Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels preparing a green track for the second Test in Perth could backfire on Australia against a pace-heavy Indian team.
The new Perth stadium is set to welcome the two teams with a green, bouncy pitch on Friday, with curator Brett Sipthorpe saying he has been asked to make it “fast” by the hosts.
“We’re just trying to produce the bounciest pitch we can,” he was quoted as saying.
However, Vaughan, who is in Australia as a commentator, feels that a green pitch may not be the best idea considering the quality of the fast bowlers India possess.
“Certainly from seeing the Indian attack in England and at the Adelaide Oval, [Jasprit] Bumrah, [Mohammed] Shami, and [Ishant] Sharma will be going to bed tonight thinking, ‘thank you,’” Vaughan told Australian broadcaster Fox Cricket on the eve of the match.
“The actual three quicks of India out-bowled the three quicks of Australia. They were outstanding. It’s a big, big risk that Australia are taking.”
The Indian pace trio of Bumrah, Shami and Ishant played a vital role in the first Test in Adelaide, claiming 14 of the 20 Australian wickets between themselves.
“They clearly need a pitch that they feel they can get at the Indian batsmen but I just look to the game at Adelaide Oval – it wasn’t the pitch, it wasn’t anything to do with the conditions. It was just that India produced more discipline for longer periods,” Vaughan said.
“Unfortunately for Australia, one of their quicks [Mitchell Starc] did not quite get the radar right and I would say that went a long way to India just nipping over the line in that Test match,” he added.
India named as many as five pace bowlers in their 13-man squad for the Perth Test, with R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma ruled out because of injuries. Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar join the three Indian pacers who played in Adelaide in the squad.
India could go with a four-pronged pace attack in Perth, like they had done in the Johannesburg Test against South Africa earlier this year. However, Vaughan believes the consistency of finger-spinner Ravindra Jadeja could be helpful.
“Jadeja’s a wonderful cricketer as well,” Vaughan said. “He’s someone that I’d want in the team.
“He bats well, he’s an incredible fielder, he will create something in the field and with his bowling he’s just going to keep bowling.
“You look at your three quicks and Ravi Jadeja, as a captain I look at it and you think you’ve got an end tied up against left- and right-hand [batsmen].
“And if [the pitch] does start to spin like it did in a [Sheffield] Shield [domestic] match a few weeks ago, he’ll come into his own,” he added.
With inputs from PTI