Australia’s bowling attack has been praised during the Test series against India despite the hosts going 1-2 down but legendary spinner Shane Warne isn’t too impressed.
Warne, who is on commentary duty during the series, thinks that the Australian bowlers are not as good as everyone thinks they are, pointing out their record against top- and middle-order batsmen.
While Australia’s bowlers have done far better than their batsmen in the series so far, Mitchell Starc and Co have struggled against the top six batsmen in opposition teams, Warne said, after Australia lost the Boxing Day Test by 131 runs in Melbourne on Sunday.
“The opposition number 1-6 batsmen when [Australia] are bowling has Mitchell Starc with 17 wickets in [the last] 10 Test matches at 47,” he said, as quoted by news.com.au.
“Josh Hazlewood has 18 wickets at 40. Nathan Lyon 29 wickets at 43. Pat Cummins 30 wickets at 23.
“So if you lose a toss and the opposition decide to bat and you have to try and knock them over, [Australia’s] new-ball bowlers in Starc and Hazlewood are averaging 47 and 40 with a new ball – that’s not good enough.”
Warne said the Australian bowlers’ inability to take wickets at the top of the order was adding pressure on the team’s batters. Australia’s highest total in the India Test series after three matches is 326. They have crossed 300 only once – in Perth – in six innings.
“At times when the bowlers have done well and knocked a side over, Australia have actually made over 300 in the first innings,” Warne said.
“But when the opposition have made 346, 488, 482, 443, 386 – and I could keep going – in their first innings, that puts a lot of scoreboard pressure on [Australia’s] batsmen.
“The pressure is on [them] to come out and make a decent score to try and not give up a big lead,” he added.
Starc was already under criticism after the Adelaide performance, where his body language was questioned. He and the rest of the attack stepped up in Perth but the story was different again in Melbourne.