Aus plan for India spinners: Use reverse sweeps, hit over the top

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Sydney, Jan 6 (IANS) Australian batsmen are being encouraged to go after the Indian spinners with whatever shots they feel comfortable with, including sweeps and reverse sweeps in the remaining two Test matches of the ongoing four-match series.

The Aussies have struggled to get going against the Indian spin attack in the first two Tests, especially against Ravichandran Ashwin who has picked 10 wickets so far and has most importantly got the better of prolific Australia batter Steve Smith.

“We have just spoken about the mindset. We have actually got some decent plans. It is just a matter of going out and having the courage to execute them. So if you are the guy who wants to execute them and hit over the top or if you are the guy who wants to sweep and reverse sweep the spinners when they are bowling then we have been just encouraging guys to do that,” said Australia skipper Tim Paine on the eve of the third Test match beginning Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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The addition of David Warner will definitely provide the team with the edge. Warner had spoken the other day about the batsmen, especially openers, not being able to take the game on.

Paine admitted that they have allowed the Indian bowlers to dictate terms to them.

“Taking the game on and play the way you want to play (has been our advice to batsmen). I think at times we have just let them dictate to us little bit, let them build pressure and then with pressure you lose wickets at times. So it is about being really clear on your plans and about having the courage to execute it and do it your way,” said the Australia captain.

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He also said that ideally they would want to target the newcomers in the bowling line-up, especially Mohammed Siraj and whoever replaces Umesh Yadav in the third Test and ensure that they tire out both Jasprit Bumrah and Ashwin by making them bowl a lot of overs. But he added that it easier said than done because India have good reserves.

“Ideally, we might want (Bumrah and Ashwin) bowling a lot of overs and scoring a lot runs against the Indians but what we have seen again with the Indian batters is that they have got depth around their squad…Same with their attack we have seen them do well. The guys who have come in, we played against them in Australia A games and we know the skills they have got. We certainly can’t take any of them lightly…”

“But yeah, huge key is to get a lot of overs into Bumrah and Ahswin and if we can do that then obviously we are scoring more runs and we are making younger guys bowl a bit more. That is the key regardless who we are playing against,” said Paine ahead of the third Test which will be telecast live on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels.

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The series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first Test in Adelaide while India registering a win in the second in Melbourne.

–IANS

Kh/aak/

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