Australia have prepared for a spin onslaught in the Test series against India but former captain Michael Clarke feels that their fast bowlers, especially Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, still have a major role to play.
“Australia is predicting that spin is going to play a huge role. But I still think the quicks have a big role to play as well,” Clarke said on a Facebook live chat and was quoted by cricket.com.au.
“Starc and Hazlewood will need to take a lot of wickets to help Australia win this series. Natural swing with the brand new ball, and especially reserve swing, is going to be really important to the Australian team. Australia is going to need everybody to really perform if they want to beat India in their own backyard,” he said.
Clarke warned the Australia team to be “hopeful” of a series win but in the “worst case, they have to compete with this India team”.
“India on the other hand will want to dominate, they will want to continue to show how good they are in their own backyard,” said Clarke. “Australia has beaten India at home, now India will want to make sure their dominance in their own backyard stays there.”
Clarke called for patience to be shown to the players in conditions alien to what they have experienced at home. “It’s hard to expect players to walk straight onto the big stage and perform, especially in conditions that are different to what you’re accustomed to,” said Clarke.
“I think this Australia team is talented (but) we need to give these players some time to play around the world in different countries, learn, adapt, improve, get better, to see how talented they are. As selectors, all they can really do is pick who they feel are the best players and then give them the opportunity, and I think that’s what they’ve done,” he said.
“The selectors have gone with a core group of players they feel are the best in the Australian system, and now they’ve got to have the courage to stick with them and give them a chance.
“This series is going to be a really good eye opener for the players that have never played Test cricket in India, but also for their understanding of how you do face different conditions all around the world.”