The battle lines are drawn for India’s tour of Australia

Saurabh Gandle Roar Guru

By Saurabh Gandle, Saurabh Gandle is a Roar Guru

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    Pat Cummins has made the audacious prediction that Virat Kohli will not get hundred when India tour Australia this summer. In fact, the young gun is confident Australia can knock off India 4-0.

    The prediction will no doubt cause a stir in the cricketing world.

    Firstly, Australia are without their two of the best batsmen, Steven Smith and David Warner, who have both troubled India from time to time, with Smith averaging above 70 against the team.

    As for Kohli, he scored four centuries last time he was Down Under and averaged 62, as compared to his career average of 53.40 in Tests.

    It has led Glenn McGrath to ask the Aussie bowlers to target the Indian skipper. McGrath did this himself, aiming up at opposition captains and their best players.

    One more thing which will decide the course of the series is how the pitches play out. The last time pitches were flat, and we saw mountains of runs scored.

    But if the Australian pitches are more true to their character, India has bowlers that are more than capable of keeping them in the hunt if the batsmen score.

    When India have done well previously – in the 2003-04 and 2007-08 series – they posted big scores, but this time around they can rely on their bowling for a change.

    India should win the series if they score big, meaning Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara must make contributions.

    Rahane is the only active player who averages above 50 away from home and Australia won’t have forgotten his knock of 147 in Melbourne. Who knows, he could steal the show while Aussies are busy concentrating on Kohli.

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • July 12th 2018 @ 7:06am
      Rats said | July 12th 2018 @ 7:06am | ! Report

      I don’t expect Indian batsmen to struggle in Australia. but I think Indian bowlers will struggle to take 20 wickets on Australian pitches. Bowling attack is good, but may not be effective on those pitches. And problem is Umesh, Shami, Sharma and Bhuvi are as good as India can get. Unless there are any bowlers waiting in the side lines to get a chance.
      India needs a bowler like Starc and Hazelwood. Consistently hitting the deck hard with pace.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 8:32am
        Raz said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        Umesh Bhuvi Ishant is as good as India can get ?? What an absurd thing to say. There are plenty of bowlers coming up in India ,infact I feel India’s bowling stocks are better than most others.Dont need to look far ,last u19 WC is a good indicator.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 9:50am
          Rats said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:50am | ! Report

          If India really has good stock of fast bowlers, why are they still desperately sticking with someone like Ishant Sharma.. if he gets picked for Australia tour this year, I think it would be his 3rd or 4th tour to Australia for test matches.
          Now if an average fast bowler gets to play so many matches, either his team thinks he is a great bowler or they don’t have much options to choose from.
          I follow indian cricket.. India keeps winning u19 WCs. but I am not yet convinced that it actually helps the indian national team because I still see old faces hanging around.. something is not right the way the transition is happening from u19 to where it really matters..

          • July 12th 2018 @ 11:49am
            Paul said | July 12th 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

            Rats, I suspect India has a problem Australia faced about 20 years ago, when we had a side where nearly everyone ended up playing 100 Tests. If you go back to Mark Taylor, Slater, Ponting, the Waugh brothers, Healy, then on through Langer Hayden, etc, it was almost impossible for anyone to get into the side – think how many Tests Mike Hussey SHOULD have played.

            Indian selectors are spoilt for choice but also very conservative, as selectors around the world tend to be. They’re not going to bring in young blood to a side which is winning games and India is probably the best at all three formats right now.

            Sadly this may mean a lot of high quality players have either a short or non-existent Test career but should still do well out of the game with the money on offer through T20s’.

            • July 12th 2018 @ 8:04pm
              Rats said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

              Paul.. I agree with most of your points. .. India definitely has that sweet problem… Spoilt for choices.. but only in the batting department. There are definitely few batsmen in India who is struggling to get into national side, but can easily walk into most of the international sides.
              But I don’t think in bowling department, India has that luxury. There is no factory of fast bowlers or a line of them waiting to get a chance. Perfect example is Bumrah who was not yet a seasoned first class bowler. Had hardly played 25 first class cricket, but rushed into test side because of his succesful T20 and odi performances. His slingy action helped too.. and he has proved so far that he is worth the selection.. but the point is, the selectors had to desperately pick a bowler like him and let him through back door.. they had less faith other fast bowlers waiting in the line…

              • July 13th 2018 @ 6:59am
                Raz said | July 13th 2018 @ 6:59am | ! Report

                How many India a tours or for that matter Ranji matches have you followed ratsto come to that conclusion??
                If you have even watched IPL ,you would see plenty of young fast bowlers bowling at great pace ,I can name atleast 14 bowlers in Indian circuit right now who bowl 140+ and bowl well,this wasn’t the case a decade back,you will se them soon too I reckon.

