It isn’t often that Indian fast-bowlers outclass their Australian counterparts on the latter’s turf. But so far in the Border-Gavaskar trophy Jasprit Bumrah and company have performed better than Australia’s pace battery.
Among the aspects that are conspicuously absent in the Aussies’ pace attack is reverse swing. So far in the series, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood haven’t managed to get many wickets with the old ball.
“We spoke about it a bit,” Cummins said ahead of Thursday’s fourth and final Test in Sydney, which Australia have to win to avoid a first-ever series defeat to India at home.
Cummins acknowledged that reverse-swing was an important factor, especially for Starc and Hazlewood.
“It’s just one of those things,” he said of Australia’s inability to reverse-swing the ball in Melbourne. “Maybe on day one and two when we bowled the wicket wasn’t as abrasive and that makes a big difference.”
“We tried to bowl some cross-seamers and it didn’t seem to scuff up as much as a couple of days later.
“Sometimes you get a ball that goes and sometimes you get a ball that doesn’t. No doubt they (India) bowled really well with it and presented a good seam and suited those conditions.”
Earlier, Shane Warne, who’s on the TV commentary panel for the series, pointed out Australian bowlers’ mediocre record against top and middle-order batsmen.
Following the Cape Town ball-tampering episode, Australia are perhaps more cautious of how they treat the ball.
But Cummins said that it isn’t the first time Australia are struggling to reverse-swing the ball.
“To be honest I don’t remember getting too much reverse swing last summer in the Ashes, I don’t think it played a big part,” he said.
“I know last summer, traditional swing there was pretty much none. We know we’re going to be out there for quite a while bowling (this summer), it’s a really good team and the wickets have been really dry.”