Australia in India 2008-09 October 2, 2008

Lawson tells Australia spin not a major threat

Cricinfo staff

Geoff Lawson does not expect Australia to be severely threatened by Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble © AFP

Geoff Lawson, the Pakistan coach, has warned Australia against focusing too heavily on spin for the upcoming Test series against India. Australia will face the vast experience of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh while their own spin stocks are down to one uncapped man, Jason Krejza, with the news that Bryce McGain could be sent home with a shoulder injury.

But Lawson said he did not expect Kumble and Harbhajan to be major threats during the four-Test series. "We [Pakistan] played three Tests in India in November and the pitches did not spin," Lawson told the Courier-Mail. "Whether India make up spinning pitches I am not sure but the first Test venue in Bangalore is a bouncy pitch.

"Kumble and Harbhajan were ineffective when we played them. They were not great in Sri Lanka either in a series after that. I wouldn't be worried about how good their spinners are or how inexperienced our spinners are.

"I don't think they are going to be big factors. World batsmen have faced enough of Harbhajan and Kumble ... unless the wickets are turning big-time, they should be able to handle them."

Pakistan dealt with Harbhajan with relative ease during last year's Tests, when he collected ten wickets at 44.10. Kumble was the leading wicket-taker during that series but Lawson said as long as Australia did not talk themselves out of succeeding, they should do well against the slow men.

"We played in Delhi last year and the word was that it was going to fall apart on the first day and spin big-time," Lawson said. "But it just got harder and harder and we could have played for ten days on it. It did not turn at all. You can't expect to go to the subcontinent and get slow turners."