Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team made history in 2018/19 when they won a series of tests in Australia for the first time. Cheteshwar Pujara with the bat and Rishabh pants behind the wickets was one of the key factors. However, it was the bowling trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami that played a major role in India to gain the upper hand over Australia. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma combined to take 48 wickets at an average of just over 20, while Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins combined to take 40 wickets, but at an average of more from 30.
Bumrah, in particular, was the standout bowler on this tour, picking up 21 wickets. Its nine wickets in the Melbourne Boxing Day Test made it stand out and helped India secure its first victory in Melbourne in 37 years. With Australia now considering revenge for the series loss, Josh Hazlewood has revealed what the hosts’ strategy will be to counter Jasprit Bumrah.
Speaking to the The Bharat Express News, Hazlewood said: “Bumrah is probably the star. He is unique in his action. He keeps the pace very well throughout the day, and the whole series. He’s probably the key. He can take counters in advance or with the old balloon. I guess it’s about giving him a lot of over, trying to tire him out in the first two games. This will be the key. They have most of the bases covered with their quicks. If Ishant Sharma gets here at any point, it will add to their strength. They are all a little different. Over the past 10 to 15 years, Indian pacemakers have continued to improve. Our hitters will have to be on their toes to counter this.
Virat Kohli’s absence will not be felt
Hazlewood admitted that India’s pacers beat Australia in the previous series. Although Ishant Sharma’s physical condition is under a cloud, the Indian side still has depth in Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav. However, the whole talk is about Virat Kohli missing three of the four tests as he returns to India for the birth of his child after Adelaide’s test ends. However, Hazlewood is of the opinion that India will not miss Virat Kohli as they have enormous depth.
“There are young guys coming in, players like Shubman Gill. He might have an opportunity. Hardik Pandya had an excellent IPL as a finisher in T20 cricket. He’s the one we have our eyes on. Rohit Sharma – he’s a class drummer, kind of a carefree guy. Then you have Pujara and Rahane. The top 30 Indian cricketers are here. We will have to try to survive Pujara, I guess. He doesn’t mind waiting for the lively ones to get tired. He’s the old school test batsman … once you’re out of that line and that length he’ll hurt you. It will be a challenge for us; don’t think Virat’s absence in the last three tests will hurt them so much, ”Hazlewood said.