CA Chairman's XI v Indians, Canberra, 1st day

Zaheer targets Australia's swing weakness

Daniel Brettig in Canberra

December 15, 2011

Comments: 118 | Text size: A | A

Umesh Yadav bowls on the opening day of India's tour, Cricket Australia Chairman's XI v Indians, Canberra, 1st day, December 15, 2011
Zaheer Khan said the bounce in the pitches in Australia will complement Umesh Yadav's pace © Getty Images

Australia's difficulties against the swinging ball, to be addressed by a remedial batting clinic in Melbourne next week, have offered a tonic to Zaheer Khan and the India bowling attack.

Zaheer is not playing in the Indians' opener against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI, but he spoke enthusiastically of his preparation for the upcoming Test series against batsmen unnerved by the sort of swerve his bowling can possess.

"It is definitely encouraging as a bowling unit [that Australia are struggling against swing], our strength as Indians has always been swinging the ball," Zaheer said. "That's what we're going to rely on here as well, even though the wickets here will offer bounce, we'll still be trying to use the swing of the ball, so hopefully we'll be able to extract some swing in the matches to come.

"As a bowler it is all about getting into the right areas. If you're hitting the right lengths and able to get the ball moving then you're going to trouble any batsman in the world if you get those channels going."

Zaheer, 33, has not played for India since suffering a hamstring tear in the first Test of the series against England at Lord's in July, and subsequently underwent ankle surgery, which made his selection for Australia conditional on the basis of some solid Ranji Trophy appearances. Having fulfilled the selectors' wishes, he is now on course to lead the line against Australia.

"I've definitely had a lot more time to prepare as far as this series is concerned," he said. "I feel I've done everything possible to get here, and very happy with the way things are going personally for me. Happy with my rhythm in the nets and a bit of match practice will help me.

"It was a long flight for us so it is important we get into rhythm. I got to see a bit of bowling, I am happy with the way the whole approach has been, and I'm looking forward to playing the next one myself."

The need for Zaheer to be fit is increased by the fact that Ishant Sharma's left ankle may again be giving him grief, though loose ankle strapping was the explanation offered by a team official for a brief and interrupted appearance at the bowling crease on day one of the tour match. Wes Robinson, one of two local centurions, said Ishant had bowled well enough in his two brief spells.

"He seemed to be getting through it okay," Robinson said. "He only bowled that one over first up and then I think he went off for some treatment, and then he came back and bowled a few overs, so he got them through okay. Obviously hadn't faced him before so I don't know if that's his quickest or whether he's just warming up into it but he certainly got them through a bit."

Zaheer described Ishant's withdrawal as "just a precautionary measure", and preferred to speak about the promise shown by Umesh Yadav, who took three wickets on a batsmen's day.

"It is very good to see someone bowling like that, I've been mentioning back in India it is good to see him bowl 140kph plus, which is really important. I'm sure the wickets here are going to suit his style of bowling because the wickets are going to provide that extra bit of bounce.

"It is still early days for him, and the more he plays the more he is going to learn, so it is all about exposure at this level, and I'm sure with time he'll learn more things."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by NairUSA on (December 18, 2011, 6:48 GMT)

Now, when Zak says something about swing bowling, we need to listen. He is definitely one of the craftiest of the swing bowlers in the world now. Team India can hope to topple the brittle Aussie lineup only if the supporting seamers can rise upto the occasion. As of now, the new seam lineup have more to prove rather than appearing to be incisive. In this lineup, it is interesting to note that only Vinay Kumar offers a swing option (slower version) compared to others. Let us hope Team India's batsmen piles up runs so the bowling weakness is compensated.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 17, 2011, 5:12 GMT)

@Apoorv Pandey..."after 10 mths englishmen remember 5nil against aussies"... ... You should get your facts right as should others who have misquoted the same on other posts... Aust v Eng - 4/1 to Oz in England 2001... 4/1 to Oz in Oz 2002-03... 1/2 to Eng in UK 2004... 5/0 to Oz in Oz 2006-07... 1/2 to Eng in UK 2009... 1/3 to Eng in Oz 2010-11... So no whitewash like India received in UK... Also over 10 years Australia 16 wins to Eng 9... & 5 draws... India v Eng over the same period... India 5 wins to Eng 6... & 8 draws... Pretty boring cricket where draws out score both wins & losses... No wonder Indian fans don't turn up to watch Test cricket live...

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

these pakistanies are speaking about india last test won in australia 95 lolll humiliation after humiliation atleast past ten years india competitive and wins win in perth 2008 and sachin scored centuries in every test series in australia only batsmen with brain and dravid scores in allconditions not a odd century every time look at inzimam dismal recored in austrlia and if pakistan has that great bowler why they dont win in aus dude dontbe in dreams lolzzz days are gone of wasim waqar shoaib chucker was irractic bowler brett lee debut after shoaib see his record awesome in tests and odi also look at this year sachin scored two hundred in asouth africa ponting 3 ducks even dale andmorkel were playing test cric after 10 mths englishmen remember 5nil against aussies just wait for 9 mths humiliation coming in india like 5 -0 in one day

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 12:32 GMT)

@DINESHCC: Forget about that, the reverend SPD Smith recently conceded 25 runs in 2 overs.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 16, 2011, 12:25 GMT)


Posted by LillianThomson on (December 16, 2011, 12:23 GMT)

