But former India captain backs the ability of touring fast-bowlers to dismiss top batsmen, picks out Shami’s ‘fabulous’ skiddy bouncer for special praise
India great Sunil Gavaskar feels Steve Smith and David Warner will be key to Australia’s chances in the upcoming four-Test series against India. In an interview with Sportstar, Gavaskar also praised India’s pace attack, adding that he expects the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to be a thrilling face-off.
On his expectations from the Test series
Australia will be a different kettle of fish with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner. Marnus Labuschagne, having made the progress that he has in the last one year, will be a big challenge, too.
So, the Australian batting this series will be much stronger compared to 2018-19 when not one Australian batsman scored a hundred. But our bowlers have got the capability of getting these top batsmen out also. It should be a thrilling face-off.
On Smith daring India’s pacers to bowl short
No one is ever ready for the short ball! A good short ball will trouble the best of batsmen. Nobody can say, “I’m ready.” Mohammed Shami in particular has a fabulous bouncer. If he gets it right on target, then you can be pretty certain that not too many batsmen will be able to negotiate him.
He is not very tall and his short ball will come skidding at you around your shoulder and head, and that’s the most difficult delivery to play.
On which pace attack has the edge
I would think Australia, with the left-right combination in the pace department, offers a lot more variety.
India, on the other hand, has four right-arm pacers. So, that’s a big plus for the host.
On whether the lack of game time will hinder Pujara
Ideally, the Indian team plays two-three First Class games before the first Test, [which] helps everybody get into the groove. Cheteshwar hasn’t played competitive cricket since March. So for him to get ready for the series, those two or three matches would have been a big plus.
But he is the kind of player who doesn’t get affected by anything… He would’ve done everything to prepare for these four Tests.
On Rohit’s significance in the Tests
He will be very important because he is going to open the batting.
For the Indian team to get off to a good start, he is going to be crucial. If he gets going and if Mayank [Agarwal] … can bat the way he did against the South Africans at home last year, then it makes the job that much easier for the batsmen to follow.
(India’s first One-Day International against Australia will be telecast live from November 27 at 8 a.m. on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels)
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