Melbourne: Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones has said that if Australia wants to win the forthcoming four-match Test series against India, it will have to keep the big four of the Indian batting order – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S.Laxman and Virender Sehwag quiet.
Pitching for the inclusion of left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc in the final eleven, Jones said in his syndicated column for The Age that: “I think a left-hander who can swing the ball back into the stumps is a wonderful asset and can add variety to this Australian attack for Michael Clarke.”
He further opined that Indian batsmen love hitting boundaries and don`t like running, as a rule.
“So, if the Australian bowlers can dry up their boundaries, they will be more successful,” he said.
He proffered some thoughts on how he would dismiss the four great Indian batsmen.
On Sehwag, he said: “The best way to bowl to him is to keep him quiet. He hates taking singles, loves hitting boundaries. Just keep him bored. Bowl wide of the crease and at the stumps. Make him hit the ball through the leg side. When the quicks bounce him, it must be over middle stump and give him no room to free up his arms. I also believe he struggles a little with left-handers swinging the ball back into him. Clarke could think about opening with Starc.”
“I would instruct the bowlers to bowl wide of the crease and get the ball to nip back into him. Best line is over the off and middle stumps,” he added.
On Tendulkar, he said: History shows Tendulkar struggles a little with bowlers who get close to the stumps and who can swing the ball away from him. Clarke needs to set a straight field and try to entice the great man to play square into point and to square leg.”
On Dravid, Jone said: “He is approaching 39 in January, so bowl fast and straight to him. Again, bowling well to him early in his innings is so important. Historically, Dravid doesn`t get his runs fast, so keeping things quiet puts pressure on his batting partner.”
On Laxman, he said: “Bowling the proper length is paramount. Full and straight to him with swinging deliveries is the way to go. I don`t think he likes the bounce that much, so trying to get him cutting with two gullies may be a good play for him.”