I was wrong in my earlier comments. Zaheer will stay fit and bowl twice as well as his previous Test average in Australia of 40. Ishant took six Test wickets at 60 last time in Australia - so much for exposing Ponting - and now that he is 20 kmh slower and bowling on one leg he will obviously improve that too. Plus there is Ashwin, because last year in Australia Graeme Swann averaged a magnificent 40 runs per wicket. Those averages would be great for batsmen in Australia. But that is India's bowling benchmark. Indian contributors to this thread are quick to mock Australia's batting, but India recently drew 1-1 in South Africa just like Australia, so the two teams' batting is obviously similar. The figures I've just quoted should make India worry about the pie-chuckers they expect to bowl Australia out! Zaheer was average when he was at his peak - across the border Pakistan currently has at least five more incisive fast bowlers, 3 of whom aren't even currently in jail.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 16, 2011, 12:16 GMT)


Posted by DINESHCC on (December 16, 2011, 11:27 GMT)


Posted by raag21 on (December 16, 2011, 11:19 GMT)

If the English think that they can whitewash India in India with a Brothwick or a Bairstow...Well, you've seen what happened. You think gud ol' Bressnan can get the job done by himself? think again. Dont you think this is gonna happen again in UAE v Pak? Pak spinners may look gentle but are ruthless..The English are in for a treat.

Posted by No1_Jon on (December 16, 2011, 11:02 GMT)

From a neutral's perspective, this series will be close, very close. The Aussie batting is a concern with only Clarke in any sort of form. Also there's been lots of talk about the Indian pacers, but i think that the Indian spinner ojha could be a key player given Australian troubles against the spinning ball. My prediction, a drawn series.

Posted by djkaria on (December 16, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

Mithun and Vinay should never have been picked to play for India in tests, ODI's or 20-20, thses 2 two are only good enough to play in domestic matches. I'm sure there are much much better bowlers than these 2. I also have doubt about Jadeja in the team, Ifran should have been in with his bowling and batting. My Prediction India to loose by 1-0 or 2-0. Dipak

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 16, 2011, 9:57 GMT)

@jonathanjosephs - Think and say what you want - the man has proved everything at his age. He may retire after Oz tour. Show me one cricketer at his age still able to get to 94 and get out. A century is not important, 250 is not important. The team has gained by 94 runs. Sachin replacement is Rohit Sharma who will show the world where great batsman come from. He just scored 56 not out. He scored tons against windies who have two class bowlers. Man get a life. Also for all your English - Yuvraj Singha key cricketer may have been ill with a tumour and could have been the reason he broke down in England. In a team sport this is important. He literally won us the world cup. The other thing is averages always drop the more you play.

Posted by yoohoo on (December 16, 2011, 9:07 GMT)

People take a chill pill will you. It is standard practice in places like Australia/SA/Eng to give the touring sides a batting paradise. This is so that they don't get acclimatized to the conditions too soon. U Yadav/ Mithun/Vinay and Ojha are bowling in Australia for the first time. and only U Yadav is probably a guarantee in the team, the others will probably not get a chance. You could how ineffective they were against Indian batting too. This is how warm-ups are.

And to all those English supporters here who are gloating, relax dudes you won ONE series AT HOME, and immediately got humiliated overseas (5-0 no less). It took 2+ yrs for somebody to beat India OVERSEAS in a series. So, first win outside your country and then talk. Frankly, being a good bowler in English conditions is the bowling equivalent of a flat-track bully batsman. English bowlers are really found wanting when all the conditions and GOD is not in their favor.

Posted by Akash_G on (December 16, 2011, 9:01 GMT)

Indians has always been swinging the ball??? Dude have you forgotten what happened to our swing bowlers in ENG? PK and Sharma vowled 40 overs in atleast an inning of each test match and result - still 4-0? And If Aus batting struggles againest swing, what about our batsmen? I am sure that Dravid, Sachin and Laxman are goning to give their best this being their last visit down under but what about others? And our pathetic bolwing? Pathan should have been there instead of Vinay and Mithun BOTH ARE WASTE..... And Chris was right about one thing - YOU DONT KNOW THE PITCHES YET..... I want IND to Win but have doubts.... Goodo luck!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 8:38 GMT)

@vishnu zaheer wasnt performing for a spot in the team,he was showing his match fitness.....and he did well in the ranji matches on the flat wickets.i think he got 6 wickets in 2 matches.ishant sharma just bowled 5.3 overs with 7 runs.....umesh took 3 wicket.....these are our 1st choice bowlers.....mithun and vinay dont belong here,.....i think pathan should have been picked

Posted by JhonyBasha on (December 16, 2011, 8:34 GMT)

HI em4malik1, don't know Umesh may perform well like Bracewell. If India is not performed well they wouldn't have come to first and second places. Wait and see to see the Indians one more historical series win.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

Zakes, we all Indian cricket fan wants to see these word games on the pitch, because this is the tour which will not only prove you as a most dependable overseas Indian bowler but also showcase our bowling strength, as we are well know for our batting fire brigades in terms of Sachin, Viru(219), Dravid and laxman but it would be spectacular if you will lead from the front and give some guideline to our new speed stars like Yadav.

Best of Luck for your fitness.. 

