What Can You Do?

It wasn't a great surprise - quite the opposite, in fact - to see the way in which India capitulated at Melbourne. Indian batsmen and pacy Australian tracks have rarely mixed well, and they went into the first Test of the series with even less practice behind them in local conditions than Fletcher and Flintoff's doomed England side did last year.

Today, though, could have been different. But it wasn't. When Australia are the home team it rarely is. When I went to bed with an hour gone RP had whipped out the openers, but I was woken by the news that Australia had been 134-6 before Hogg and Symonds had brought them round.

That's the thing about Australia. At least one player, often two, will always step up to the plate (as Duncan Fletcher might say); as they flourish the opposition, as often as not, will fall away as they see their early good work disintegrate. It's no good just starting well against Australia; you have to keep a high level of performance up all the time (and receive all the help from the umpires you can get). If you don't you're dead meat, especially if the game's being played in Australia.

Still, at least playing Australia stops weaker sides from getting the idea that they belong at the same table.

What can you do?

Well, it's not Australia's fault that they're this good. All anyone else can do is try to get better.

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