Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Pujara backs 'clever bowler' Ashwin to shine in Australia

Pujara backs 'clever bowler' Ashwin to shine in Australia

"Australia, if the batsmen apply themselves, can be a great place to play. but it takes character, it takes grinding out tough situations because the Australian team has great skills, especially their bowling attack is really strong".

"In the last few years, we have produced some quality fast bowlers and even when it comes to bench strength, even if a couple of our fast bowlers are injured, they will have some back-up".

"I think Australia's batting at the moment is the worst I have seen it".

Yet the turf on Australia's ovals can play a critical role in determining the outcome of the highly-anticipated four-Test series, which begins in Adelaide on Thursday, and is often the subject of fierce debate among players, pundits and fans.

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Vice-captain and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was left out of the playing eleven and opener Marcus Harris is set for his worldwide debut.

"We know the talent Mitch has". I can't say what their gameplan is, but they know what line and lengths to bowl in Australia, and majority have played here in 2014-15. He probably just hasn't put it together consistently enough.

Off-spinner Ashwin, who has 336 Test wickets at 25 but took just 12 wickets at 48 here four years ago, fronted for an optional net session with coach Ravi Shastri in Adelaide on Monday. "We got enough practice and we did what we wanted".

India and Australia will kick-start their Test campaign from December 6 at the Adelaide Oval.

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The former world number one hit his last competitive stroke of 2018 at his own Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on Sunday. Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay are tied for third on nine under, with Tony Finau a shot further back in fifth.


Nathan Lyon returns to his spiritual cricket home at the peak of powers with bitter-sweet memories of a career defining performance against India in the Phillip Hughes Test. He notched his 23rd test century against England at last year's Boxing Day test in Melbourne.

Former Australia quick Jason Gillespie has urged the bowling attack to maintain "a fourth-stump line, about bail high", to frustrate Kohli.

With Australian cricket still reeling from the wrecking ball that was the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, India appear to have been handed a golden opportunity to secure a first Test series triumph Down Under over the next month. "Whatever batsmen we have, all of them have so much ability that every one of them can single-handedly turn any game", Kohli said.

The cricket-mad youngster has a long-term heart condition, and has undergone 13 surgeries so far, the first of them an open-heart procedure when he was just three months old. You have some goals as a batting unit and you want to accomplish that. "That is the way Australians have always played their best", he said.

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"It always feels good to go to grounds where you have scored runs, it helps you a lot and I have good memories of it and looking forward to the Adelaide Test".

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