Australia has hit a damning low without Steve Smith and David Warner.
Australia has hit a damning low without Steve Smith and David Warner.

Damning extent of Smith, Warner crisis exposed

AUSTRALIA'S Test side is in the midst of its worst streak of batting performances in 34 years as they look to level the series against India.

The huge challenge facing Justin Langer's men in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner is laid bare by the fact Australia have surpassed 300 just once in their past 13 innings.

Not since 1984, when a weak Australian team passed 300 just once from 19 digs, has the nation's Test batting been so fragile.

All but one of those innings came against an imposing West Indian side boasting superstars such as Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner.

Tim Paine and Travis Head's rearguard effort to secure a draw against Pakistan in Dubai in October was the only time the scoreboard has ticked over 300 since the first innings of Australia's victory against South Africa in Durban.

Australia's record since the series-opener in South Africa is zero wins, five losses and one draw.

Peter Handscomb got starts in Adelaide but failed to go on with it.
Peter Handscomb got starts in Adelaide but failed to go on with it.

Staring at a 1-0 deficit in the four-Test series, Langer said Australia's batsmen had to rein in their aggression and pick their moments to attack.

"Allan Border used to say there's more time in Test cricket than you'll ever imagine ... you can bat so much time," Langer said.

"That's one of the messages to our young batsmen.

"One of the things we talk about is partnerships and patience, building pressure on the opposition ... it's one of the important virtues of being a successful Test cricketer."

Striking a balance between remaining patient and still keeping the scoreboard ticking over remains a work in progress for Australia's new-look batting order.

Indian great Sachin Tendulkar expressed surprise at Australia's slow scoring in Adelaide but Langer was comfortable that was mostly a product of the conditions.

Virat Kohli is clinging to a slender lead in the ICC Test batting rankings.
Virat Kohli is clinging to a slender lead in the ICC Test batting rankings.

"The wicket was really tough to score on," he said.

"If you look at India, Virat Kohli got 30 in 120 balls or something - that's telling you something. He's the best player in the world.

"There was no plan to bat slowly, it's just how the game went. Sometimes that'll happen - sometimes you'll get 350 in a day, sometimes you'll get 200 in a day. India bowled well, we bowled equally as well in the first innings and it was hard to bat on with the slow outfield."

News Corp Australia

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