Expecting the pitch in Dharamsala to favour the pace bowlers, former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson believes Steve Smith-led side wil; be more confident compared to the India who will be ‘little nervous’ for the series decider, beginning Saturday.
“Dharamsala is an amazing ground and … the only times I have seen it are with grass on (the pitch). So I think that’s why the Australians will probably be confident … and India will be a little bit nervous,” cricket.com.au quoted Johnson as saying.
The 73-Test veteran also feels that Smith could bring in Jackson Bird, alongside fellow quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, at the expense of spinner Steve O’Keefe for the final Test.
O’Keefe was Australia’s match-winner in the first Test in Pune, claiming 12 wickets in India’s shock 333-run defeat.
However, in the following two Tests, the left-armer took just six wickets.
Johnson, 35, said that if the wicket at Dharamsala turns out to be more of an Australian kind then Bird would come in as the third quick in the Playing XI.
“I think we’re going to lose a spinner out of this Test match,” he said.
“The spinners have been great throughout the series. There’s been a lot of pressure on the spinners to go out there and perform and I think they’ve had some good patches and some bad patches. But that’s the game.”
“It’s a tough one because they’ve both had their moments in this series, but I think you’ve got to go with experience. I think Nathan Lyon will get a lot more bounce and he has been turning the ball quite nicely,” he added.