The Australian cricket team is in turmoil heading into the four-Test series against India. The team is missing the services of Steve Smith and David Warner, who have been banned for one year due to the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town. Results on the field have not been too encouraging, with the team winning just two ODIs and suffering Test series losses against South Africa and Pakistan. After losing the Sydney Twenty20 International by six wickets, Australia start as the underdogs in the four-Test series. Former batsman Dean Jones believes this is the ideal time for India to break their jinx Down Under.
“If India don't win this series, they will never win in Australia. India is miles better than Australia in all formats but do they have the belief, and will their fast bowlers last the distance? Normally when Australia play at home they are very hard to beat. But now there is no Steve Smith and David Warner, who consistently make 40 per cent of Australia's runs. For Australia to win, who is going to fill those shoes?”, Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Do not provoke Kohli
With Australia already depleted, Jones has advised the team to tone down their sledging. The right-hander, who has played 52 Tests, has given a suggestion to the Australian cricket team that they must not sledge Virat Kohli, who is currently in the form of his life. Jones added that finding a weakness in Kohli is like finding a fault with a painting like Mona Lisa.
“Do not talk or provoke him. Make him your best mate. Teams must stop his cover drive and bowl in different areas. At the start of Kohli's innings, quicks need to bowl at a fourth-stump line and make him play on the back foot. Do not give him width and length outside off-stump. Bowlers must try to set him up with short stuff first and then the odd wide ball on the drive to find the edge. Slips and gully stay on high alert,” Jones said.
Same like 1986
In 1986, Australia was in transition, with several key players retiring. The team travelled to India and they drew the three-Test series 0-0, with one match in Chennai ending in a historic tie. Jones said Australia should forget about the opposition and worry about how they can perform themselves.
“In 1986, Australia had a very inexperienced team. But what they did have was two great leaders: Allan Border and Bob Simpson. The players didn't worry about the opposition too much, they just looked within and worried about themselves. Border and Simpson privately spoke to each player and helped each individual organise their game plan. Within weeks, the team was very much committed, with game plans sorted, as they had the total support from the coach and captain. All we had to do, was execute,” Jones said.