Australia coach Andrew McDonald blames Delhi collapse on the players

Australia coach Andrew McDonald blames Delhi collapse on the players – blasting FALSE claims tourists had ‘a team plan to go out there and sweep’ during collapse that saw them lose nine wickets in a session

  • Australia lost nine wickets in a session as they crumbled to 113 all out in Delhi
  • Seven Australian players got out by playing an ill-advised sweep shot
  • India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-Test series  

Australia coach Andrew McDonald has traced his team’s catastrophic collapse in the second Test against India to the players making crucial individual mistakes.

India won the second Test by six wickets in Delhi on Sunday after Australia collapsed from 1-61 to 113 all out in just 90 minutes.

Having lost 10 wickets in a session in the opening Test in Nagpur in which they were thrashed by an innings and 132 runs, the tourists lost nine before lunch at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

The circumstances surrounding Australia’s implosion have come under the microscope, with the visitors’ attempt to sweep Indian spinners backfiring spectacularly as they lost 9-47.

Travis Head, who top scored for Australia with 43 in the second innings, and Peter Handscomb were out to excellent deliveries that flicked the edge of their bats and Marnus Labuschagne was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja after misreading length.

Andrew McDonald has rubbished claims Australia had a batting plan to sweep Indian spinners

Pat Cummins was one of seven Australian batters getting out to an ill-advised sweep shot

All the other seven Australian batters, however, got out after attempting a sweep shot. 

Pat Cummins’ dismissal was arguably the most egregious of all, with the captain looking to lift Jadeja over mid-wicket with an ill-advised agricultural mow but getting nowhere near the ball as the Indian spinner detonated his furniture.

McDonald, however, insisted Australia hadn’t gone into the second Test with a set batting plan. 

‘We don’t necessarily have team batting plans, it’s more individual batting plans,’ he told SEN Test Cricket.

‘You’ll hear us talking about method and how individuals go about it, so to say it was a team plan to go out there and play that way would be false,’

‘I think a few players got away from what makes them really good players in that moment.

‘Was it pressure or was it perceived pressure […] it’ll be a combination of factors but ultimately there were some poor decisions in that batting unit, we have to own that.’

Speaking on Fox Cricket, cricket greats Allan Border and Matthew Hayden blasted Australia for seemingly lacking any method.

‘I’m angry about the way they went about it today,’ Border said on Fox Cricket on Sunday.

‘It was panicky, frenetic sort of batting […] nobody got in there to stem the flow with some good defensive cricket. 

‘They were all just getting out playing sweep shot, reverse sweep to just about every ball. You can’t get away with that on that sort of track. You’ve got to have a method. 

Hayden was similarly scathing: ‘They have gone way over the edge in terms of their aggressive play,’ he said.

‘What professional in life just hopes? ‘You’ve got to have a method and you have to think on your feet.’

Steve Smith was trapped LBW for nine by Ravi Ashwin after he attempted to sweep him

Matthew Renshaw’s miserable form continued as he was out for 2 while looking to sweep

Ravindra Jadeja finished with career-best figures of 7-42 as India ripped Australia apart

But McDonald insisted the sweep shot could pay dividends on Indian surfaces and pointed at the success Usman Khawaja and Head had in making 81 and 43 in the first and second innings respectively.

‘We don’t want to go away from that as part of that method is finding that balance and you do need an element of good fortune on surfaces like that,’ he said.

‘There are a lot of balls that spin past the outside edge and I thought the way that Travis Head applied himself and his dismissal, he easily could have played and missed or found the edge and it goes down and then you get an opportunity to build your innings. 

‘There is an element of chance off the surface.’

Australia’s hopes of winning a first Test series in India since 2004 evaporated within six days of cricket as the hosts took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-Test series

Australia arrived in India as the world’s No.1 ranked Test team but their hopes of winning a first series in the country since 2004 evaporated within six days of cricket, with the hosts retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for a fourth consecutive time.

But despite Australia scoring more than 200 just once in four innings, McDonald defended his team’s preparation.

‘I still wouldn’t have changed what we did leading in, there’s no doubt about that,’ he said. 

‘I think they had really good preparation in Bangalore. So there’s not any excuses.’ 

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