Posted by AidanFX on (December 16, 2011, 7:42 GMT)

Zhan plays it tough - Guy aves in the 30's - India have always relied on their batting team - at least 3 of the players only have couple seasons left

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 16, 2011, 7:38 GMT)

I think that it's safe to say that a lot depends on the fitness of the Indian bowlers. It was certainly a big blow to India to lose ZK early in the first test and be a bowler short for that game and that would affect any team. The fact that they didn't bowl especially well with a full complement of bowlers in subsequent games is the big concern. Praveen Kumar looked good despite not being express pace so his being out for this tour is a blow. Ishant looked ordinary except for one session so India would be looking for improvement from him, so a dodgy ankle would be disastrous. Umesh Yadav is a bit of a wildcard. He's looked quite good on unfriendly tracks in India so with more helpful pitches he could be dangerous. If Zaheer or Ishant aren't fully fit then I think India will struggle. It will also be interesting to see how Australia's young quicks handle a significantly more challenging batting lineup. SA are good but were out of sorts and NZ are middling at best.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 16, 2011, 7:28 GMT)

@ Chris_P, LOL, England piling on 600 + runs and then bowling out India twice in a session or two: England sure silenced their critics over in India didn't they? :)

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 16, 2011, 7:05 GMT)

@Naresh28 : Well said.. Sachin is a legend and his greatness was proved when Don invited him and said Sachin plays like him.. He doesn't require any certificate from anyone in the world.. Even now, in his worst form(As per bashers), he is in top 2 scorers in the team and that says a lot about the brand of cricket he plays..

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 16, 2011, 6:51 GMT)

@Naresh, then he went to England and did horribly. Couple commentators/professional statisticians were looking at some stats and they realized that Jacques Kallis is equivalent to both Tendulkar AND Zaheer Khan combined. Not something I would like to hear. They both have very similar records and both can not make big scores in Test Cricket, but still have many 100's. Tendulkar hasn't even made a score higher than 250 in all his record 180+ matches Guys don't you think the biggest joke is that he said "Indian's bowlers greatest strength is to swing the ball" LOL. Has to go down in the quote section of cricinfo and in page 2 jokes too. If SA/Aus/England said that, I'd understand. Even if Pakistan said that, it would be reasonable. But India? Name one good swing bowler to have come out of that country.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 6:38 GMT)

People who want Zak to speak only after the bowlers perform, have they forgotten the Steve Waugh X1 which upfront spoke about crashing India 3-0 and they did. The other aussie side which spoke of 2 one day finals in a best of three, got thrashed 2-0! So, when aussies can speak before a series, why cant Indians? and Zak is not talking about results here, he is talking about his/team's plans and the road ahead. Think, its perfectly fine to do so!! It is going to be a great battle between Indian experience and Aussie youth power...something new so to say!! :)

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 6:14 GMT)

Irfan Pathan has been bowling very well in Ranji Season and has already taken 21 wickets rather than taking Abhimanyu Mithun .. Selectors must have given Irfan Pathan a chance in lieu of his experience and returned swing

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 16, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

ALL SACHIN bashers you guys are unrealistic, really. Here is a 38 yr old scoring 92 retired against Australlian club side. Please before BASHING - please view the 2010/11 South Africa tour by India. Sachin scored two centuries - 111no and 146. This was against Morkel/Steyn and co in the three tests. THAT IS THE REAL BAROMETER TO JUDGE HIM BY.

Posted by vishnu1503 on (December 16, 2011, 4:37 GMT)

Guys, please remember we are playing against an Australian first class team and we have conceded close to 400 runs in a single day and only been able to take 7 wickets. Remember that Zaheer is just back from an injury and in my personal opinion he has not performed all that well in the two Ranji matches that he played. If bowlers like Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar cannot bowl out an Australian second XI in a full days play this does not bode well for our chances against the Test side. While the pitches may assist with pace, bounce and swing, unless our bowlers are experienced enough to exploit that there is no way they are going to be able to take wickets at regular intervals. Unless the bowlers are able to think, strategise and bowl to a game plan, there is no way they will get the better of players like Ponting, Clare et all.This is not ODI or T20 cricket, this is test match cricket in Australia and unless you have qualty its going to be near impossible to succeed. Bring Irfan back

Posted by   on (December 16, 2011, 4:22 GMT)

kiwi-jake ishant sharma was the one who troubled the aussies most in the last tour...he has the height and he was bowling aroung 145-147kph in india vs wi series (tests).....umesh yadav is bowling well in the practice match.....but the other two bowlers suck!

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 16, 2011, 4:14 GMT)

I hear Katich is back and taking hughes spot.

Posted by fearless69 on (December 16, 2011, 3:57 GMT)

No IF No BUT.. Only IRFAN PATHAN is the answer.. Irfan's Lethal weapon is his inswinging ball the Right handers,, He regained his swing, we saw it in last ODI against WI on sub-continent pitch.. Now this is australia mate.. Bounce and swing which will suit pathan.. Vinay & Mithun are waste... Srikanth your time's up!! // Zaheer is dangerous for Left handers & Umesh Yadav bowling 140 consistently.. Ishant sharma could be our 4th pacer if spin doesn't work.. Now that's a pace attack we are looking for.. Send back Vinay & Mithun..

Posted by gestapo on (December 16, 2011, 2:57 GMT)

zaheer can never be trusted,rather his body, his talent can never be questioned,but his body can crumble any time. if he stays fit and umesh,ushant can back him up,aussies will have a tough time. Vinay kumar,mithun are excess baggage.

Posted by smudgeon on (December 16, 2011, 2:36 GMT)

So much is being made of this so called Australian weakness against swing. Sure, Australia had trouble playing the swinging ball in Hobart. So did NZ - it wasn't exactly a batsman's paradise down there in Hobart. I'd wager most batsman would struggle with that sort of movement. Just don't expect to see similar a similar pitch in Melbourne. As Chris_P says below, the 4 tests against India are in conditions which won't offer a lot of assistance in the way of swing (or spin, for that matter). Let's see if Zaheer is fit enough to last the morning session first, eh?

