Former Australian speedster Jason Gillespie has shared the recipe for the team's success during their 2004-05 series victory in India. The right-arm paceman revealed that the Aussies learned their lessons from the 2001 defeat and attacked the stumps more by packing the on-side with plenty of catching positions.
Under makeshift captain Adam Gilchrist, Australia won two out of four Tests in the 2004-05 tour to register a landmark series win in India. It proved to be one of their four series wins on Indian soil till date. Pat Cummins and Co. hope to repeat this result when the four-Test series starts on February 9 in Nagpur.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Gillespie recalled that their tactics in the 2001 leg weren't different from how they would bowl in Australia. He explained:
"When we went over there in '01, we bowled how we would in Australia. We had three slips and a gully, bowled off stump and in the channel and looked to get nicks on the off-side because we always felt that Indian players are not as strong through that area, their strength was off their legs.
"So we wanted to avoid getting on to their pads and to make them hit through the off side as much as possible. But the problem was the surfaces don't offer as much bounce as here, and the nicks behind the wicket aren't as plentiful plus they played us well."
Gillespie went on to state that Indian players had little desire to run between the wickets and explained the game plan to tire out their batters by forcing them to get only ones and twos. He said:
"What we did was to say 'Well, why don't we attack the stumps more?' Obviously, that plays into their hands but we figured we can protect that area on the leg side. We can put in catching mid-wickets, we can have a deep square leg and fine leg, mid-on can be pushed back a bit and we just attacked the stumps.
"Then, if they do hit it through the in-field, instead of getting four all the time – because we knew they weren't big fans of running between the wickets in that heat and humidity – they'd only get ones or twos. That way, we could tire them out and back the fitness of our quicks to keep rotating through one end and keep attacking the stumps."
Gillespie was Australia's best bowler of the 2004-05 series, picking up 20 wickets at 16.15. Glenn McGrath and Michael Kasprowicz were equally effective, helping the tourists win the series.
"This team needs to formulate their own plan of how they're going to do it" - Jason Gillespie
The 71-Test veteran advised Australia to forge their own strategy to win and not necessarily follow their predecessors' blueprint. However, Gillespie asserted that the tourists would win, adding:
"This team needs to formulate their own plan of how they're going to do it. Whatever they do, it has to be their strategy. It can't just be, 'Well, they had success over there 20 years ago, so that's the way you’ve got to play.'
"I suspect that with the number of spinners they've taken, they want to play double spin there, and that's cool. Whichever way they go, I'm convinced this team they can win there."
The selectors have chosen four spinners, including Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Ashton Agar, and Mitchell Swepson, ahead of the series.
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.