While batting is undoubtedly India's strength, it's not possible to make an impression without having the arsenal to take 20 wickets in a Test match. After all, winning a Test match isn't just about scoring more runs than the opposition but about dismissing the opposition twice. In fact, our batting will blossom only if our bowlers manage to restrict the Australian batting line-up to a manageable total. Also, we mustn't forget that our bowling unit isn't all that experienced and will have to punch above its weight.
Pitch it fuller
Whenever a young fast bowler lands in Australia, he visualizes bouncing the batsman out. However, most batsmen are adept at handling the short-pitched stuff and they secretly hope that bowlers waste both their energy and the shine by bowling bouncers. It's important for Umesh Yadav, Mithun and Ishant to take a leaf out of Zaheer's book of line-and-length-to-bowl-in-Test-cricket. The new Kookaburra swings appreciably in the air and it's important to keep the ball in the air longer by pitching it fuller.
Make them play
The bounce and carry encourages bowlers to run in harder and bowl quicker. It's important for our younger bowlers to remember that it's all about dismissing the batsman and making the new ball count for the failure to take wickets with it would result in spending long hours on the field. An opener hates being made to play most deliveries.
Hit the deck hard
The Kookaburra ceases to swing the moment the seam and shine disappear. The same bowler who could wreak havoc with the new ball becomes easy pickings with the old one. They have to extract movement off the surface and must hit the deck hard. The hard Australian surfaces are responsive but the tough part is that it extracts more effort from the bowler who may have to bowl shorter spells but put everything behind the ball for those 4-5 overs.
Spin the web
Australian surfaces can be a spinner's ally too and he should refrain from bowling it quicker in the air. The easiest way to play spinners is to play from the crease - that is if the bowler bowls quicker and there isn't a need to use the feet to smother the spin. If Ashwin and Ojha are prepared to flight the ball, they're sure to get some assistance from the surface.
The writer is former India opener and plays for Rajasthan in Ranji Trophy.