Will Indian batsmen face short pitch bowling in Australia? Earlier this question was common when Indian team visited this continental country. The Indian team has learned to face that challenge of short pitch balls to a great extent. This is due to bouncy pitches at the National Cricket Academy and efforts by some local cricket academies.
Despite this, the Indian batsmen have some problems when the bouncer comes to the shoulder with a really high speed. We saw an example of this during the second ODI played in Sydney when Josh Hazlewood bowled out three Indian batsmen on short pitch bowling.
Hazelwood can bowl at a speed of 135–140. Accuracy is their plus point. He raised some questions in the Indian camp by dismissing Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli on short pitch bowling. He knows that often the pitches are going to be flat and in such a situation the short ball can prove to be a big weapon.
Hazlewood told Adelaide during a virtual press conference, “This can always be part of the strategy in Australia because pitches here have more bounce than other countries.”
Although earlier where short bowling (Short Pitch Bowling) used to be Plan A of the Australian bowlers against the Indians, Hazelwood indicated that this time they will target full length bowling so that the outer edge of the bat of the Indian batsmen is taken. Hazlewood, who took 196 wickets in 51 Tests, said, ‘So, if you don’t get wickets on the front foot, then you test the batsman with the fielding of the leg side to the bouncer. It has always been a part of bowling in Australia.
Cheteshwar Pujara was first caught on leg lane in a practice match. In this match, the pace trio of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummis and Mitchell Starc must have noticed this. Hazlewood said, “We will use it strategically against them when needed.” Pujara had scored 521 runs on the previous tour of Australia (2018-19).
But for these schemes to work, Hazelwood also understands the importance of Mitchell Starc, whose performance with Pink Ball is fantastic. He knows that if this does not work, then Pujara & Co. can make him tired for a long time.