Aussies aim to avoid Kuldeep spin trap

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

CHEN­NAI: Aus­tralia skip­per Steve Smith be­lieves that dom­i­nat­ing In­dia’s left-arm wrist spin­ner Kuldeep Ya­dav will be cru­cial to his side’s chances when the two coun­tries meet in a one­day series start­ing Sun­day.

The vis­i­tors called in lo­cal lef­t­arm wrist spin­ner KK Jiyas to help pre­pare for Kuldeep’s guile dur­ing net prac­tice in Chen­nai.

For­mer In­dia bats­man Srid­ha­ran Sri­ram, a spin con­sul­tant for Aus­tralia, per­suaded In­dian Premier League’s Delhi player Jiyas to get in­volved ahead of the five in­ter­na­tion­als.

Kuldeep made an in­stant im­pres­sion against Aus­tralia, tak­ing four wick­ets in his Test de­but in In­dia’s series-clinch­ing win in Dharam­sala this year.

The 22-year-old Kuldeep will bat­tle for a spot with left-arm spin­ner Axar Pa­tel and leg-spin­ner Yuzven­dra Cha­hal at the MA Chi­dambaram Sta­dium.

Smith is tip­ping Kuldeep to play, say­ing his left arm tal­ents are rare “around the world”.

“They’re dif­fer­ent so it’s good to be able to get some­one who bowls a bit of that,” Smith told re­porters on the eve of the game.

“He is a good young tal­ent and can be dif­fi­cult to pick at times. He’s some­one who you have to watch re­ally closely. Hope­fully we can put him un­der pres­sure early in his spell and try and take him for as many as we can,” Smith added. Smith, who is a tough Test of com­ing out series against Bangladesh that ended 1-1, is pre­pared for an­other spin chal­lenge on the sub­con­ti­nent’s pitches. The star bats­man said top-or­der runs would be key in what he ex­pected would be a high­scor­ing af­fair.

“Spin has al­ways played a pretty big part in ODIs par­tic­u­larly in these con­di­tions. I’d say it’ll play a rea­son­able part through­out this series too,” he said.

“We saw that the last time we came here in 2013 it was a run-fest where 350 was around par. If the wick­ets are the same, you need some­one in the top four to make a re­ally big score.”

Smith, with­out re­veal­ing too much about his team, said that de­spite los­ing opener Aaron Finch to in­jury, the team would con­tinue with Travis Head at num­ber four.

While Aus­tralia also play three Twenty20 matches in In­dia be­fore mov­ing on to the Ashes series against Eng­land, Smith said the team had the 2019 World Cup firmly in mind.

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