The current form of the India batters would be a worry for Australia when the two teams meet in their World Cup opener here on Sunday, feels former Aussie pacer Jason Gillespie.
“The Australians must look to hit that length on top of the off-stump. They just cannot afford to give the Indians any width. The Indians have good control of their wrists, so they can manipulate the ball in between the cover and third-man area.
“So, by no means can the Australians bowl too full or give any width. They have to be very tight on that off-stump line,” Gillespie, who was a member of Australia’s
2003 World Cup-winning squad but withdrew midway due to injury, told The Telegraph from Adelaide.
Evaluating Australia’s bowling attack, Gillespie said: “It’s interesting to see them go in with just one specialist spinner in the form of (Adam) Zampa. That only reflects they’re working further on their fast-bowling depth. So, exciting times ahead,” Gillespie, who has more than 400 international wickets, said.
Pat or no Pat
Gillespie also suggested that captain Pat Cummins will do well to sit out a few of Australia’s games to forge a better XI with both seamer all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Cameron Green.
“The big question is, does Pat play all the matches? Josh Hazlewood has done well over the last few years in white-ball cricket, Mitchell Starc too is always a gun bowler in World Cups. So, it won’t be surprising if Pat sits out of a couple of games. That can help them to lengthen their batting.
“Rather than playing three fast bowlers, Australia can play two quicks and two all-rounders with Zampa looking after the spin and getting some assistance from (Glenn) Maxwell,” Gillespie explained.
Among the Indian bowlers, Gillespie likes Mohammed Siraj.
“I love Siraj’s seam presentation, his change of pace and he comes across as a real competitor with an aggressive line and length and aggressive attitude,” Gillespie said, before adding: “It’s Bumrah who balances the attack.”
Pat Cummins wasn’t brutally straightfroward in citing an overdose of cricket as a big reason behind 50-overs cricket gradually losing its relevance. However, the Australia skipper said so in as many words — that too much of cricket at present isn’t making the scenario ideal for the cricketers.
Prioritising formats is the way to go, he stressed.
“There’s so much cricket going on that you’ve seen over the last few years, so you’ve got to prioritise different things at different times,” the pacer said on Saturday. “There have been times where we’ve missed white-ball cricket to focus on Tests... In a World Cup year like this, we’ve probably tended to rest more from the T20s to get ready, so it’s tough.”