                These are the same selectors who bought in chahal and Kuldeep two years too late and only after a thrashing loss at CT ,and have also wasted over 3 years of kl rahul’s career by not giving him a consistent run in ODIs.Selection is an issue .

            • July 13th 2018 @ 6:55am
              Raz said | July 13th 2018 @ 6:55am | ! Report

              Paul Nailed it

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2018 @ 7:48am
      Saurabh Gandle said | July 12th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Rats,

      What makes you think above bowlers cannot get 20 wickets. Bumrah, Yadav, Ishant, Shami, Kumar whoever plays is capable.If you don’t believe it see the Indira matches, India’s pace battery firepower matches with Proteas bowler if not better. But batsman lost the series for them.

      Let me put it: If India bat well then India are winning series, there is no stopping that.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 8:14pm
        Rats said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

        Having said all that, if Australia prepare green pitches, then Indian bowlers will be a handful. There will be even contest. Problem is if the wickets are going to be flat, which is likely going to happen. Then the Indian bowlers will struggle..

        • Roar Guru

          July 13th 2018 @ 7:55am
          Saurabh Gandle said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

          Rats, Dont Indian bowlers bowl day in and out on flat Indian pitches. With Shami left arm, Bumrah unique action, and reliable Bhuvi or tall, lanky bowler Ishant we have base covered as far as bowling goes.The batters need to score bog and give chance to bowlers to attack more & keep slip in for long time.If batters do well ,India will win series.

          • July 13th 2018 @ 8:22am
            Rats said | July 13th 2018 @ 8:22am | ! Report

            Well.. fair enough. let’s wait and watch.. I will be the happiest if I am proved wrong and India wins the series..
            By the way, I didn’t get Shami left arm thing..

          • Columnist

            July 13th 2018 @ 12:44pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | July 13th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

            Saurabh, I agree the Indian pace attack has improved but they still do not at all look like an attack that can take 20 wickets in every Test on super-flat decks in Australia.

            61 wickets at a colossal average of 50 – that is the combined Test records in Australia of Ishant, Shami, Yadav and Bhuvneshwar.

            Bumrah, meanwhile, is still completely unproven in Test cricket, he’s only played one series which was in SA on very bowler-friendly wickets which offered him miles more help than he’ll get from the Aussie roads this summer.

            Meanwhile, whichever spinner India picks is unlikely to have a significant impact – visiting Test spinners have averaged more than 60 in Australia over the past five years.

            • Roar Guru

              July 13th 2018 @ 7:15pm
              Saurabh Gandle said | July 13th 2018 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

              Ronan the record you are talking about was when fast bowlers were young and raw. Umesh, Bhuvi, Shami, Ishant have improved leaps and miles in last 4 years.

              Indian spinner you can’t say the same for Kuldeep and Chahal if either of them is picked. Australia struggled miserably against him even in limited overs format.

              Above all, Virat in tests is more imaginative, attacking than MS Dhoni, which R Ashwin will enjoy instead of choking the flow of runs.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 8:17am
      Rats said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      They did well in SA because the pitches were suiting them. They also bowled well in home tests in India and also in SL. But at both the places they were playing second fiddle to spinners.. spinners were expected to take wickets.. fast bowlers bowled and less pressure and lots of freedom.
      In Australia on flat pitches, scenario is different.. the fast bowlers are expected to pick wickets.. spinners have no role.. bumrah and Yadav are the only hope in Australia..

    • July 12th 2018 @ 8:58am
      Paul said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      India started to draw the battle lines months ago when they declared what games they would and would not play. Kohli and co are scared to play in Brisbane, so no Test there, and are equally scared to play under lights, so only a day Test in Adelaide.

      I also vaguely recall India coming to Australia when Ashwin was touted as not only the best off spinner in the world, but the best all rounder in world cricket. How did he go in that series? People who have made posts are dreaming if you believe spinners play a small role in Australia. They are critical to the balance of the team’s attack and in the case of Lyons, is used as an attacking weapon.

      I also seem to recall that most of not all of your fast bowlers toured a few years ago. How did they go? At least Rats knows the quicks have to bowl differently in Australia with a lot of aggression to get anything out of the pitches.

      Finally, if you are so confident India is going to win, please tell me what the series result will be and which Tests you think they’ll win and lose? They might maybe win in Sydney but apart from that, can’t see them doing much.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 9:59am
      Tanmoy Kar said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      Besides Kohli there are other players who can hit centuries, like Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara and Rahane.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 11:59am
      Brasstax said | July 12th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

      It will be either a drawn series or Australia will win 1-0 with India outscoring them in the drawn games.

      • Roar Guru

        July 20th 2018 @ 11:08pm
        Saurabh Gandle said | July 20th 2018 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

        What makes you think Australia will win

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