Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson feels that the faltering Indian batsmen will fare much better against Australia later this year compared to how they performed against England in the ongoing five-match series.
Save skipper Virat Kohli (544 runs in 4 Tests) and partially Cheteshwar Pujara, most of the Indian batsmen could not perform up to their potential as England have already clinched the series with a 3-1 lead.
“It is not easy to play swing bowling. Trust me when Australia travel to England for Ashes next year, it won’t be easy for them also. England is the only place where the ball swings that much primarily due to conditions. You just can’t land in England once every three years and be successful,” Watson told PTI during an interaction.
However, the former all-rounder feels that India’s tour Down Under at the end of the year would be much better compared to England.
“Look, if you check records, Indian batsmen of late have done well in Australia. Virat has scored loads of runs and I remember a fine century by [KL] Rahul at the SCG. Even [Ajinkya] Rahane scored a few runs,” Watson said.
“In Australia, the kookaburra will stop swinging after first 10 or may be 15 overs unlike Dukes which can swing all day. I don’t think bounce would be that much of a problem.”
For Watson, it is a global phenomenon that teams are not travelling well and India shouldn’t be blamed for their performance. “I don’t think any international team is playing swing bowling well these days and that is reflective in the performance on overseas performance,” said Watson.
However, Indians, who have grown up playing on turners, have once again flopped against Moeen Ali like the series of 2014.
India have also not negotiated Australia’s Nathan Lyon well but Watson feels that a quality spinner will always be a difficult proposition for any batsman.
“Look at Shane Warne’s track record. He got wickets all around the world and knew how to bowl on Day 4 and 5 tracks. Ditto for Lyon or Moeen, who know how to make best use of fourth and fifth day track,” said Watson.
Talking about India’s tour of Australia that starts with limited overs series in the last week of November, Watson expressed concern over how Australia will score big in the absence of their banned skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.
“The biggest challenge for Australia will be to post big scores in the absence of Warner and Smith. These two were instrumental in Australia getting big scores. Like Tim Paine is a capable man of leading Australia. He has the requisite leadership qualities but I am more concerned about the batting than captaincy,” the 37-year-old said.
Watson named Usman Khawaja as one of the players who will have to play a big role for Australia. “Usman Khawaja is a phenomenal player and I believe now he will be given a long rope. I am hoping that he will do well and expect him to take a lot of responsibility. He has just scored a fine hundred against India A (in Bengaluru). Apart from Usman, I would love to see Shaun and Mitch Marsh do well against India,” he said.
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