It was heartening to see India’s batsmen pile on the runs against Cricket Australia XI; heartening even though it was against an inexperienced bowling unit because we have rarely seen it happen in the last year.

As good as Virat Kohli has been, it has been difficult to watch and understand why India’s experienced batsmen also kept finding ways to fail during the away tours.

Part of it can be put down to poor preparation – India, somehow, have found ways to go into important tours with downright poor scheduling. The batsmen seemed under-prepared but even then few things could have prepared Indian fans for such consistent failings.

The other problem, of course, was the game of musical chairs that Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri played with the batting order. With the exception of Kohli, none of the other top batsmen have played all the 8 ‘away’ Tests this season.

Kohli calls it a horses for courses policy but towards the end of the England tour we saw cracks starting to appear with reports on batsmen feeling unsettled on account on the tactic.

How India's batsmen have fared in 8 away Tests

Batsman Runs Average
Virat Kohli - 8 matches 879  54.93
Cheteshwar Pujara - 7 matches 378 29.07
KL Rahul - 7 matches 329 23.50
Ajinkya Rahane  - 6 matches 314  26.16
Rishabh Pant - 3 matches 162 27.00
Murali Vijay - 5 matches 128 12.80
Rohit Sharma - 2 matches 78 19.50
Parthiv Patel - 2 matches 56 14.00
Hanuma Vihari - 1 match 56 28.00

Kohli’s numbers clearly stand out. He has scored 879 at a magnificent average of 54.93. The batting conditions have never been easy and he has shown the rest of the batting line-up the way but few have managed to follow suit.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been gritty at times, KL Rahul’s big century in the last Test against England gives his numbers a boost, Ajinkya Rahane looks uncertain while Murali Vijay probably goes down as the biggest disappointment of all.

Many have pointed out that the main difference was the manner in which the lower order performed but scoring runs is the job of the batsmen and if they had scored runs, the onus would not have been on the lower order.

Now, they all have a chance to put that all behind them and help India win their first series against Australia in Australia. It won’t be easy – against Australia, as the T20Is showed, it never is. But India will go in thinking that if their batting can come to the party, they will stand a very good chance.

As recent form shows that may be a very big ‘if’ but for India to win, there is no going around this. Kohli can’t do it alone, the others need to come to the party as well.