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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'India will make it a tougher contest of white-ball cricket'

'India will make it a tougher contest of white-ball cricket'

January 10, 2016 15:20 IST

India's Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane during a training session

IMAGE: India's Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane during a training session. Photograph: BCCI

Not impressed by Australia's dominance in the summer of 2015 with Test wins against New Zealand and a lackluster West Indies, former pacer Geoff Lawson believes that India will make "tougher opponents" in the upcoming ODI series starting January 12. 

Having led Australia's pace attack in the early 1980s, Lawson, who also coached the Pakistan national team between 2007-09, opines that Australia were not tested enough in the 2-0 win against the Kiwis and then beating a below-par West Indies side also did not add to their supremacy.

"India will make a tougher contest of white-ball cricket than New Zealand or the West Indies made of the Tests," Lawson wrote in his column in the Sydney Morning Herald

India's Shikhar Dhawan during a training session

IMAGE: India's Shikhar Dhawan during a training session. Photograph: BCCI

The Steven Smith-led side demolished the Caribbean side, which could hardly hold its own let alone give competition to the hosts in the three Tests. 

"The West Indies were not close in any of the three contests and, as a result, Australian players had opportunities to pad their batting and bowling statistics rather than toughen up techniques and mindsets. 

"As learning experiences go, it's hard to think of a less inspiring season," Lawson wrote. 

With Australia blooding youngsters like rookie pacer Joel Paris in the absence of the retired Mitchell Johnson and the injured Mitchell Starc, Lawson feels the management should keep an eye on the 2019 50-over World Cup while fielding a squad in any series from now. 

"There is the short-term goal of winning each match and series – something Australian teams have always prided themselves on – and the long-term goal of having a match-hardened group of 16 to 20 players who can retain the 2019 World Cup," he said.

Former Australian cricketer Geoff Lawson

IMAGE: Former Australian cricketer Geoff Lawson. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images

"The blooding of tyro Joel Paris is a calculated investment as the retirement of Mitchell Johnson and the fragility of Mitchell Starc is hedged with a fellow leftie who curves the ball," he wrote while praising the 23-year-old rookie left-arm pacer. 

The 58-year-old cricketer-turned-analyst also criticised the omission of off-spinner Nathan Lyon from the five ODIs against India.

"So some new boys get their chance and some old ones are returned, but the biggest surprise remains the continued omission of Nathan Lyon, apparently not a necessary ingredient for a winning formula."

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