Australia in India 2012-13

'Big role' for Australia's fast men in India - Siddle

Brydon Coverdale

February 7, 2013

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Peter Siddle is ecstatic after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar for 88, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Mohali, 1st day, October 17, 2008
Peter Siddle says patience is the key to bowling in India © Getty Images
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Australia's spearhead Peter Siddle believes pace bowling will be the key against India on the upcoming Test tour, despite the likelihood that the matches will be played on pitches offering significant spin. The first group of Australia's Test players flew out for India on Thursday while many of their team-mates remained at home to take on West Indies in the ongoing limited-overs series.

Siddle, Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson and Steven Smith all departed in the advance party and will prepare for the first warm-up match in Chennai, which starts on Tuesday next week. There are two tour games at the Guru Nanak College Ground in Chennai before the first Test, which begins at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on February 22.

The make-up of Australia's first-choice Test side remains unclear following the retirement of Michael Hussey after the most recent Test series against Sri Lanka. Australia have the option of including Glenn Maxwell as a spinning allrounder alongside three fast men and Nathan Lyon, but they also have the choice of an extra specialist batsman, Khawaja, or a seaming allrounder, Moises Henriques, or a second specialist spinner, Xavier Doherty.

Whatever side is picked, there will be mountains of work for Siddle and his fast-bowling colleagues, Pattinson, Bird, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc during the four-Test series. Despite the fact that nearly three quarters of the wickets that bowlers claimed in the recent India-England series fell to spinners - only 28 of 110 wickets went to fast bowlers - Siddle believes Australia will rely on the quality of their pace attack.

"The best way of attacking India is with whatever your best line-up is," Siddle told reporters at Melbourne airport on Thursday. "The way we've won Test matches for years now has been with our pace and I think that is going to play a big role. But Nathan [Lyon] is going to play a big role at the other end, and his game is going to flourish even more with the pressure we build at our end.

"Combined, we'll do well and definitely be able to take 20 wickets. We're strong, we've got a good set of quicks going over and we've got good back-up for Nathan over there with spin."

Siddle is one of only four members of Australia's 17-man squad who has played Test cricket in India, along with Johnson, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke. Siddle made his Test debut in Mohali in 2008 - it was there that he first established his reputation as a tireless workhorse - and he said the key to bowling in India was patience.

"Trying to bowl as straight and be as patient as we can be [is important]," Siddle said. "We were lucky enough that after the Sydney Test Glenn McGrath spent a bit of time in the rooms with us and we got a good chat with him, sat back and listened to how he went about his business over there.

"It's always been the case, even for a spinner - still patience. Indian wickets are hard work, the games go a little bit slower because the wickets are hard to score on. It is about patience, bowling to your fields and setting the right fields with your captain. Our side is disciplined enough now to go about it in that way. That won't change this series."

The second group of Australians - Maxwell, David Warner, Matthew Wade and the young spinner Ashton Agar - flies to India on Saturday and will be followed by the remainder of the group on Monday, the day after the final ODI against West Indies.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by India_s_the_best_ on (February 8, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

I hope india draw the series..if india loses this series then there is no big surprise..whenever a aus series starts it wil be ind batting vs aus bowling but this time aus bowling vs ind ????

Posted by thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on (February 8, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Should be a great series. Australia's decent pace attack against India's frail batting, and India's spinners against Australia's inexperienced top order. I think a lot hinges on Michael Clarke's form - i can't see anyone else in the top order making big hundreds.

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 8, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Its not the fact that India lost 0-8 over the past few months that annoys me but rather the lack of intent and insatiable hunger to succeed at the pinacle form of the game. This lack of will and intent is a very well known secret and most India fans if not all know this. I heard some time back that a former Indian selector talked about removing Dhoni as test captain after the 04 Eng tour but then came the decree from BCCI's chief himself that "Dhoni is is good for business" and hence those voices were squashed aside. Clearly Dhoni is the best captain Ind had in the ODI format but he should not be in the test team and that much is crystal clear. Dhoni himself sort of vaguely admitted it when he said 'I wont run away from responsibility of leading the test team'. Which if you ask me he's yelling to find someone else who can take charge and try out something different. He maybe committed to the cause but clearly lacks the required skill set.

Posted by chepujaradon25 on (February 8, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

as indian fan, even i know this series will be in favor of australia 2-0 atleast. Starc will show Sehwag and gambhir his place. the only hope for india is if cheteshwar pujara and virat kohli maintain consistency and see off the aussie quicks because their spinners will be quite easy to handle. the real challenge will be whether australian batsmen can handle spin. they are relatively inexperienced so that will be the battle to watch.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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India v Australia at Hyderabad (Deccan) - Mar 2-5, 2013
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