One will have to dig really deep into the record books to come up with an example of a series in Australia where the pace bowlers had no role to play. The Indian batsmen are not complaining though. They like it this way, where the wicket is nice and flat and the pace bowlers are nice and gentle.
All this however, is likely to change in the Twenty20 series. In a clear indication of how toothless the Australian attack has made them feel, their selectors have decided it’s time for some chin music for India’s top order, which has been on a run-scoring spree, comfortably playing on the front foot.
To carry out the job of testing Rohit Sharma& Co, on the backfoot, the home side will be unleashing the most terrifying bowler in their Twenty20 League this season - Shaun Tait - on the visitors in the three-game series which follows the one-dayers.
It is the reward of some really quick, 150 plus thunderbolts, in the Big Bash, the highlight of it being a spell for Hobart Hurricanes against Sydney Thunder’s Jacques Kallis and Shane Watson, in which he prized out three wickets. He shook up both Kallis and Watson with short balls and send them back in the first over of their innings.
“I did face him. I faced two balls, one was a very fast bouncer and the other one I nicked off, so he was very good,” Watson, who was also picked for the T20s, told after his selection.
The two also played together in the Indian Premier League for the Rajasthan Royals.
“Tait’s an X-Factor, always has been. I still believe he has a lot to offer, with his body right and bowling fast, the way he releases the ball is different to anything you face, so it’s awesome he’s got another opportunity.”
“We don’t know and I don’t know whether we’ll find out - it’s up to Shaun now. He’s probably the fastest bowler in the country at the moment. You do need a bit of pace in T20 cricket,” Australia’s selection committee chairman Rod Marsh told the media.
Tait will be making a comeback to international cricket after five years. His selection had created similar excitement when he was picked to play against India in the Test match at the WACA in 2007-08. But, India had Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar to successfully negotiate him then.
It will be an interesting battle this time when he takes on Rohit & Kohli in his backyard. They have played him in the IPL, but at the top of his game, he will pose a different challenge.
India has posted 295 plus scores in all three one-day games. We saw a glimpse of what impact sharp pace can make on the subcontinent batsmen when John Hastings put some shoulder in his bowling in the third ODI at the MCG, to finish with four wickets. Tait can be even more difficult to pick because of his slinging side-on action.