Australia’s pacemen must learn from the drubbing they copped in Mohali if they are to have an impact in the remaining cricket Tests against India, says former quick Michael Kasprowicz.
A decade ago it took Kasprowicz and the rest of an inexperienced attack two Tests before they worked out how to bowl with effect in India – keep the ball dry and away from sweaty hands, use reverse swing and tie down the batsmen.
The lessons came too late in 1998, but Kasprowicz believes Brett Lee and his colleagues can still turn things around to help Australia retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“In 1998, other than Paul Reiffel, who got injured in the first Test, we were a pretty inexperienced bowling attack as well and it wasn’t until the third Test in Bangalore that we worked it out and we won,” he said from India.
“The key is they have to adapt.
“You have to adapt and adjust your game to theirs (India’s) and the quicker you do that the better.
“Doing what we do in Australia doesn’t work here and really on three trips, in ’98, 2001 and 2004, we did things a lot differently in 2004, where we almost changed the whole mindset.
“Instead of bowling to the weakness of players we were actually bowling straight and forcing them to make the decision to flick the ball on the legside where there were catchers.”
Kasprowicz saved some of his greatest performances with the ball for India tours, as he helped win that 1998 Test in Bangalore, and then with colleagues Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie, helped Australia beat India 2-1 in 2004.
Currently playing for the Mumbai Champs in the Indian Cricket League, he urged his compatriots to put the heavy defeat in the second Test behind them.
“You write off that Test match, put it down to a learning experience and the key is to adjust and adapt,” Kasprowicz said.
“In Delhi (for next week’s third Test), it’s a new game and a new pitch and I’m sure they’re going to be right.
“There’s plenty there in the Australian line-up, they just caught India when they were red hot in that particular Test.”
While India remains a spin-haven, Kasprowicz said Australian fast bowlers could still make an impact provided they were prepared to adjust and stay patient.
“You’re not going to blast out a batting line-up on these wickets because they are slower and you don’t get the bounce like we do in Australia,” he said.
“So it’s a bit more of a containment job and building up the pressure … if you can start bowling maidens and build the pressure that’s when the Indians play their big shots.”