Smith likely to bat three in Pune as Australia consider three spinners

Posted February 23, 2017

The image still burns. Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb are the other two first-timers. Australia will come hard at Kohli there's no doubt about it but it has to be backed with performances.

The radical ploy of playing a third specialist spinner, possibly at the expense of gun seamer Josh Hazlewood, is not out of the question.

Ind vs Aus: Virat Kohli has a big task at hand against Australia as captain. That's not not merely an assertion but a fact, backed up by the past 20 years of Australian visits to India for Test matches. "Where's our Ashwin and Jadeja?" we will inevitably ask. In short, what succeeds at home is what fails away, and vice versa.

"If you are going to come out and try to take a wicket off every ball, you are going to get hit for boundaries", Lyon said this week.

The series, expected to be India's toughest assignment this season, begins with at Pune on Thursday, February 23. The Indians undercut the ball.

"You've still got to play well if you win a toss". To earn the opportunity to bowl on an Indian spinning paradise, players must succeed with an overspinning craft that manifestly collapses in the Asian arena. The lower order has routinely bailed out India from trouble by forging valuable partnerships amongst themselves or provided company to top-order batsmen to pile on large totals. "We are not anxious about the opposition's combinations or what they want to come up with", Kohli said. Yes, that can sound like "A quick five wickets and we're back in the match".

These decks will turn and it is up to Lyon to get the most out of them.

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Australia clearly believe spin will play a crucial part; they have picked four spinners for the team. "They have some good bowlers, good batters and you know, the approach they tend to take is to be aggressive so that is something we are aware of and you know, we will put together strategies in place which can counter that", Kumble said in a press conference on Tuesday. "We just have throwdowns and half volleys or lob little underarms and use our feet to balls that aren't spinning". It's quite different in Australia where the nicks will carry (to the keeper and slip cordon) most of the time. Controlling the run rate is the key to winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Nevertheless, he recognises a number of emerging challenges for promising Australian spinners, specifically at grade, or premier, level. Something has changed in the game from the time when batting first and scoring around 400 meant you couldn't lose. India are the No.1 side and they have been on a roll for a year and a half or so. If India play like they usually do, they should win another series at home.

"There is a lack of mentors in the club scene now", says Davison. Play starts at 9:30 AM IST.

It was all eerily similar to how the home team were when they travelled to the lands of swing, bounce and pace.

"I haven't bowled with the SG bowl, this is my first time", he said.

But for inspiration, they can look back to the 1995 tour to West Indies when Mark Taylor led a young and unfancied squad.

They have undergone changes in personnel during the latter half of their home season.

Though according to Kerry O'Keeffe, the worm is turning. He sees an approach to playing spin bowling that is not bound by old convention. "Rather than just launch spinners off the front foot, there is a swell rising that you've got to be able to play subcontinentally".