Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

India quicks getting the thoroughbred treatment ahead of second Australia Test in Perth

Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah took 14 of 20 wickets at Adelaide Oval in 31-run win

India fast bowler Ishant Sharma was instrumental in the 31-run victory over Australia in the first Test in Perth. Reuters
India fast bowler Ishant Sharma was instrumental in the 31-run victory over Australia in the first Test in Perth. Reuters

India are treating their pace bowlers like prize-winning thoroughbreds after the series-opening win over Australia in Adelaide while cautioning them against straining too hard at the reins when the second match gets under way in Perth.

Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah took 14 of 20 wickets at Adelaide Oval in a fine debut as a pace trio on Australian soil that helped fire the tourists to a 31-run win on Monday.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote on Twitter that India captain Virat Kohli and actress wife Anushka Sharma had given up their business class seats to two of the quicks for the three-and-a-half-hour flight from Adelaide to Perth on Tuesday.

India coach Ravi Shastri said all three were spared net duties on Tuesday in a bid to freshen up before Day 1 of the second Test starting at Perth Stadium on Friday.

"I think fast bowlers are a precious commodity and they need to be taken care of like what you do with a racehorse," India bowling coach Bharat Arun told reporters in Perth on Wednesday.

"And that's exactly what's happening."

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Friday's Test will be the first played at the new Perth Stadium, which has a drop-in pitch and succeeded the Waca as the city's premier venue for internationals.

Perth Stadium curator Brett Sipthorpe is keen to produce a fast, bouncy wicket that would not be out of place at the Waca.

Arun said India's bowlers would welcome that prospect following the relatively unhelpful track served up at Adelaide.

"Definitely with a little help from the wicket, obviously the bowlers would love that sort of a wicket," he said.

"Again, whatever is in the offing, we are happy with it."

However, he said he would urge his bowlers to stick to the same recipe that brought success in Adelaide: consistency and sustained pressure.

"You can be carried away with the extra pace and bounce but again you need to understand that on any responsive track, what is really going to be successful is your consistency," he said.

"And that's exactly what we're going to work with the bowlers."

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Australia coach Justin Langer said he expected a pacey wicket and declared "pretty boy" captain Tim Paine "ready to go" despite injury.

"I'm really fascinated and can't wait to see what the wicket brings," he told reporters. "There's only been one four-day game in its history.

"I went and watched a bit of the NSW versus WA game - there was certainly some pace and bounce there. We've also seen some pace and bounce in it during the one-dayers and T20 game."

But he said neither team would know how the drop-in pitch plays in Test conditions until the match begins on Friday.

"Time will tell what the wicket brings ... If we can get [Waca-style pace and bounce] it'd be a great thing for Test cricket," Langer said.

Langer also scoffed at suggestions Paine could miss the Test after a delivery in Adelaide smashed into a right finger that has required several operations in the past.

"Paine is the toughest pretty boy I've seen in my life," he said.

"Even if it was snapped in about four places he'd still be right. He's absolutely fine. He's obviously had issues with it before but he's 100 per cent ready to go."

India's win was their first in Australia in a decade, and their first ever in the opening Test as they search for a maiden series win down under.

Updated: December 12, 2018 12:18 PM

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