Dav Whatmore Feels Australia is Yet to Solve the Spin Issues
It has been a sensational few months for the Indian cricket team and the recent series whitewash against Sri Lanka across all 3 formats was just a testimony to their excellent run of form in the recent past. It was also the first team that a visiting team didn’t allow the home team to win a single game in the series and eventually pocketed the tour 9-0 across formats.
Former Aussie batsman and a reputed coach in the international circuit feels that despite Australia being a far superior ODI side than Sri Lanka it will be an immensely difficult task for the Australian team to beat India in their backyard especially after India’s dream run in the recent past. Whatmore feels the former Invincibles have to play out of their skin to return stall India’s progress.
“India certainly have momentum. They were brilliant in Sri Lanka. Naturally, they will like to carry their form into the series. Australians have to be at their best to make inroads,” he said. Meanwhile, after losing the opening Test against Bangladesh, the Aussies came back strongly in the 2nd Test and riding on impressive performances by Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon they huffed and puffed to a 7 wicket victory.
“They will be upset that they lost the first Test. In the second, they managed to turn things around but huffed and puffed to victory. When they tour India, the fact that they lost to Bangladesh despite playing a lot in sub-continent will rankle in their minds,’’ said Whatmore.
Whatmore also added that the Aussies can’t keep on thinking what happened in the past and should look forward to the job in hand.
“You cannot keep thinking about the past. You have to move on, be positive, and start afresh. Use the practice game to get the combination right.”
Despite being a part of the IPL franchises, the Australian players have failed to impress in spin friendly conditions over the years. Even in the recent series against Bangladesh which they leveled 1-1, the Aussies were troubled on a consistent basis by the spinners and barring a David Warner or a Peter Handscomb no Australian batsmen played the spinners with authority.
“Inherently, Australian batsmen like the ball to come on to the bat. A few individuals with a bit more patience have done well. In general, you look at any Australian batsman, they have grown up on pitches or had tours where the ball comes on to the bat or goes to the wicketkeeper. That’s why despite the vast experience in the IPL they have been found wanting on surfaces which are slow, two-paced and aid spinners.”
The sweep shot was used to good effect by former Aussie opener Matthew Hayden who employed the tactics in the historic 2001 tour which India eventually won by a 2-1 margin.
Many players have also suggested that stepping down the track on a consistent basis might be a useful tactic for the Australian team.
“Sweep is a proven method to counter spin. But to step out and play, one needs to get to the pitch of the ball. Australia will depend on Steve Smith, David Warner, and Glenn Maxwell. But to me what is important is that one of these players should stay on until the end when they get settled. That will be key,” said Whatmore.
Whatmore also feels that it will be a pretty difficult task for spinners like Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa to perform in Indian conditions as the Indian batters are well aware of the conditions and know what to expect from the pitch.
“It will be difficult. They may be good in spells, but it’s difficult to contain Indian batsmen. They have grown up on these surfaces, so they won’t be troubled much. For Zampa, the tour will be a learning curve. With experience, he can develop into a good spinner,” said Whatmore.
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