After facing a maiden Test defeat to Bangladesh, the mighty Aussies have flown down to India for five-match ODI series, beginning in Chennai on September 17 which will be followed by 3-match T20 series as well.
Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke reckons the flat tracks being used in ODIs would even out some of Australia’s shortcomings. In a recent chat with TOI, he said, “Conditions in Test matches and ODIs are a lot different. You get flat pitches to bat on in ODIs and T20s. 95 per cent of the pitches around the world are similar in ODIs. You don’t have to worry about dealing with spinners on Day 3, 4 and 5.”
With India’s spin-twin R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja rested for the series and Clarke jokingly said that the visitors will love to sponsor the two all-rounders to play for them. He said, “We will be happily sponsoring Ashwin and Jadeja to play for us if India doesn’t need them for the first three games. That’s the advantage India has. I think Kuldeep Yadav is a superstar and he will be a big part of the team going forward.”
While Indian team will be depending on Axar Patel, Kuldeep, Yuzvendra Chahal in their spin department, Australia will be trusting Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar. Players like Steve Smith, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, who have a rich IPL experience, need to step-up their game against India. Clarke said, “People like Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner will need to have a good series. The top four needs to fire.”
Talking about the era of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, former Australian skipper concluded, “It is a combination of quality of spinners and the pitches. Those days you faced very high-quality spinners in Harbhajan and Anil Kumble. In Test cricket, it became tougher. Ashwin and Jadeja too have done that in Tests. These days and on these kinds of pitches, Australian batsmen shouldn’t have much of a problem. If Australia can win the first game, they will be in with a real shot.”