The highly anticipated India vs Australia 2018 series is all set to kickstart from 6 December. The Indian team is expected to pose a stiff challenge as they in the four-match Test series. The conditions in Australia will not be easy but going by India’s performances in the past one year, it promises to be a hard-fought contest.
Once again the cynosure of all eyes will be on the bowlers. After a successful outing in England, the Indian seamers will have their tails up. The Test series down under will be a big opportunity for the Indian team as the Australian side will be without the services of David Warner and Steve Smith. India’s rejuvenated bowling attack will be another factor that could favor them in this series. The Aussie quartet on the hand will be a bit rusty but to take them lightly will be inviting trouble. However. both teams boast of plenty of options whether it’s the fast bowling department or the spinning one.
Here we have five bowlers to watch out for in the upcoming 4-match Test series:
With his ability to swing the ball both ways, Bhuvneshwar Kumar can trouble the opening batsmen Down Under. India desperately missed his services in England and his presence could have made a huge difference to the scoreline. Kumar has been the premier bowler for team India, and on top of that, he has made a crucial contribution with the bat in the lower order. Bhuvneshwar will be key to the success for the Australian Test series as he could provide a balance to the team in the absence of Hardik Pandya.
While R Ashwin remains as the first choice spinner, Kuldeep Yadav will provide the x-factor in the line-up. Yadav’s debut in the Dharmasala Test was a memorable one where he bamboozled the Australians on a first-day pitch with left-arm wrist spin. The dismissal of Glenn Maxwell courtesy of a wrong ‘un might just force the Indian think-tank about including him in the playing XI. While conditions might not be conducive for spinners what works in Yadav’s favour is his ability to get the ball to bounce. However, his inclusion will also depend on whether India plays five bowlers or four?
Jasprit Bumrah has been Virat Kohli’s go to man ever since his sensational debut with the red-ball in South Africa. Bumrah’s ability to hit the deck hard and generate movement of the pitch will be of immense use to team India. Over the last one year, the 24-year-old has grown immensely to the extent of being hailed as the next big thing in the World of Test cricket. His numbers in the red-ball cricket comprise of a wicket tally that stands at 28, a bowling average of 25.6, an economy of 2.92 with the best bowling figure of 54/5 out of the 2 five-wicket hauls he has got. However, one thing that the management needs to keep an eye on is Bumrah’s fitness. Bumrah will surely feature in the playing XI in the Australia series, and it will be exciting to see how he performs.
Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc will lead Australia’s attack in the Test series. Starc featured in the final T20I against Indian and showed no signs of rustiness. With his deadly inswinging yorkers, Starc is a key component for the Kangaroos if they have to spoil India’s hopes. So far in 45 Tests, Starc has picked up 186 wickets at an average of 28.52 (including nine five-fors and a single ten-for).
Australia’s tearaway seamer Pat Cummins is another fast bowler who will keep the Indian batsmen on their toes. The 25-year-old can win matches single-handedly on his day. In the longer format of the game, he averages 23.82 and that will definitely help the Aussies. Pat Cummins’ last Test was against South Africa at New Wanderers Stadium in March this year. however, he too must take care of his fragile body and ensure injuries do not hamper his chances.
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