“Indians Wouldn’t Be Fearing…”: Johnson’s Honest Take On Australia Squad

Team India is all set to face Australia in the most-awaited Border Gavaskar Trophy Test, with the first match to be played from Thursday in Nagpur. India clinched the 2020-21 edition of the series 2-1 in Australia after a dramatic comeback. As fans are eagerly waiting for the mouth-watering clash to start, cricket experts are also giving their advice to the teams, which is making the series more intriguing. Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson has also given a piece of advice to the visitors to put the Rohit Sharma-led side under pressure.

Johnson stated that the Pat Cummins-led side should bat first a couple of times and post a good total in the first innings as it would put a lot of pressure on India.

“If the Aussies can bat first a couple of times early in the series, at venues which are expected to take a fair bit of spin, and get good first-innings totals on the board that will put a bit of pressure back onto India. The Aussies have taken over four spinners and while the Indians would respect Nathan Lyon‘s experience and Test record, they wouldn’t be fearing any of them. Indian batsmen use their feet well and hit spin very correctly,” wrote Johnson in his column for The West Australian.

India played their last Test against Australia in Nagpur back in 2008, where Johnson could manage to get only a single wicket. The former stated that the Nagpur pitch will lack swing and it will be a difficult task for the pacers to bowl there. However, he chose Nathan Lyon as the pick among the bowlers who may find extra bounce on the pitch with abilities. 

“Australia will play a Test in Nagpur this week for the first time since 2008, when Jason Krejza took 12 wickets. Expect a pitch that is very flat early and without any grass. There won’t be much swing either and it will be very tough work for the quicks. Lyon with his ability to find extra bounce should like bowling in a Test in Nagpur for the first time,” said Johnson.

The India vs Australia series will see some intriguing match-ups this time around, with top players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, etc. all looking in good form. Indian spinners would understandably be the key for the hosts, with the matches expected to take place on spin-friendly surfaces.

The first Test will be held at the VCA stadium in Maharashtra on Thursday.