Australia always have been struggling in Test matches that are played in Asia.
There are many reason for it, but I believe the most important one is their “mindset” because these are the same cricketers who have performed brilliantly in shorter format including IPL, played in India and other Asian countries. Hence it has less to do with technique or skill, but more to do with their mindset.
When a team travels overseas to play a Test cricket, one requires thorough game plan. The game plan can only work if you have a clear mindset, and if it is trained than everything will fall into place.
As a nation their winning culture and attitude is a great sporting sign for athletes, their plus point is their team ethics, viz team over individual performance. These are positive points that other teams aspire to become.
However in recent times inspite of all this they have performed poorly in sub-continent. Hence they need to change their mindset.
Batsmen look for runs at home or favourable condition, and bowlers tend to attack with pace, bounce, swing at home. They have been trained to play this way.
Not to get out but not to score runs for certain period of time – this should be your mind set and aim.
Batting mindset – the initial plan for a batsman is not to get out, but safe guard one’s wicket, and not to look for runs. This is not the case when they play at home or familiar condition. Mindset needs to change that. On unfamiliar territory one needs to understand the condition, and that is only possible if you bat for long period of time. This can happen if you abandoned shots that are risky, play percentage cricket, stay at the crease as long as possible without looking for runs. Block and stick around should be their motto. Eventually one would get few loose deliveries which can be capitalised… but don’t look for a loose one.
The 9th wkt partnership between Peter Nevill and Steve O’Keefe is great example of batting mindset. They didn’t look for runs and never seemed to be much trouble. They eventually picked only 4 runs while batting for 30 overs on Day-5 turning track.
If a batsman can train his mindset to stay at the crease(without looking for runs) than everything will fall into place, skill, technique and adaptation. In 2004 series Sachin was having swhen Sachin batted for xxxx hours he had disciplined his mind not to play a cover drive till he reaches his century.
Bowling mindset – For fast bowlers the mindset should be ‘accuracy and patience’ – The new ball is great way to start disciplining oneself. Start concentrating on bowling on length that makes batsman uneasy. Abandon bowling fast or trying to swing, if there is air, and surface is conducive for short period, than it will happen, you don’t have to strive hard for it. Focus on length and trajectory all the time. Here one would add intelligent field placing for bowlers. In sub-continent this skill is hardly used or mastered.
It can work powerfully if you have the right field setting for your bowler. One way to do is by keeping IN OUT field cutting the boundaries that can keep bowlers/team’s eco rate down and build pressure. If possible have at least 2 deep fielders all the time, as the out-field is always fast in sub-continent.
Always keep the ball shining. The ball tends to reverse swing sooner than later in these conditions.
In unacquainted condition minset should be customised to the game plan which always should remain same. The initial period is the most difficult part as your