Team India is set to host Australia for a four-match Test series starting on February 9. India, under the leadership of captain Rohit Sharma, have started their practice sessions in Nagpur while the Australian team have set up its training camp in Bengaluru. The Indian team will look to book their place in the Test Championship, which can be sealed if they win the series. However, Australia were unable to win a Test series in India since 2004.
This time, the Aussies will be hoping to win the series with the firepower of the likes of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, who are in great form. However, former Australian fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson believes that if the Pat Cummins-led side can bat first a couple of times in the upcoming Test series, they can put Rohit Sharma’s team India under pressure by registering decent first innings totals.
“If the Aussies can bat first a couple of times early in the series, at venues which are expected to take a fair bit of spin, and get good first-innings totals on the board that will put a bit of pressure back onto India. The Aussies have taken over four spinners and while the Indians would respect Nathan Lyon’s experience and Test record, they wouldn’t be fearing any of them. Indian batsmen use their feet well and hit spin very correctly,” Johnson wrote in his column for The West Australian.
There won’t be much swing either: Mitchell Johnson
India defeated Australia by 172 runs in Nagpur in 2008. Johnson, along with legendary fast bowler Brett Lee, led the Australian pace attack at the time. In the Nagpur Test, the former Australian speedster only took one wicket. However, his former teammate Jason Krejza emerged as the standout bowler, taking 12 wickets.
“Australia will play a Test in Nagpur this week for the first time since 2008 when Jason Krejza took 12 wickets. Expect a pitch that is very flat early and without any grass. There won’t be much swing either and it will be very tough work for the quicks. Lyon with his ability to find extra bounce should like bowling in a Test in Nagpur for the first time,” Johnson added.