India vs Australia: Steve Smith & Co. in pursuit of solving Kuldeep Yadav mystery

Kuldeep Yadav and other wrist spinners are expected to play a big role in the India vs Australia ODI cricket series. Australia captain Steve Smith is ensuring they have all bases covered should they face the chinaman in the ODI series

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 16, 2017 14:15 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Chennai
India vs Australia,Steve Smith,Kuldep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav troubled Steve Smith-led Australian cricket team during a home Test series. (PTI)

Not forgetting how Kuldeep Yadav had left them gobsmacked in the Dharamsala Test, Australia captain Steve Smith is ensuring they have all bases covered should they face the chinaman once again in the ODI series, beginning here on Sunday.

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“He is a guy Sri (team consultant S Sriram) has organised to come down (from Kerala) and bowl. They have got Kuldeep Yadav in their squad and he is probably likely to play. There is a chance to train against someone like that. There isn’t too many around the world,” said Steve Smith when asked about him.

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Touted as mystery bowlers, wrist spinners are expected to play a big role in the India-Australia series. Both sides have quality wrist spinners in the side --- Australia have Adam Zampa while India have Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Yadav had taken four crucial wickets in the first innings of the Dharamsala Test, restricting Australia to just 300 even though they were 144/1 at one time. India won that Test to go on to win the four-match series 2-1.

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It was clear from how Smith spoke about Yadav that a fair bit of strategising is going on about playing him. “He has played a bit since then. A few of the guys played against him in the IPL and obviously saw what he did in Sri Lanka. He is a good young talent and can be difficult to pick at times. He is someone who you have to watch a little bit closely. Hopefully we can put him under pressure early in his spell,” he said.

Smith believes spin could be a factor in this series. “I it could play a part, particularly in the middle overs --- just to change things up and take the pace off the ball. Spin has always played a pretty big part in ODIs particularly in these conditions,” said Smith.

READ | Steve Smith hopes to keep ‘Enemy No.1’ Virat Kohli quiet in IND vs AUS series

Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan may have left India a bit rudderless at the top by pulling out of the first three ODIs due to his wife’s illness but that was not top of Australia captain Steve Smith’s mind when asked if that was an advantage.

“Yeah, I think Shikhar has obviously been playing well for India for the last year or so at the top of the order. Obviously it is tough for them. I think they still have got a very strong batting line up whether KL Rahul opens or Ajinkya. I am not sure but we are ready for both. They have a strong top-six or seven,” said Smith.

First Published: Sep 16, 2017 14:12 IST