New Delhi: The men in blue have a very tough tour coming their way this month. The Australian tour of India beginning from February 22 will prove a litmus test for a team which is going through a very lean patch, especially in Test cricket.

The 3-1 drubbing that we got from England on our home ground in December last year is still fresh in the minds of the cricket lovers. England registered their first Test series win in India after 28 years.

The Indian spin attack which was being considered a potent weapon against the English batsmen failed miserably, rather it were the Indians who were caught up in the spin web of England’s Greame Swan, Monty Panesar and Eion Morgan. The Indian batting too fell flat and no batsman managed to leave any impact on the game.

And now with Australia touring the country later in February, margin of error is very little. The Indian team has to leave all their debacles behind and put up a spirited performance against Australia.  The spin attack has to play to its potential and exploit the home conditions to their gain. But unlike the England series, the Indian team should not be over dependent on spin and build up a pace attack to test the Australian batsmen despite pace being their forte. This will give India a variety in their bowling department and will prevent Dhoni from depending heavily on spin bowling.

Meanwhile, the star studded Indian batting also has to do a lot of homework especially against the sharp pace attack of Australia who have often exploited their weaknesses on sharp bouncy tracks. This clearly reflects in the words of Australian pacer Peter Siddle.

"The best way of attacking India is with whatever your best line-up is. The way we've won Test matches for years now has been with our pace and I think that is going to play a big role," Siddle told.
The last time Australia won a Test series against India was in 2004. Siddle said to repeat that, the Aussie bowlers will have to be very consistent.
Meanwhile, Australian spin specialists Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty are studying the performance of English spinners, which brought the downfall of Indians during their historic victory last December.

"I watched it (Ind-Eng series) more as a spectator rather than for research, thinking I wasn't going to be a part of it," Doherty told to a Sydney daily.  
"But watching the way they bowled, with some extra pace and really getting the ball to fizz off the wicket, I'll be looking harder at some of that footage again. They (Swann and Panesar) led their attack and unexpectedly won England the series," the 30-year-old said.

Now to face such a confident and aggressive opponent, India really needs to pull up their socks in order to fight for pride.

Aditya Shukla/JPN

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