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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

India vs Australia: Past history reveals big worry for Virat Kohli ahead of Test series

Indian bowling has not enjoyed much success in Australia, but the group has been in roaring form this year and how they adapt to the Australian conditions might define the outcome of the series.

cricket Updated: Nov 29, 2018 19:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India's Virat Kohli, left, speaks with Bharat Arun the Indian bowling coach, center, and Ishant Sharma (File image)
India's Virat Kohli, left, speaks with Bharat Arun the Indian bowling coach, center, and Ishant Sharma (File image)(AP)

Former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist does not believe India can script history by winning a Test series in Australia and he still backs the hosts to step up and defend their proud record.

VVS Laxman says India have a great chance to win the series because of the bowling attack, a sentiment which has been echoed by Sunil Gavaskar.

However, if we scratch the surface, there is a problem as far as Virat Kohli’s bowling attack is concerned. Ishant Sharma, who will on this fourth tour to the country, has rather abysmal numbers to show for his efforts.

For bowlers who have bowled more than 2000 balls in Australia, Ishant’s average is the worst. The lanky fast-bowler has managed to get only 20 wickets at an average of 62.15 and with a strike rate 105.4.

ALSO READ: Virat Kohli will not be the top scorer in the Test series - Ponting makes series prediction

R Ashwin is at number three on this list. The off-spinner has bowled 2038 balls and has picked 21 wickets at an average of 54.71 and with a strike rate of 97.

These numbers do paint a worrying picture, but, then this Indian attack has been on song this year. They have managed to pick up 20 wickets in all but 2 matches played this year, which is a great stat for Kohli to take into account.

The conditions in South Africa and England favoured the seamers, and despite the scoreline, the Indian bowlers were at their best. However, Australia will be a different challenge. The Kookaburra gets soft pretty quickly, there is little to no sideways movement and the outfields are rapid. How will the bowling attack adapt to these conditions might well determine the outcome of the series.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 18:56 IST