IND v AUS 2023: India might field 4 spinners in 1st Test vs Australia as per plans to prepare rank turners- Report

India has won five out of six Tests in Nagpur, three by an innings margin.

R Ashwin is expected to lead Indian spin attack | BCCIJust days before the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 to be played in Jamtha, Nagpur from February 9, reports have suggested something that might trouble the Australian camp, as India is planning on playing four spinners in their XI.

As per a report in Indian Express, the Jamtha pitch was dressed in green, splashed with odd brown wrinkles towards the center. However, plans are to remove the greenery from the surface as Indian management is planning to prepare rank turners for the Tests.

With a spot in the ICC WTC final up for grabs, for which India needs to win atleast three Tests in the series, they have resorted to their well-worn ally, the turners.

We want to maximize our advantage and prepare turners. Spinners are our biggest strength and we should give them the best conditions to bowl and get wickets,” says a source in the team.

Since 2015, India has lost only two Tests and won as many as 27 of the 34 games, without losing a series, while employing their spin-friendly tracks to their advantage.

India has the likes of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in their ranks who have dominated the opposition on their own, but also have the likes of Akshar Patel and a rejuvenated Kuldeep Yadav as well in the ranks.

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Kuldeep tormented Australia with his wrist spin in Dharamsala in 2017 on his debut while Akshar has 47 wickets at an average of 14.29 in eight games.

Of course, the team will make the final call on the eleven on the eve of the match, or in the morning after having final look at the wicket, but four spinners are certainly in our plans, as we have four quality spinners in the team,” the source explained.

No one in the team management has openly spoken about instructing home associations or curators for spinning surfaces, but the Indian team management has prepared for the overdose of spin. India has called up the services of as many as 10 spinners including the four in the squad for practice.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli | BCCIFast bowlers Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj bowled an extended spell in nets which also led to Rohit Sharma asking the batting coach to let him have a go at spinners after facing Siraj for a long time.

Australia has veteran Nathan Lyon leading the spin attack with Ashton Agar and leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson for company, along with the newbie Todd Murphy.  

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Almost all of the Indian batters were rigorously practicing against spinners, unfurling sweeps and even the reverse sweep. Even Virat Kohli and Sharma, who seldom resort to reverse strokes, repeatedly attempted the shots.

Kohli, who has had problems against spin in the last 2-3 years, instructed the spinners to bowl short-of-length, and he would look to cut them on the back foot. He would also shimmy down the track, meet the ball on the full and power them down the ground.

As per the report, KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara rigorously practiced slip catching to spinners, while KS Bharat was given an extended session by Vikram Rathour.

At Nagpur, India has won five of the six games, three by an innings margin, and only twice has the venue seen the fifth day.  

(Indian Express report)


By Jatin Sharma - 06 Feb, 2023

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