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India will find it tough against Australia, says Wasim Akram

Warning that Australia will play a “hard game” to win the Test series for their departed teammate Phil Hughes, Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram has said India will certainly find it tough against the hosts who will go all out to come up trumps.

“The Australians will certainly play a hard game. And India should be ready for it. They would want to win the series for Phil Hughes and will go all out in their efforts to come up trumps. They have got a good team and India will certainly find it tough against them,” Akram told PTI ahead the much-awaited Test series.

India are set to face Australia in Adelaide on December 9 after the four-match series was re-scheduled post Hughes’ tragic demise.

The left-handed batsman was hit on the head by New South Wales pacer Sean Abbott in a domestic game in Sydney on November 25 and succumbed to his injuries two days after in a city hospital.

Describing Hughes’ fatal injury as a “freak incident”, Akram said as a pacer, he feels for Abbott, the bowler.

“You feel for the young guy (Abbott). But I would just tell him to ease up. It could have happened with anybody. It’s not his fault at all. He is being counselled and I guess he will bounce back,” the former Pakistan captain said.

Asked if the Indians and Australians might go easy on bowling bouncers after the on-field tragic incident that claimed Hughes’ life, Akram said, “I don’t think the Australian or the Indian bowlers will stop bowling bouncers and stuff like that. But yes it will be emotionally very demanding for the Australians to get back on the field but once a few days pass by and they start bowling or batting things will become normal. As I said it’s a freak incident.”

Talking about the phyche of a fast bowler when he bowls a bouncer, Akram said, “The intent of the bowler is to intimidate the batsman. Primarily it’s not about picking a wicket, if it comes your way then its fine. But just to create that fear in the batsman’s mind, not really to hurt him but to keep him on the backfoot.”

Asked if the Indian and Pakistani players were more vulnerable to the short ball due to the equipment available in the domestic circuit of the two countries, he said, “I don’t know about India but equipment standards have certainly improved all over the world.”

“There are certain prescribed guidelines that are to be followed by the equipment makers and suppliers. In domestic cricket I don’t know whether they follow these guidelines or not. But by and large the cricketing gear used now is of highest quality,” he said.

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