Australia would be a tough challenge for Indian bowling attack: Ashish Nehra
The Indian pace bowling attack has been a class apart in recent times during the overseas tour but veteran paceman Ashish Nehra reckons that Australia would be a different challenge altogether for them
Nehra himself has had his share of experience in Australia where his side drew against the hosts in the 2003-2004 series. The veteran left-arm bowler feels that although they have this bowling attack has it in them to succeed, bowling in Australia would be very different from that of England and South Africa.
Reckoning that this is India’s best chance to upstage Australia in their backyard, Nehra, in an interview with PTI said, “Australian team is going through a massive restructuring and this is India’s best chance without a doubt. We have the bowling attack to beat them. But we need to be mindful that conditions will be much tougher Down Under where the wickets will be flat and weather would be on the warmer side.”
“In Australia, you will get extra bounce but there will only be lateral movement till the kookaburra seam doesn’t flatten. It won’t be like England where the ball swings all day. Once you get adjusted to the bounce, batsmen can hit you all day,” he further added.
A veteran of 17 Test matches and 120 ODIs, Nehra pitted Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and one between Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav to start for the team in Adelaide, singling out Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who he felt would have a hard time with the Kookaburra ball.
“I don’t see Bhuvi starting in the first Test at least. He can struggle a bit with the old kookaburra as it will neither swing or seam unlike Dukes or SG Test,” said Nehra.
He further added Umesh Yadav isn’t a finished product as yet but has good assets and skills to do well on Australian pitches.
“I still believe that Umesh is not a finished product after eight years but someone who has incredible skill sets. He is a strong lad and the fittest among all Indian pacers. A testimony to that is his performances in Indian conditions when he can reverse the 65-70 overs old ball at a good speed. You need both skill and strength for that. He should feature sometime,” the 39-year-old added.
He so heaped praise on Mohammad Shami’s fitness in England, adding that Ishant Sharma–his “special” teammate at Delhi is one of the fittest there is, in modern-day cricket.
“If you look at Ishant Sharma, the 87 Tests that he has played is a testimony to his fitness. Often people will look at the wickets column (256) but bowling 35-40 overs for more than a decade requires special skills.
“Let me be honest. Whether it’s me or Rudra Pratap Singh or S Sreesanth, we had more skills as a fast bowler than Ishant. I had my share of injuries and RP also had fitness issues. Sreesanth was a different case altogether despite blessed with enormous skills. But then Ishant has been fit for so long, so let’s give credit where it is due,” added the veteran bowler.
Nehra also went on to add that picking Jasprit Bumrah might be tough for the Australians as the young Indian bowler is headed for his first Test series Down Under.
“Jasprit Bumrah is much more skilful red-ball bowler than what he is perceived to be. His yorkers will come in very handy with old kookaburra. Any batsman, who has not played Bumrah before can find it difficult to counter the awkward angle that his delivery creates.
“And in England, I found out that he can now get the ball to straighten consistently after pitching. So Bumrah is not a one-dimensional bowler,” he signed off.