"Want to see Pat Cummins vs Virat Kohli " - Saba Karim wants India to use competitive pitches for Australia series 

Pat Cummins (L) and Virat Kohli. (Pic: Getty)
Pat Cummins (L) and Virat Kohli. (Pic: Getty)

Former keeper-batter Saba Karim believes the Test series between India and Australia will be a blockbuster one only when both teams get to compete in all aspects of red-ball cricket.

He opined that the home team should not consider preparing a pitch where the ball would start turning from the first day. Karim noted that he is looking forward to the battle for one-upmanship between Virat Kohli and Pat Cummins.

The 55-year-old added that he wants to see one-on-one battles between the likes of Rohit Sharma and Nathan Lyon as well. Speaking to India News Sports, Karim explained:

"I want to see Pat Cummins vs Virat Kohli and Nathan Lyon vs Rohit Sharma. I also want to see Mohammed Siraj vs Steve Smith. The series is of great significance. It is touted to be the biggest series. If it is going to be the biggest series, it should be on such wickets where the teams will have to compete in all aspects."
"I don't want a wicket where the ball turns right from Day 1," he added. "Yes, I want India to prepare favourable wickets for spinners. But I also want a good contest between the two teams. The pitch should be such that the turn comes into play from the second or third day onwards."
Nagpur pitch for the 1st Test. (📷 - Cricket Australia)

Notably, Team India have performed exceedingly well against Australia in the longer format in the recent past. They have won the last three editions of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with the latest being in 2020-21 on Australian soil.

It is worth mentioning that the Aussies have struggled to win matches in Indian conditions. They have not won a Test series in India since 2004.

"Doesn't get a lot of support from the other end" - Saba Karim on Australia's Nathan Lyon

Saba Karim also spoke about how Australia's veteran spinner Nathan Lyon will have to make a few adjustments to his bowling while playing in Indian conditions.

He mentioned that the seasoned campaigner is very effective in Australia due to bouncy pitches. Karim stated that the bowler will have to change his lines in India, given that the nature of the wicket keeps changing as the match progresses.

The former cricketer also pointed out that Lyon also doesn't get enough support from the other end, as the side don't have any other proven spinners in their lineup. He added:

"There is extra bounce on Australian pitches, which helps Nathan Lyon. He creates doubts in the minds of batters with his line and length. But in India, the bounce tends to get lower as the match progresses. There is also variable bounce at times.
"Here you will get a sharp turn, which is why you need to bowl different lines. Lyon doesn't have a lot of experience with that, while Ashwin does. He also doesn't get a lot of support from the other end."
Nathan Lyon will be the biggest threat for Team India 🔥#cricket #indvsaus

With 460 wickets to his name, Lyon is the third-highest wicket-taker for the Aussies in Test matches. The crafty spinner has had decent success in India, picking up 34 wickets from seven Tests.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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