India ready with their bag of tricks for Steve Smith’s Australia

first_imgLess than 24 hours remain before the first ball of the four-Test series between India and Australia is bowled at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune and it already seems like the groundsmen have prepared a pitch which will take turn from Day 1. (India keen to take down Australia for perfect end to season)CLICK TO WATCH FULL VIDEOAustralia’s worst fears seem to have come true as images of the pitch were released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Wednesday morning. The Aussies, who in all likelyhood were going to go in with three fast bowlers and lead spinner Nathan Lyon, will now have to rethink their strategy after looking at the newly laid surface in Pune. (Kohli on Test series against Australia: Not bothered about the opposition)Am early morning pitch inspection – Head coach @anilkumble1074 and @ImSanjayBangar at it #TeamIndia #INDvAUS BCCI (@BCCI) February 22, 2017Captain Steve Smith had a look at the pitch in the morning and claimed that he had never seen a wicket quite like this before the start of a Test match and reckons that it will turn from ball one. (Kohli creates a positive environment in the dressing-room: Saha to India Today)”I think it will take spin from ball one,” Smith said. “There are a couple of divots out of the wicket as well. (Virat Kohli won his battles against Joe Root, can he trump Steve Smith?)”I haven’t really seen a wicket like that before a Test match so I think it is going to take a lot of spin and potentially some up and down movement for the fast bowlers as well.” (Five India vs Australia controversies that shook the cricketing world)advertisementAfter dishing out quality wickets against New Zealand and England last year, India seem to have gone back to their strategy of producing raging turners for the No. 2 ranked Australian team just like they had done against South Africa when they came for a tour in 2015. (Kohli refuses to judge himself as captain)Both the Kiwis and Alastair Cook’s side played on pitches which were excellent for batting and only started to take any kind of turn from Day 3 onwards. Especially in the series against England, except for the pitch in Vizag, all the other wickets saw both teams scoring over 400 atleast once in every innings. (Kohli grateful to Anil Kumble for helping him evolve as cricketer)But the BCCI is not going to take any chances against a strong team like Australia which has three to four world class batsmen who are equally brilliant against pace and spin. Batsmen like Steve Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh can be dangerous even in Indian conditions if they get a good start and get their eye in. (Why Australia should be afraid of Virat Kohli)Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be India’s main weapons along with Jayant Yadav and Amit Mishra, who will surely play a couple of Tests each, and the board is going all out to ensure that they get pitches which will assist the Indian spinners from very early on in the match.The stadium in Pune will host its first Test match and therefore, both teams do not really know what to expect from the surface. In a situation like this it is always better to go for the tried and test formula rather than experimenting with the pitch and ground conditions, especially when the summer season is just around the corner.last_img read more