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 16, 2011, 2:11 GMT)

Zaheer will get enough support from Ishant, Yadav.. both can bowl at 140+ and swing the ball.. all non-sense of lame indian pace attack will be ruled out once they pluck aus wickets with ease. - Prasant UNSW

Posted by Kiwi-Jake on (December 16, 2011, 0:47 GMT)

Don't know about India's chances if they have to rely solely on Zaheer Khan to get them their wickets. It's all well to say that you have a couple of bowlers who can hit 140 km/h, but remember that in the NZ/Aus tests pretty much every bowler in the game hit that pace, even Chris Martin (though I somehow doubt Channel 9's legitimacy of the speeds, with Siddle hitting 150km/h). What NZ did well in the Hobart test was that every bowler was as good as the other, the pressure never dropped. There's no question Zaheer can spew venom with the ball but he needs a partner who is just as good, which I don't think there is. Aus will just choose to pick runs of the 'fast' guy, and if Zaheer breaks down again...

Posted by Chris_P on (December 16, 2011, 0:29 GMT)

India's strength is swinning the ball? I wonder what their batssmen and spin bowlers would say about that. I also wonder if the English batsmen agree with that, that is, if they have recovered fomr their soreness in piling on 600 runs plus against the Indian 'swing attack". And let's not forget something else, Hobart's conditions were very unusual, the grounds and pitches these 4 tests are ot be played on do not have a history of helping swing. I read a lot of bravado posts, but please guys, you got little to no idea what these pitches are like unless oyu see them all the time. Why not wait till the action starts before making statements.

Posted by WellOfcours on (December 16, 2011, 0:18 GMT) u realy think those 2 days of batting drill to overcome the swing weakness is enough for Ricky and Co.? to smash the swing bowling for the next 10 years? U mean to say they have never undergone these kind of training before? And thats the reason why they where thrashed in the Ashes? It would probably take more than 10years to overcome this weakness. Perhps more than that.

Posted by here2rock on (December 15, 2011, 23:35 GMT)

It makes me laugh when Zaheer says these things, he won't bowl more than 15 overs in the series before he is injured again!

Posted by Tigg on (December 15, 2011, 22:35 GMT)

Indian pace bowling strength is swing? I always thought it was that their batsmen would usually put up massive totals forcing opposite teams either to play rash shots or go into their shells.

Zak is the only bowling threat the Indians have and he is basically a walking wicket. Ishant is a workhorse bowler and he can't do that on one leg.

I'm curious as to how Yadav goes, but despite being billed as rapid he only bowls around 140kph (sub 90mph). Nippy but still only fast medium.

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (December 15, 2011, 22:00 GMT)

@bigdhonifan - don't be emotional!!! Money is not every thing in your life then achievements like afridi. Afridi is a match winning player. do you think sreesanth is??? Did you see today's Indians warm up match vs Club level Australian team Chairmen??? let me tell you about today's bowling average of vinay 17.0overs-89runs-1w after this do you think he achieved alot??? please be natural and don't write nonsense like bollywood movie's story!!! At the end for your information Afridi belongs to a very rich called Afridi family of Pakistan. His father has left huge business of car show rooms for him. further more almost every player of Pakistan has his contract with English county and big bash from where he is earnig good money silently and gaining experience of fast pitches. Well have a nice day and please don't see too much bollywood movies which will make you more filmi!!!

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 15, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

@hhillbumper - yeh you are dead right. It doesn't matter though because which ever letter they pick in the alpabet (A,B,C,D,E,etc) that team will get crushed by Australia. Their bowlers just remind me of cannon fodder.

Posted by kalyankk1985 on (December 15, 2011, 21:57 GMT)

I hope zak ishant and umesh bowl in all the tests in this series.. I am ok with rookie bowler bowling at 140's but not an experienced injured bowler .. hate to see it .. if Ishant is injured or zak, just let them go home and bring fresh bowlers who can bowl 140's .. there's no more logic to it .. cant see 120's of mithun and vinay .. hate to see them in a test match .. collingwood pace bowlers they are .. dont want them ..

Posted by vamanan on (December 15, 2011, 21:50 GMT)

oh Zaheer, com'on....Coach Mickey Arthur had already arranged for 2 days of batting drill to overcome the swing weakness. That's enough for Ricky and Co. to go ahead and smash the swing bowling for the next 10 years. You are late to think...Better luck next time.

Posted by Nerk on (December 15, 2011, 21:32 GMT)

The problem for Zaheer is his back up attack. He is a wonderful bowler, but fast bowlers need to hunt in packs. Sharma is good, but gets injured a lot. KP is good, a little slow, but he too gets a few injuries. Also, how he swings the ball when the sun is out and the shine is off the ball. That will be the real test.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 15, 2011, 21:23 GMT)

Okay, no doubt the australian batsmen have been woeful of late, particularly against the swinging ball. But before anyone gets too excited I don't think the visitor's record in swinging conditions is so good of late. Other than Perth, the ball is unlikely to move through the air or seam as much as in Hobart or even Brisbane anyway. First test is so crucial as I don't expect to see anything other than a draw in Adelaide with these two attacks.

Posted by Lord_Dravid on (December 15, 2011, 21:22 GMT) anf fellow india bashers brace yourself for humiliatiion when india is going to spin and swing the aussies out!

