While India’s bowlers might have conceded 544 runs in their warm up game against a Cricket Australia XI, batsman Cheteshwar Pujara remains confident that they can do the job in the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia.
India’s pace attack comprising of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami has been touted as one of the very best in the country’s history.
However, the tourists were made to toil in their four-day tour game at Sydney by an inexperienced CA XI batting unit led by Sam Whiteman. Pujara, though, remained unconcerned about the bowling attack going into the series opener at Adelaide.
“The bowlers already had a meeting, and conceding 500 runs in a warm-up game doesn’t mean anything,” the top-order batsman told reporters on Monday.
“It wasn’t a Test match, so we are not worried about it. Our bowlers know what they have to do. I can’t say what their game plan is, but they know what line and lengths to bowl in Australia, and most of them have played here in 2014-15. As a bowling unit, we are very confident,” he continued.
India are chasing a maiden Test series win on Australian soil and have been tagged as the favourites by many due to the fact that the hosts are without Steve Smith and David Warner. The tourists have in tow a bowling unit capable of picking up 20 wickets consistently and have shown that they can perform in overseas conditions during the tours of South Africa and England.
Pujara believes it is one of the best India has ever produced.
“In the last few years, we have produced some quality fast bowlers and even when it comes to bench strength, even if a couple of our fast bowlers are injured, they will have some back-up. When it comes to fast bowling, this is probably one of the best attacks we have in many years,” he said.
India’s bowlers will hope to put their tour game disappointments behind them quickly and hit the ground running when the series opener at the Adelaide Oval gets underway on Thursday.
The 39-year-old had been accused of exposing his genitals to masseuse Leanne Rusell in a series of articles published by Fairfax Media-owned Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times and The Age in 2016.
The alleged incident is said to have taken place in the players’ dressing room during the 2015 ICC World Cup in Sydney.
Gayle had outright denied the allegations when they were published and accused the journalists of attempting to destroy his image.
The Windies stalwart had sued the media group for defamation following the allegations. In October last year, a New South Wales Supreme Court jury had ruled in favour of Gayle and found Fairfax Media to be motivated by malice.
“In light of the jury’s verdict I am required to assess damages on the basis that the allegation of indecent exposure was not true and that the attribution of such conduct was very damaging to Mr Gayle’s reputation,” NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum was quoted as saying by the Herald.
Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan picked up a 12-wicket haul as Bangladesh beat the Windies by an innings and 184 runs inside just three days.
With it, the Tigers pulled off their first Test win by an innings in history as they sealed a 2-0 victory in the two-match series. The historic Test win for Bangladesh was even sweeter for Shakib after his side’s meek capitulation to the same opposition during their tour of the Caribbean in July this year.
“This is the first time we enforced the follow-on in more than 100 Tests in 18 years, which is definitely something special,” the Bangladesh skipper stated after the win.
“We haven’t done this against smaller teams, so to do it against a higher-ranked side is an achievement. We obviously had a lot to prove after losing to them in that manner (in July). I think we have done that at least at home.
“I would thank my team-mates and the coaching staff, for believing that it was possible. I was quite demanding of my players in this series. I wanted a lot from them. I think everyone contributed in their own way, but I saw everyone really wanting to contribute to the win.”
In their tour of the Caribbean earlier this year, Bangladesh had suffered the ignominy of being bowled out for just 43 runs in the opening Test. For Shakib, Sunday’s win over the opposition will soothe some of the pain of suffering that humiliation.
“We never expected such a performance in the West Indies. We held discussions after the Test series defeat there, and then came back strongly in the ODIs and T20Is,” Shakib said.
“Since we didn’t do well in the Tests there, we had this opportunity to do well at home. We wanted people to at least understand that it was a performance in their home conditions, and see that we could do the same in our home conditions.”