Australia expect fast bowlers to leave their mark on India Test series

Four-Test series between top-ranked teams begins in Nagpur on Thursday

Australia captain Pat Cummins speaks to the media in Bengaluru on Saturday, February 4, 2023. AP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

India and Australia - the top two ranked teams in Test cricket - are about to get into a titanic battle over fourth Tests, the first of which starts in Nagpur on Thursday, and spin is on top of both team's minds.

Australia have not won a Test series in India since 2004 and no visiting team has won a red-ball series in India since England in 2012. The slow surfaces in the country, along with wily spin bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and, more recently, Axar Patel - have made India almost invincible at home.

However, fast bowlers have had their moments, making use of reverse swing on offer. Pacers like Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Siraj being the most prominent names to do so.

Australian skipper Pat Cummins said he expects a hard slog leading the tourists' pace attack but said he was excited for the looming showdown in the Border Gavaskar Trophy between the two teams most likely to also contest in the World Test Championship final in June.

"Coming here to India, a lot of the talk is around big spinning wickets, maybe fast Test matches, but it's not always the case," he told reporters.

"You need to get into the grind at times," he added. "That role as a fast bowler may be just bowling plenty of overs for not a heap of reward, but doing your job for the team.

"I really enjoyed that aspect of the last tour. There's always plenty of people watching, so lots to play for."

Earlier, wicketkeeper Alex Carey said while Australia are prepared for a trial by spin in India, they fully recognise the threat reverse swing may pose in the four-Test series against Rohit Sharma's team.

Australia batsmen practised on a scuffed-up pitch in Sydney before flying to India and have since gathered a group of local spinners for their net sessions near Bengaluru, having decided against playing any warm-up matches.

Carey is set to play his first Test in India and the 31-year-old said Australia were not oblivious to other threats lurking in spin-friendly conditions.

"Going to Pakistan, it was a lot of spin talk, and I found the reversing ball difficult," Carey said about the tour last year.

"When I played a four-day game here in 2018 a lot of talk was about spin and you probably forget a little bit about how damaging both teams' fast bowlers are with a reversing ball, and on wicket that might be a little bit up and down."

India clinch remarkable Test and series victory over Australia

Updated: February 04, 2023, 12:15 PM