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (December 15, 2011, 21:14 GMT)

This time Indian team is looking better side then Australian!!! but without emotions don't forget Warner, Pattinson and Siddle form against New Zealand!!! Clarke, Ponting, haddin and Hussey can also give tough time to Indian team!!! As per first day of warm up match Indian bowling was not so impressive!!! and I have strong feeling that ashwin and zaheer will also not able to finish Australian inning less then 300 runs like ojha, vinay and yadev. Australians are looking for victory so they will come very hard with bounce where Indian batting line up lacks. it is going to be an Interesting test series. Well best Regards for Indian team!!!

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 15, 2011, 20:42 GMT)

I think game can go either way. It all depends on how many player play as a team not for selfish goals. India do have many extremely selfish players. if one thing wrong , many go wrong in chain reactions. Dhoni is great captain but captain is as good as the players he have and how they play. I think whole match depends on sehwag's performance especially in overseas.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 20:27 GMT)


Posted by hhillbumper on (December 15, 2011, 20:17 GMT)

I like the fact that someone mentioned Zak was lead bowler in 2007.So was Warne so by that logic Aus will win everything. Zaheer is over rated and hope he gets spanked all over the grounds. Besides if he does get injured as usual we can listen to the Indian fans writing how different it would have been with him

Posted by bigdhonifan on (December 15, 2011, 19:48 GMT)

Any one noticed.. Ashwin is not playing... so the trump card will be used in first test.... and Zaheer too....

Posted by bigdhonifan on (December 15, 2011, 19:46 GMT)

Sreesanth is Richest that Afridi. Even Vinay Kumar's bank account is higher than half of pak team. Jealous eh?

Posted by spence1324 on (December 15, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

' india's strength is swinging the ball ' I must have mist that when england were rumping totals of 600+ at a breeze.....

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 19:36 GMT)

@pikkon predicting indian middle order is weak is biggest misunderstanding ny 1 can be ready..

Posted by Nampally on (December 15, 2011, 19:23 GMT)

It was disgraceful to see Ishant pulling up injured after just one over in Australia. Why an unfit fast bowler was selected despite knowing about his injured ankle?. Have the lessons from England been totally ignored?Such bone headed selection makes India look stupid.A team with no Test players got 2 centuries on Day 1 of a friendly match. This does not speak highly of the Indian bowling with 2 passengers in Mithun & Vinay + one injured guy in Ishant, still pretending to be fit. Now ZAK is talking about how he will perform with his swing. I will request ZAK to put his money where his mouth is. Vinay mouthed off that he is good in Aussie conditions but he was poor at best. Be like Yadev - doing his talking thru' his 3 for 39.If the team cannot show its calibre against a team of unknowns. what will it do against Test players? Dhoni said lack of preparation is not an excuse this time but it again is just more empty talk.Replace pretenders with contenders in Irfan/Nehra & Rahul!

Posted by satishsasikumar on (December 15, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

I am not sure if Ishant will be fit for the remaining matches...there is some worry..even Zaheer is known to break down in the middle of an innings...hope the Indian saga in England won't be repeated here Down Under

Posted by meonly_araf on (December 15, 2011, 18:45 GMT)

Zak needs to zip Australian batting line up.... If fails due to injury he needs to signoff from longer version of game as it is always good to go when there is little bit left in you instead of struggling like the great Australian "Punter"... as it was earlier in 2005 Irfan should take after... hope Zak rips the aussie line up and marks the end to Punter...

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 18:06 GMT)

@Randy Oz. Lyon Who? The kid will be tonked all over the park by our Indian batsmen. And the career will be over. As for his performance, it is bound to be decent against batsmen who can't even play "village" spin bowling.(eg. Poms(LOL) and Saffas). As for Ash and Ojhi, their recent performances speak for them. Ashwin-22 wickets in 3 matches, Ojha-20 wickets in last 3 matches. So no amount of "Lyon"hearted-ness will work against India,the best players of spin. As for our seamer, Umesh Ydav is hitting 145kph+ consistently. If you call that medium pace, then I think you probably don't know what Cricket is. SARCASM ON. And yeah.. I just love writing it.. 47 ALL OUT. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by Lord_Tendulkar on (December 15, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

@RandyOz..Lyon will get the same treatment that Warnie got from India...better Aussies learn from SA to hide their spinner from the Indian batters as they always did to Nicky Boje....Regarding Zaheer...many opponents underestimate him but he can be a handful and esp against left handers....and bowling is not all about pace...check with Mr Tait if you can't understand that on your own !

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

@RandyOZ give respect where it's due, Zaheer is a class bowler..he can run through this Aussi batting line up, other Indian bowlers are no good at all..and i'm not an Indian or a fan of India, I'm a Lankan

Posted by Adeel9 on (December 15, 2011, 17:09 GMT)

Wow, were targeting swing and left Irfan Pathan back home

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 15, 2011, 17:04 GMT)

I will pick ashwin and ojha and yadav and zaheer.Ishant has to bowl 30 overs to qualify to bowl in first test or india will one bowler short fight to save for a draw.... I started to think duncan fletcher is unsuitable to INDIA.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 16:53 GMT)

mithun n vinay are similar ,thy can swing d ball bt dnt hv pace..its tooo early to trust them 4 longer version of game.....zaheer ,ishant n pathan/varun, ashwin nd ohja wud b betr option ...5 out of 2 are genuine olroundrs....coz ders no chance 4 an error..

Posted by krishna_cricketfan on (December 15, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

Zaheer and co: Please perform and then talk. Indian fan will be happy if you all remain fully fit and also go into a match only if you feel you can last the duration of the match. We do not want the England pummeling in Australia

Posted by mhb1 on (December 15, 2011, 16:24 GMT)

where on the world iam " i heard some one saying zaheer got the mentality of the greatest left armer ever in the history of cricket till now i.e. wasim akram" noway he can deliver 6 different balls in an over even he made rahul dravid aka wall as a wall made of plastic !

