NEW DELHI: Former cricketer Abhinav Mukund believes leg-spinner Adam Zampa and left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc will be the biggest threats to the Indian team ahead of the three-match ODI series between the two teams starting later this week.
Ahead of the marquee Men's ODI World Cup, India and Australia will be playing in a three-game 50-over series to be played in Mohali, Indore, and Rajkot on September 22, 24 and 27 respectively. India's opening match of the World Cup is also against Australia in Chennai on October 8.
Zampa recently took eight wickets in four ODIs against South Africa, although he was taken for 0-113 by the hosts’ in smashing 416 at Centurion. Zampa boasts of taking 24 wickets in 14 ODIs against India, averaging 29.45, with best figures of 4/45 taken in Chennai this year.
Starc, on the other hand, is coming back into action against India after missing South Africa tour due to groin injury. “I think Adam Zampa and Mitchell Starc will be the biggest threats to India. The way Zampa has bowled against India, not necessarily in the TATA IPL, but when he turns up for Australia, he's a different beast altogether. I think it's because of the way he's used and the protection he has from the seamers around him.”
"If they've got Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood, I think Adam Zampa becomes even more crucial. He's always bowled well against India. He's bowled well against Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. I feel India should take on Zampa more and understand that he's not a big turner of the ball. He's brought in a variation of a googly off late, but it's more of a toppy, like how Yuzvendra Chahal bowls it,” said Mukund in an episode of JioCinema’s ‘Home of the Blues’ show.
Former India cricketer Abhishek Nayar spoke about the difference between the all-rounders of both India and Australia and offered his take on how the Indian all-rounders can step up to the challenge of facing an Australian outfit which has many, including captain Pat Cummins, returning from injury.
"The Australian contingent has more all-rounders who can contribute with the bat and ball and add a lot of power. On the flip side, the Indian all-rounders will take their time. They can be aggressive but that is only after they’re settled in. I feel like that’s something India is going to be wary about.”
"One is whether or not they can compete with the power that the Australians have. Two, can their all-rounders pick wickets like we know the Australian all-rounders have the ability to. You have the likes of Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja, if they can keep pegging them and picking up wickets, then you have a good chance against this strong Australian batting lineup.”
"I really believe that in a high-scoring venue, it's important to pick wickets. Not only the top bowlers but everyone that comes into bowl should pick wickets. You expect Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul Thakur to pick wickets and Ravindra Jadeja to keep it tight and do the same as well.”
"You are looking at Australian players that can be destructive regardless of the situation. They are not thinking about what the score is, they are thinking to hit big. When you have players with that mindset, you want to make sure you have wicket-taking options," he concluded.