Indian pace attack has been a revelation this year during overseas tours but tougher conditions in Australia will make it a very challenging series for the fast bowlers, reckons former speedster Ashish Nehra.
Nehra, who was a part of the Indian squad that drew 1-1 during the 2003-04 series in Australia, felt the current attack “has the ability” to succeed but conditions will be different than what they got in England and South Africa.
“Australian team is going through a massive restructuring and this is India’s best chance without 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 warmer side,” the 39-year-old Nehra told agencies in an interview.
“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,” said Nehra, who has played 17 Tests and 120 ODIs apart from 27 Twenty20 Internationals.
According to Nehra, it will be Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and one between Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, who will be starting in Adelaide.
“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,” Nehra opined.
The former left-arm seamer said that Mohammed Shami’s fitness in England impressed him a lot.
“What I liked was Shami bowling with fire in the second innings of the fifth Test at the Oval. Now that takes a lot of doing. I hope he can keep it up in Australia also if he starts from the first Test,” he observed.
Ishant Sharma’s stamina will also be required as his fitness is what makes him “special”, said his former state and national team team colleague.
It will be Bumrah’s first Test tour of Australia and Nehra is confident that Australians will find it difficult to play him.