Steve Smith says his team has got Barinder Sran figured out
While Barinder Sran remains an uncapped player and a relatively unknown face in the international circuit, his IPL teammate, and the incumbent Australia captain Steve Smith says that his team has got the left-arm pacer discussed in the dressing room.
Both Sran and Smith played for the now suspended Rajasthan Royals franchise, where the Australian got to spend some time with the youngster, during which he was quite impressed. “I haven't seen much of Sran's one-day cricket back home in India, but I saw him bowling in the IPL with Rajasthan Royals and he was quite impressive,” said Smith.
“He's a tall lad, swings the ball early and he's got a few change-ups I've let the boys know about them,” he added further on the eve of the first ODI against India on January 12.
The 23-year old cricketer’s inclusion in the playing XI is most likely to happen given his exploits in the practice games, and his skipper, MS Dhoni’s insistence on a three-two combination of fast bowlers and spinners, excluding a seaming all-rounder.
Aware of the Indian batsmen: Smith
Manish Pandey has made a strong case for the No. 5 position in the side- now left vacant by the exclusion of Suresh Raina, and with his captain stating that a newcomer cannot be given the finisher’s role at 6- through his fifty in the second tour match against Western Australia XI.
Smith is aware of the young faces in the Indian side and what they bring to the table, as he said, “I know some of the young guys that are going to get an opportunity through IPL the likes of Manish Pandey, who I think has progressed really well and played some good cricket of late.”
“And obviously the experience of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma in the top order they are pretty crucial wickets for us, and hopefully we can get them early.”
While India still ponder over their final eleven, Australia have declared their line-up that would take the field on Tuesday, a day in advance. Young fast bowlers Scott Boland and Joel Paris are set to make their debuts, as the home side has decided to go with an all-out pace attack on what is expected to be a bouncy WACA pitch in Perth.
“There wasn't much pace and bounce in it when we played against New Zealand. Hopefully, tomorrow it can have that. There wasn't much pace and bounce in it when we played against New Zealand. Hopefully, tomorrow it can have that.”
Boland, Paris and the pace attack
While Boland had been travelling with the team throughout the West Indies series as a back-up for the pacers, the 23-year old left-arm quick, Paris, is a new face in the squad and has been doing well consistently in the Big Bash League (BBL), besides his impressive performance in the Matador Cup last year.
“It's traditional that we can use a left-arm seamer here who can use the breeze and swing the ball. The wicket looks like it'll be a good one. We are happy to start at the WACA and Gabba for the first two matches of the series.”
“They have been fortresses for us in ODI cricket for a while. Obviously, the conditions are a bit different to what the Indians are used to back home and hopefully we can exploit that,” added the Australian skipper.
Besides the two debutants, Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner complete the Australian attack, with Glenn Maxwell being the lone spinner.
Inexperienced bowling not an issue
As optimistic as it sounds to have youngsters in the mix, the inexperience that comes with them cannot be denied either.
But Smith is unperturbed as he feels that the consistent cricket that the players have been playing, be it the BBL, the Matador Cup, or the World Cup that preceded them, would go a long way in their long-time development.
“We've got a pretty young, inexperienced bowling attack, but they've all been bowling well and I think it's a really exciting time for Australian cricket to see these young guys coming through. I'm sure they are going to relish the opportunity to bowl at places like the WACA and the Gabba.”
“Last year the more they played in these conditions throughout the Test matches, ODIs and the World Cup, they looked like they adapted to the conditions. For us, we used Glenn Maxwell as our spinner through the World Cup and used our pace attack to good effect. Particularly at the Gabba and WACA, we can use the quicks a lot more than the spinners.”
With that being said, spinners from either side are expected to play the role of restricting the run-rate from one end, while the fast bowlers would look to exploit the expected bounce from the pitch to their advantage- as is evident from the full-stretch pace battery picked by the hosts.