Australia wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey has reminded his team how damaging the Indian pacers could be with their reverse swing even as countering the threat from hosts spinners was the main focus in the build-up to their high profile four-match Test series starting on Thursday. Australia abandoned the idea of “irrelevant” tour games in India and instead trained with SG balls on specially-prepared spinning pitches in Sydney before coming to India. “Going to Pakistan it was a lot of spin talk and I found the reverse swinging ball difficult,” Carey told reporters here on the sidelines of their four-day training camp.
He recalled their tour game in Bengaluru in 2018 when pacers were equally making impact as the spinners and Mohammed Siraj returned with a match haul of 11 wickets.
“I played a four-day game (for Australia A against India A) in 2018 and a lot of the talk was about spin and probably forget a bit how damaging both team’s fast bowlers are with the reverse-swinging ball, with a wicket that might be a bit up and down,” said the 31-year-old.
Carey also recalled their drawn Test series in Sri Lanka in July last year where the Australians had to adapt to different pitch conditions.
“We went to Galle for two Tests and they were two different wickets. So be open-minded about what we are going to come up against, what team they put on the park and what scenario I come in at,” he said.
“Having the game ebb and flow between spin and fast bowling, dry periods, periods where it will score quickly…think that’s great about this team, the experience we do have.” Carey said the visiting team understands the capability of the Indian side, and will plan accordingly.
“We’ll speak to the guys who have played (in India) in the past and we’ll have our batters’ meeting soon. We’ll face a lot of different spinners throughout the next few days, our spinners (are) bowling well as well, so for everyone it’s getting our feet on the ground.
“We haven’t really spoken about the way we are going to play, it’s the individual basis. For Travis it might be exploring that (attacking) game a bit, Renners (Matthew Renshaw) is a bit taller and can get to the pitch of the ball — he has been here and succeeded — so it’s up to the individual to own their game then we back them in to do that.” Known for his attacking instinct against the spinners, Carey said: “I like to sweep in most circumstances, most formats, then (it’s) playing the conditions.
“It’s an exciting Test tour, there will be chaos at times, wickets will fall at times, just try to manage those situations. When we are on top hopefully the batters can really go big,” said Carey who has not played Test cricket in India.
Since their defeat against England in 2012, India are on an enviable record streak of winning 15 consecutive Test series at home. No other team has won more than 10 home series in a row.
With a healthy lead at the top of the standings, the No. 1 ranked Australian team has one foot in the World Test Championship final. Number two India will need to produce at least a 3-0 or 3-1 win to make their successive WTC Final.
Sri Lanka and South Africa, who are ranked third and fourth respectively in the WTC standings, also vie for a place in the final and have two Tests each in the current cycle.