Posted by Longmemory on (December 15, 2011, 16:22 GMT)

You know that ankle tape that Ishant was using before he came off the field? I suggest they take a good amount of that tape and use it to seal the mouths of Zaheer and others in the lead-up to this series. Please let your on-field performance do the talking.

Posted by NairUSA on (December 15, 2011, 16:03 GMT)

Aussies will try their best to keep their heads above the water. However, even a slightly good effort from the Indian bowlers should sink them seeing the current quality of their batsmen. They do seem to have good bowlers though. Indian batsmen will have to wary of not getting into a 'hit out of trouble' mode. A disciplined grafting approach can definitely help build up tall scores that can build pressure on their bowlers. Good luck to both the teams!

Posted by babarzia on (December 15, 2011, 16:03 GMT)

what are the bowling averages and strike rates of this great pace attack??

should that be taken in consideration as an indicator of their real or perceived greatness??

Posted by dicky_boy on (December 15, 2011, 16:02 GMT)

Oh Randy Randy don't be a dandy haha , come on dude even from you we expect some respect to the people who knocked u out of the world cup haha

Posted by longlivewoodoo on (December 15, 2011, 16:00 GMT)

@ Prasanna Venketesh nice one dude ! "Doesn't have quality to get injured. "

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 15:56 GMT)

without IRFAN PATHAN india cantwin a single match , he is a talented allrounder & he has exprienced in Australia.... kris srikanth your time is over

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (December 15, 2011, 14:59 GMT)

Guys don't panic, we don't need the best bowlers in world zaheer,ashwin and umesh to rattle the dead track bullies aussies line up. just a bit of bounce and swing and vinay kumar,mithun,kohli and rohit sharma's spin will be enough for them. Bring it on!

Posted by V.Jammy on (December 15, 2011, 14:45 GMT)

@RandyOZ: Come on friend, you should laugh as much as you can right now. Because once the series begins, it won't be possible. The total runs scored by the highly experienced but out of form Aussie batsmen will be overtaken by our smashing openers only! And whatever Dravid, Sachin & Laxman will score will be the amount of lead that India will take everytime!!

Posted by zico123 on (December 15, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

now it is very risky to play 2 fast bowlers who are not fully fit, if they break down in the middle of the match, match is over then n there. on the other hand if Zaheer and Ishant break down before the match and India have to play both Vinay and Mithun, match is still over then n there, what rubbish selection is these, 2 half fit bowlers and 2 waste bowlers (Vinay and Mithun), BCCI pls pls send Irfan Pathan as acover ASAP

Posted by Lord_Dravid on (December 15, 2011, 14:41 GMT)

@mhb1..indian cricketers may be the highest earning cricketers around from ipl, sponsors etc but is this making you jealous? and i certainly dont think we need to buy bowlers from our neighbours (pakistan if thats who you're refering to)..we've got new talents on the uprise like yadav (140kph), ashwin who look pure class! :)

Posted by zico123 on (December 15, 2011, 14:39 GMT)

BCCI should send Irfan Pathan also to Australia as cover, as we are unsure of fitness of our 2 best bowlers Zaheer and Ishant, i just hope both of them are fit and fine and demolish Australia, Vinay and Mithun are waste for Test matches

Posted by Lord_Dravid on (December 15, 2011, 14:26 GMT)

@eshwarmv..i think you dont watch much cricket in can u say taking 20 wickets in australia will be a daunting task? havent u seen recently how badly the aussies have been playing and according to stats on 5 occasions they've been out for less than 150!? they are weak against swing and spin bowling which the indians can use to their advantage. its going to be challenging tour but we've got umesh yadav who is sexy :p and can bowl 140kph which will be of great help in auussie pitches and zaheer and ishant who can swing the ball. i dont think aussie batting camp in melbourne will help them much at this stage.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 13:59 GMT)

i know why selectors have selected mithun and vinay.. all quality bowlers will injure at some point.. but these twins dont that quality to injure themselves and moreover then can efficiently bowl combinely 50 of 90 over quota of the day and maintains over rate that may prevent a match ban for dhoni.. anyone accepting??

Posted by couchpundit on (December 15, 2011, 13:31 GMT)

@Alfaomega- you are so right, History is any out of form player gets among runs moment they play india, another note that everyone likes to oversee is whenever opposition brings in a young bowler specially when sachin is in his 90's he turns out to be far better bowler than he is, reason sachin over respects them for sake of scoring a ton , in the process makes ordinary bowler look extraordinary.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 13:30 GMT)

I am very disappointed with selection commitee. y they are selecting like a vinay & mithun. if keep this type of bowler we can t win even single match. y they are not giving chace for irfan pathan.

Posted by Y2SJ on (December 15, 2011, 13:25 GMT)

I think this bowling has the talent to trouble Australian batsmen. Zaheer's swing, Umesh Yadav's pace, Ishant's bounce and angle, Ojha/Aswin's readiness to flight and turn makes this a complete bowling attack. If they can deliver their 100%, they will be able to win the series. A lot depends on the fitness. It is better to have Irfan on stand by.

Posted by mhb1 on (December 15, 2011, 13:23 GMT)

as indians are earning so much from the IPL they should consider buying some good quality bowler (medium pacers) would be preferable from their neighbours !

