singing the song.

    Positive Peter from Penn Station.

  13. I enjoyed the Indian batting on Sunday night. The australians did not bowl too badly – they are just not much good and the wicket gave them nothing. The batting was terrific.
    Good effort again so far today.

  14. How did we go from a missed Wade catch of beating the #1 ranked side in the world to this, just a couple months later? I guess Ponting & Hussey goes some way to explaining our malaise but our selectors appear incapable of identifying those who can cut it at test level and who can’t. Selection is a matter of spin the wheel, and unfortunately the names on the pegs aren’t the right ones.

    The Indians must have sore guts from laughing at our ineptitude. From ex wicketkeepers tutoring our tortured spinner to picking duds like Smith and 4 pacemen at Chennai. And Maxwell & Doherty, seriously… Clarke is more likely to take a wicket. Never seen him bowl much but O’Keefe at least has the wickets on the board to get a gig ahead of those two.

    As the cool kids say now, face palm.

  15. Time for Hughes to be dropped: again. What does day 4 hold for Watto?

    Mr Flynn, might be correct, we could lose all those tests, and more. Maybe it’s time to go through the book shelf, and dig out G Yallops masterpiece of “Lambs to the slaughter”, for the a previous time when we so badly outclassed,


  16. Those canny Indians playing Maxwell and Doherty back into the team for the next test…

  17. I urge all Almanackers to bombard their Federal MP’s with demands for more boat people. We’ve found a leg spinner in Fawad Ahmed. The Indians are saying that Sehwag is past it and they will drop him.
    Put him on a boat to Christmas Island and we’ll naturalise him so he can open in the Ashes series.
    There must be no end of starving, war ravaged top order batsmen throughout the sub continent.
    Australian Cricket needs its own Statue of Liberty in Fremantle Harbour:
    “Give me your tired, your poor of form,
    Your huddled openers yearning to bat free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming middle order.
    Send these, the wicketless, doosra-tossed, to me:
    I lift my baggy green beside the golden door of their cricketing destiny.”

  18. We are in an unfamiliar part of the world, where we are not wanted, don’t understand the history and will leave no lasting legacy after we are gone.

    We are also putting our brave young men in danger on a daily basis, dodging projectiles coming from unpredictable angles.

    It’s a war we cannot win.

    I implore the Government – pull out of India now, bring our boys back to Australia!!

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