Shaun Marsh’s start to the Sheffield Shield season has been solid with a century against Victoria on Sunday and an 85 against Tasmania in the first game, but Australia should not select him for Test cricket this summer.
India’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma says his bowlers have the same ability as the West Indies to trouble Australia’s top order with bouncers.
India’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma has warned Australia his bowlers have the ability to bounce out the defending champions in the same style as the West Indies.
Australia fell to 4-38 early in their 15-run win over the Windies last week, as the men from the Caribbean followed through on their threat to pepper the Australians with short stuff.
Usman Khawaja in particular was roughed up with two blows to the head and body, while Glenn Maxwell was caught for a duck trying to pull a ball.
It was an uncharacteristic performance from Australia’s top order, who are usually comfortable against bounce having been raised on the harder and faster local wickets.
India watched that game closely, and say they’re ready to provide similar tactics against the Aussies if their batsmen again look uncomfortable.
“The short ball for any batsman is not easy. Even the best guy who can pull and hook the ball will find it difficult,” Sharma said.
“We have the bowling attack to do that.
“Having said that, you don’t want to be carried away with that. You’ve got to understand the conditions and make sure you keep the batter guessing all the time.”
“We will see the conditions and we will watch what the batsman is doing at that time. If he is finding it uncomfortable of course we will welcome him with the short stuff.”
Not usually renowned for their sheer pace, there were times during the summer where India troubled Australia with bounce.
They forced Aaron Finch to retire hurt in the second Test at Perth, before the Aussies recovered to claim their only win in the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
They don’t however appear to have the sustained pace attack of the West Indies, and will rely heavily on spin in the early and middle overs.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will likely be their preferred option, after the latter took 4-51 in last week’s win over South Africa.
Sharma himself could also present a challenge to Australia with the bat at the top of the order.
His average of 61.57 in 36 matches against the Aussies is the highest of any player in history, while Virat Kohli eight centuries against them is also a record.
“You have to be right on from ball one,” Finch said.
“When (Sharma)’s taking his time early in his innings, if you don’t get him in that period it builds up and builds up, and he’s so destructive when he decides to really start putting the pressure on you.
“You can’t afford to give them freebies early on, and that goes for their whole order.”