Posted by WorldChampions2011 on (December 15, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

Indians have always been good at bringing opponent Out of form players to their Prime form... Hope they don't do that again this series...

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

@Kaze - Are you saying that Yadav does not have pace? He and Zaheer are going to be a potent combination. Zaheer lasting the distance will be the key. Like Raghav, I hope he stays fit for all 4 Tests. I don't really want India to win the series, but I do want interesting and competitive games, not a whitewash by either side. @here2rock - To quote from his Cricinfo profile "He might not quite have the skills of Wasim Akram, who he has often been compared to, but mentally Zaheer has become as good as Akram. He knows how to get wickets, he has an intuitive sense of when to go for the kill, and once a batsman has shown him the slightest hint of a weakness, Zaheer preys on it ruthlessly. Unlike the Pakistan fast bowlers of the 2000s, though, he stays away from controversy and is pretty low-key off the field." And I wouldn't call 4/94 from 23.4 overs at the MCG struggling.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 15, 2011, 12:58 GMT)

Haha Zaheer. This guy has no chance of bagging Aussie wickets. Zaheer and his posse of medium pacers will get carted to all parts of the ground. Ashwin and Ohja look alright but I doubt they will turn it as much as Lyon.

Posted by pikk0n on (December 15, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

@Nikhil: You do realise that the chin and shin are very far apart, don't you? To bowl only 'shin' music means you'll be bowling half-trackers going down leg. That said, with Ponting's form, he'll be out LBW anyway. No need for any chin music from the pace bowlers. 'Shin' music from medium pacers will destroy our brittle middle order.

Posted by OMGitsSrikanth on (December 15, 2011, 12:46 GMT)

Irfan pathan should be recalled to save indians in test matches.These 2 journeycrickers Mithun,Vinay kumar will spoil indian cricket.It seams Srikanth palns to resign after india's whitewash by AUS 4-0.

Posted by sharkwolf on (December 15, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

seems non practical Raghav... Umesh could do something with Ishaant... may be...

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 15, 2011, 12:13 GMT)

WORLD, it is time to understand that other than Aussie bowlers all others are OVER RATED!! Zaheer, Morne Morkel, Bracewell, Muralidharan.. all of em..:D :D :D :D Pattinson who just played 2 test matches is capable of taking all 20 wickets, no he is not hyped. Starc with similar experience is also gifted with the same capabilities, no he is also not hyped too. ASSies, the only team that can play cricket.. only country with proper cricket pitches.. only country with flawless umpires(eg: Daryl Harper) can even change the ICC ratings to put themselves on top.. in fact the rating goes like this.. 1)AUS 2)AUS 3)AUS 4)AUS 5)AUS 6)AUS 7)AUS 8)AUS 9)AUS and 10)AUS.... lolz..

- Prasant UNSW

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 11:52 GMT)

Hope Zaheer stays fit for all 4 tests.India's best chance to win in Aus

Posted by Kaze on (December 15, 2011, 11:51 GMT)

Talk is cheap the fact is that this Indian side filled with medium pacers and off spinners will get carted. You need pace on Australian pitches and that is something India don't have. They will have to hope they can make enough runs to create pressure.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 11:46 GMT)

ZAQ provide some shin music to australians. let the ball do the talking.... person who is predicting ponting's century in 1st test match.....must aware we have good batting too..!!

Posted by eshwarmv on (December 15, 2011, 11:39 GMT)

This will be a tough tour for the Indians. The NZ are always the UNDERDOGS. No pressure and young bowlers. That worked for them. Similarly, Indians have done well when they were branded as the underdogs. But, as they have a higher ranking than the aussies, the pressure will be on India rather than Australia. THE AUSSIES WONT MIND IT.

Posted by here2rock on (December 15, 2011, 11:30 GMT)

I am more concerned Zaheer lasting more than 10 overs in match than his swing. I don't know why everybody thinks he is going to swing Aussie batters out. He is no Wasim Akram. He has normally struggled in Australia, I can not see how this trip will be different. Ponting and Hussey must already be oiling their bats to face weak Indian bowling after tough series against South Africa and New Zealand. After Indian series they will be back to their best form.

Posted by em4malik1 on (December 15, 2011, 11:29 GMT)

@JhonyBasha: NZ won against Aussies coz they had a genuine addition to their bowling unit i.e Doug Bracewell... I doubt even a single bowler in current indian unit is even close to that talent.. ..

Posted by Naresh28 on (December 15, 2011, 11:28 GMT)

We will never know the truth about Ishant they will spring a surprise on us. Injured or mind games have begun? Bowling has always been India's problem. This could also be Zaheers last tour so maybe he will want to signoff on a high. Its definetely advantage Australia. Its early days.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 15, 2011, 11:18 GMT)


Posted by eshwarmv on (December 15, 2011, 11:17 GMT)

This tour will be a tough one for the Indians. Atleast 2 batsmen must score centuries in first innings. Then take 20 wickets, which is a daunting task. NZ had young bowlers, and had no pressure on them. They are always the UNDERDOGS. So they gave their heart and soul in the Hobart match. Coming back to team India, the last 3 tours have produced great rivalry. The expectations will be high. Indians like being the underdogs. But, unfortunately, the aussies have a weakened bowling attack, which makes them the underdog. THE AUSSIES WON'T MIND IT.

