Ex-Aussie skipper Steve Waugh praised India’s key off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin reaping rich harvest of wickets and called him as Don Bradman of bowling. Beware of Ashwin is just one more way of just praising the Indian spinners in general and Ashwin in particular. Touring teams coming to India apply such clever tactics before the start of the tour and divert attention of Team India. In 1977-78, Tony Greig praised Indian umpires saying that they are the best in the world. In the end result, English team won the series in the first three 3 matches by applying Vaseline to the ball. John Lever was among the wickets with both new and old balls before Indian umpires could find out and Team India lost the series 1-3. Like English team of 2012, Australians have prepared very well in Dubai with Indian coaches assisting their spinners and teaching them ways and means to attack Indian batsmen and how to play spin on Indian soil. So it is a timely warning for skipper Virat Kohli and Ashwin not to carried away about the Bradman of bowling comment and work hard and await a tough battle with young resurgent Aussie side.
Beware of Kangaroos as they are better opponents than all the other touring teams, which toured India in recent times. Nothing is to be taken for granted and Team India should fight every inch as the Aussies are capable of upsetting applecart. Test team for the first two test matches is unchanged and that raise doubts about our selection policy. The opening batsmen in the side did not click all the time and even an opposition like Bangladesh could well have a measure of our batmen edging and nudging to provide an opening. The spinners struggled against the Bengal Tigers and that raise a doubt whether spinners are good enough on flat tracks. The selection should be based on future and some players are good enough for overseas tours as Mohinder Amarnath was saying repeatedly. Again the fielding standard of the side is well below world standard but we are the world number one side.
Fast bowling is only the redeeming factor, which we neglect in the name of spin. With three Yadavs’ in the side we are not getting good players from South in the side despite their good show in Ranji Trophy. Ajinkya Rahane despite his poor show against spin has been selected in place of Karun Nair and that is a major questionable decision. In all team selection is totally farce and it should be for each test match and not for first two test matches. Fortunately, injured Rohit Sharma is sidelined as we used to play with injured players in the past and ignore our bench strength.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)