File image of former India coach Ravi Shastri© Twitter
Australia were in for a rude shock in the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India as they lost the match by innings and 132 runs. What was even more surprising was that the world No. 1 Australia lost the match in less than three days of play. Australia were bowled out for 91 in one session in the first Test. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith showed some fight in an otherwise dismal batting display. Australia are expected to make changes from the Nagpur drubbing, with spinner Matthew Kuhnemann, returning fast bowler Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green fighting for a place in the side.
Ahead of the match, former India coach Ravi Shastri gave some advice to the Australians. In a column for Sydney Morning Herald titled ‘Timid Australians must get aggressive because India will show no mercy’, Shastri wrote: “Save the English manners for the Ashes. What you need are good old Australian manners here in India to bounce back from the defeat in Nagpur.
“I want to see them come out and be their aggressive selves in Delhi. To back their ability and play with intent. I was surprised by the lack of it, especially in that second innings, where they were rolled for 91. If you lose, go down throwing punches. Not in the timid, almost un-Australian, fashion that they surrendered against the Indian spinners at the VCA Stadium. But the punch has to be thrown immediately, and they need to hit India hard from the very start in Delhi. If Australia don’t get at India right away, the possibility of a 3-0 or even a 4-0 series defeat looms large.”
He added that it seemed like the Australians were indulging in too much bonhomie with their Indian counterparts.
“I would also ask the Aussies to leave their Indian Premier League buddies behind and keep them for later. It felt like there was a bit too much bonhomie on the field in Nagpur for my liking. I want to see that characteristic hard-hitting Aussie intent come to the fore in Delhi,” Shastri wrote.
“I can say this with confidence: the Indians will be relentless, as they are always in India. This is as good a bowling attack as they’ve ever had, both in terms of the fast bowlers and the spinners. India have never had a spin trio where all three are all-rounders.”
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