Posted by alfaomega on (December 15, 2011, 11:15 GMT)

Different series...different place...different bowler...same old come Ishant bowls just 5.3 overs in a warm-up match just before an important test series? Remember, India chose to bowl first, which means they obviously wanted the bowlers to get a good work-out. And the other two bowlers...Mithun and Vinay...the less said the better. If this is their performance against what is literally a club side, I shudder what they will face when they go up against Australia. Most of us think that the Australian selectors have gone easy on Ponting, Hussey and Hughes. I think they have done it with a reason...history has shown that against any Indian attack, out of form players have always quickly returned to form. I'm predicting a century for Ponting in the 1st test. Let's pray Ishant is fit by the 1st test and if he isn't, the team management has enough sense to go in with Ashwin and Ojha instead of Mithun and Vinay...they couldnt' do worse than these 2 so called pace bowlers.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 11:14 GMT) of the most unfit player of indian team is saying this things its terribly funny..u can only stay fit for the IPL

Posted by spiritwithin on (December 15, 2011, 11:01 GMT)

@jonesy2...['''none of the indian bowlers can trouble any aussie batsman''']...the fact is that the same indian pace bowlers troubled aus batsman even in the 'not so pace friendly' india pitches in their last two tours to india,also dont forget these indian bowlers troubled the aus batsman in australia in the last two tours..i think u have a very short memory

Posted by JhonyBasha on (December 15, 2011, 10:52 GMT)

When NZ won on Aussies why India not? We are good in test matches and we are good against Aussies.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 15, 2011, 10:49 GMT)

Zaheer Khan's record in Australia was terrible even when he was at his peak. In 2003-4, aged 25, he took 5 Test wickets at 43 each, and four years later aged 29 he took 5 wickets at 37 each. He is now a half-fit 33 year old, and it defies logic for anyone to expect a geriatric pace bowler to perform better than he did when he had more pace and could extract more lift.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 10:43 GMT)

His arms should do the talking...He has to prove fitness before being picked up for any game....He has a test bowling average of 32 that is good but not excellent!!

Posted by nickydude on (December 15, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

With due respect, Mithun & Vinay cannot win matches on their own, until the batsman commit any mistakes, hence, the real load will rest with Zaheer, Ishant & Umesh, like how Ishant toyed with Ponting on the last tour. Also, this is India's best chance to win 2-0 atleast with the suspect Aus batting line up.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 10:38 GMT)

@Jonesy: Probably you forgot what Agarkar did to your world beating team in 2004.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 10:32 GMT)

India's over-reliance on Z. Khan would surely backfire. Just look back to India's tour England this year. That's enough to prove how much they may have to pay as the price. India may start showing faith and grooming the youngsters rather than hoping and praying Zaheer would rescue them especially when they are touring out of the sub-continent. Also, he's not growing any younger and not sure he would carry on for more than a year or 2.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 10:07 GMT)

C'mon zaheer..... Win it for us... WE all knw u r the only man in bowling dept who can do it for us... BEat the aussies... UR the pride of our team... Plz dont get de-railed by injuries this time...

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 15, 2011, 9:50 GMT)

hahahaha weakness against swing. this stuff continues to crack me up. none of the indian bowlers can trouble any aussie batsman. zaheer has to be the most overrated bowler in the world along wit morne morkel

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 9:48 GMT)

"just a precautionary measure", to describe Ishant bowling six overs in a tour game is a bit of a concern. The same thing was said about Zaheer in the matches leading up to the tests in England.

Posted by Rangarajan_Rajamani_Chennai on (December 15, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

With due respects, he spoke in similar lines before Eng tour 2011. He was the 1st guy to walk off the field after 13 overs.

Posted by RasCric on (December 15, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

Zaheer first need to concentrate on playing one full match. :P

Posted by Rahul_78 on (December 15, 2011, 9:33 GMT)

It is an irony that Indias best swing bowler Praveen Kumar is injured at the time when OZ international batsmen are going back to school to learn to play swing bowling. Indian selectors have missed a trick by not picking Irfan Pathan in place of PK. Ishant, Vinay and Mithun are not bonafide swing bowlers neither do they have pace..looks like a tough tour ahead for Indians.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 9:29 GMT)

If and only "IF" the three fast bowlers.(ZAHEER,ISHANTH,UMESH) plays and stays fit ..india has a chance to win... otherwise it will depend on the batsmen to draw the games... we cant win matches with MITHUN,Vinay...

Posted by subnys on (December 15, 2011, 9:24 GMT)

Its been one week since the 1st batch of Indians arrived on Aussie shores, and not a single sign of verbal volleys from Clarkes and the Pontings. Is it the lull before the storm on the boxing day??

Posted by sankar8000 on (December 15, 2011, 9:21 GMT)

Zaheer Must Lead the attack and show how he can rattle aussie batsmen! If he fails then...

Posted by bipulkumar on (December 15, 2011, 9:16 GMT)

Umesh and Zaheer are fine. What about pedestrian Vinay, Mithun and Ishant?

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 9:14 GMT)

Indian bowling strength is "swinging" the ball?? good god, where have I been...

Posted by   on (December 15, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

Hi, I am Just worried seeing Mithun and Vinay Operate here in the Practice match. They couldn't swing it , nor there was any pace behind the balls. Also Ishant is Injured and Bowled only 5 overs, out of series I Think !

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 15, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

Yes Zak.. IF u can have a full series, we might challenge.. BTW, no news on Ishant yet?

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
Tour Results
India v Sri Lanka at Hobart - Feb 28, 2012
India won by 7 wickets (with 80 balls remaining)
Australia v India at Sydney - Feb 26, 2012
Australia won by 87 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Feb 21, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 51 runs
Australia v India at Brisbane - Feb 19, 2012
Australia won by 110 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Adelaide - Feb 14, 2012
Match tied
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days