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Indian bowlers told to adapt fast in Australia

Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad is confident his young new ball bowlers can adapt quickly to bouncy Australian pitches.

cricket Updated: Dec 14, 2007 16:57 IST

Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad is confident his young new ball bowlers can adapt quickly to bouncy Australian pitches after toiling on flat tracks in the home test series win over Pakistan this week.

The ex-India paceman said the tour starting next week would push the players but the team were confident thanks to their recent wins and bowling consistency in varied conditions.

"It is going to be a very challenging series down under," Prasad told Reuters on Friday. "It will be exciting competition and all the players will be pushed to the limit in terms of technique, tactics, mentally and physically."

India leave on Monday for Australia to play in a four-test series starting on Dec. 26 followed by a one-day tri-series also featuring Sri Lanka.

India are on a high after a one-day and test double over Pakistan but their pace attack is injury depleted. Skipper Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh are the spinners.

The pacy Shanthakumaran Sreesanth has a shoulder injury and Munaf Patel has been dropped due to a lack of sharpness.

Among the five chosen, only left-armers Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan have previously played in Australia while young left-arm R.P.Singh missed the Pakistan tests through injury.

India are hoping they can at least repeat their performance on the last tour in 2003-4 when they drew the test series 1-1.


Ishant Sharma, 19, is two tests old but took a five-wicket innings haul in the drawn final test while Pankaj Singh, 22, is uncapped, although their height could prove handy on bouncy pitches in Australia.

"Our bowling is a bit inexperienced," Prasad said "We might have played on flat tracks but I'm very confident we'll be ready to adapt because they have done it before.

He added: "Both Ishant and Pankaj have got fantastic talent and lot of potential. They only have to work hard on fitness and be open to ideas."

Prasad was appointed in April and the team have since won test series in Bangladesh and England. Indian bowlers also shone in the Twenty20 World Cup win in South Africa in September.

"We've been talking about adaptability, that is our mantra," he said. "We've shown a lot of adaptability in terms of pitch conditions, weather and playing against different teams."

However, he said the lack of a gap between series was preventing injury recovery for fast bowlers with flat home pitches like those used against Pakistan making their life tougher. "If we have to develop fast bowling then we need to look at the pitches as well," he said. "People ask 'why can't we produce quick bowlers?' How can we if the bowlers who want to bowl quick are bowling on flat wickets.

"They tend to reduce their pace after a game or two and rely on swing, movement," he said.

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