The opening Test of the four-match series is a day-night affair in Adelaide. A lot of emphasis is being laid on the pink ball and how the pacers of both teams will use it to effect.
Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif says it’s fair to focus on pacers and their use of the pink ball but stresses that India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be key to India’s chances.
‘All the talk around Adelaide Test is about pace bowlers because of pink ball, but my gut feel is that Ashwin will be the key for India. Even last time he set the tone for the series by picking the top order. With the harder ball during the day Ash will be very crucial #AusvInd,’ Kaif tweeted.
Ashwin had played a big role in India’s victory in the opening Test of the 2018-19 series, picking six wickets in the match to help India claim their first Test series victory on the Australian soil. Unfortunately, an injury ruled him out for the remainder of the series.
Ashwin doesn’t have the best record overseas -- in Australia alone he’s got 27 wickets from 7 matches at an average of 48 and a best of 4 for 105 -- but vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane put his weight behind the veteran off-spinner.
“See Ashwin’s role will be very important. We all know that he is an experienced bowler. He has got variety in his bowling. So his role for us as a bowler and also as a batsman will be really important. I am sure Ashwin will have a very good series and it will be really good for us,” Rahane said in a conference call on Wednesday.