Melbourne: Former Australia skipper Adam Gilchrist is confident the Pat Cummins-led side will be able to win the Border-Gavaskar series in India after 19 years if they go in with three seamers to partner spinner Nathan Lyon.
The former wicketkeeper-batter, who was Australia’s stand-in skipper during the 2004 series win the only one they pocketed since 1969 added that experimenting with a new spinner in sub-continental conditions has never worked, and Cummins should refrain from doing that.
“I think they’ll do it (win the series). I really do. I think they’ve got a squad and final XI that will have a lot of similarities to the team we rolled with in 2004,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying by Fox Sports on Tuesday.
“So often teams go to India hoping to unveil some new spinner that’s going to come in and adapt and bedazzle in India it doesn’t really happen,” added Gilchrist.
He felt Australia should just have faith in their best four bowlers to do the job, adding that the highly-experienced seamers should have no trouble reverse swinging the ball.
“Pick your best four bowlers, run with them — and if that is three seamers who can all get really nice reverse swing and Nathan Lyon, who’s outstanding and clearly the best off-spinner we’ve ever had, can play his role — that’s my gut feeling. You do that, you go with it.”
Australia currently find themselves in a tricky situation with their most experienced seamer, 32-year-old Mitchell Starc, nursing a finger injury to his bowling arm and likely to miss the first Test at Nagpur.
Tall all-rounder Cameron Green too suffered a fracture on his finger and has undergone surgery, though he is expected to be fit before the first Test, beginning on February 9.
The former cricketer said the return of Green, a fast-bowling all-rounder, could give Cricket Australia the luxury to pick an extra spinner, and added the need to be patient in trying conditions.
Reminiscing the 2004 series win and the lessons it has for the current squad, Gilchrist said, “What we tried to change with our mentality back then — and I’d be interested to see if the Australians do it this time — is don’t go searching and just rolling spinners out there.
“Attack the stumps right from ball one. Swallow your pride a bit, be defensive to be aggressive… Start with one slip, start with a catching mid-wicket, put fielders out on the boundary to nullify the boundary option, but keep a couple of catchers in place — either at short cover or short mid-wicket – and just be patient.”