A heavy burden

Australia's Test Combined Innings Team and Captain Totals

Australia’s Test Combined Innings Team and Captain Totals

Australia has just lost to India by 8 wickets. This is despite a first innings century from Michael Clarke and a commendable bowling effort from James Pattinson (6-109). If it were not for two gutsy half-centuries by the Portuguese-born debutant Moises Henriques an innings defeat would certainly have been on the cards.

Much has been made of Australia’s reliance upon the runs of Michael Clarke. Since becoming permanent Test captain he has averaged 73 at a time when the combined team average per wicket has been around half that – less than 37. Without the runs of the retired middle order stalwart Michael Hussey, who has produced 14.3% of the team’s runs over the same period (not including the Chennai Test, of course), not to mention his crucial composure and ability to marshal the tail, the onus on the captain to carry the team becomes ever starker.

Yet the Aussies boast an enviable stock of pacemen. It certainly bears comparison with England’s resources, especially in terms of depth; though there is arguably no-one of the skill of Jimmy Anderson in their ranks. But they need runs to bowl at. Particularly in India. Even more so when the spin bowling department is so threadbare.

And to think Ricky Ponting thought he had it bad…

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