India’s bowlers can take 20 wickets even with out Ishant: Ajinkya Rahane

Mumbai, December 15

India will miss experienced paceman Ishant Sharma when they take on Australia in the upcoming four-Test series but their bowling attack is more than capable of taking 20 wickets against the hosts, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Ishant, who has played 97 Test matches, was a vital cog in India’s 2-1 victory against Australia in their previous trip Down Under in 2018 but has been ruled out of this series due to a side strain.

“We do really have a very strong attack,” Rahane told reporters ahead of the opening day-night Test in Adelaide, which starts on Thursday.

“Yes we will definitely miss Ishant, (he) being a senior fast bowler. But guys who are here … they all are really good, experienced and know how to bowl in these conditions. It is all about getting that momentum.

“I do believe that we have the attack to get 20 wickets,” he said, adding that they had yet to finalise their starting 11 for Adelaide.

India’s regular captain Virat Kohli will return home after Adelaide for the birth of his first child, leaving Rahane in charge for the remaining three Tests in the series.

The middle-order batsman said he was not looking that far ahead.

“I believe in staying in the moment, staying in present,” he said. “Right now Virat is our captain.”

The pitches in Australia offer more pace and bounce for bowlers and present a different challenge for Indian batsmen, who grow up playing on surfaces offering low bounce and more spin.

Rahane had no concerns about playing short-pitched bowling but said the batsmen would need to adapt to changing conditions during the twilight period in the day-night Test.

“Last time when we came here in 2018 the wickets were really challenging … but we adjusted to those wickets really well,” he said.

“As a batting unit we can adapt to any situation, any condition. I am not too concerned about short balls, it’s all about having a positive mindset as a batsman.” Reuters

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