Harbhajan Singh suggests plan to counter David Warner
Australia will play four Test matches against India from 23rd February to March 29th.
What’s the story?
Former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels that the present Australian team is the weakest ever side to tour the sub-continent. Having played against some of the best Australian sides, Singh feels that apart from Steve Smith and David Warner, the team cannot cope against the Indian spinners.
“Warner will not be a player who would score 35 runs in a session, If he is around, he will look to score 75-80 runs. Now if Ashwin and Jadeja slow down the game, you can probably counter him. If he is on the attack, Virat should set in-out field. Keep a straightish mid-wicket, The aim will be to bowl six deliveries to him. Don’t let him off strike.
“The left-right combination can hamper the rhythm of the bowlers. If Warner is attacking, don’t have a forward short-leg and silly point. If the batsman is on ascendancy, no harm in playing a waiting game,” he concluded.
In case you didn’t know...
Harbhajan Singh took 32 wickets in the famous 2001 series against Australia and he is also the third highest wicket-taker for India. In the 2001 series, the Australian team comprised of world-class players like Mathew Hayden, Micheal Slater, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh.
Extra Cover: Harbhajan Singh predicts a series whitewash
In the practice match held last week, Australia scored only 469 runs against an India A squad which had no first team players from the Indian Test side.
The heart of the matter
India are seen as firm favourites in the four-match Test series against Australia with the first Test scheduled on 23rd of February. On these tracks, the two spinners, Ashwin and Jadeja, will try and pose a problem to the batsman with the right-left combination.
The real threat for the Indian bowlers are Smith and Warner, while the rest of the batting have very little or no experience playing in spinning tracks in the subcontinent. Warner’s performance has been exceptional in the IPL seasons on flat pitches, but Test cricket is an altogether different ball game.
In the bowling department, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon might seem like a concern to the Indian team. But in the Indian summer, Starc might find it difficult to bowl long spells due to the heat and humidity.
On the other hand, although Lyon has 200 plus wickets, bowling against the quality players of spin like Kohli, Vijay and Rahane will be a different proposition.
India will be full of confidence as they have rolled over visiting teams in the last one year, with a balanced and strong bowling and batting department. Kohli, Vijay, Rahane and Pujara strengthen the batting while Jadeja and Ashwin are enough to threaten the feeble and inexperienced Aussie line-up.
The Indians will have to be wary of David Warner at the top of the order as he has the ability to accelerate the innings quickly and take the game away from the opposition in just one innings.