‘India have class players but Australia will blow them away in Melbourne’: Shane Warne

Australia’s ‘one of the best ever pace attacks’ comprising Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood will ‘blow away’ India in the Boxing Day Test match starting on December 26 in Melbourne, believes legendary Australia cricketer Shane Warne.

“I think Australia is probably going to blow them away,” Warne, who claimed a record 708 Test wickets for Australia, told ‘Fox Cricket’.

India were bowled out for 36 – their lowest score in Test cricket in the 2nd innings of the day-night Test as Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood ran through India’s batting line-up in the first session of Day 3. Warne, however said the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul are class acts.

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“Having said that, they have some class players to come in like KL Rahul. Young Gill will come in. (Ajinkya) Rahane is a class act. We know what (Cheteshwar) Pujara can do,” he said.

India will be without the services of their regular captain Virat Kohli, who was flown back home for the birth of first child and fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who fractured his wrists trying to cope with a Cummins’ bouncer in the Adelaide Test.

“(Mohammed) Shami is a huge loss as well. He’s such a quality bowler. And if you look at bowlers for the Melbourne conditions – drop in pitches – Shami hits the seam and stands it up and bowls a good length and straight.” Indian batsmen drew a lot of flak after the Australian bowling unit, including Pat Cummins (4-21) and Josh Hazlewood (5-8), bamboozled the visitors in the opening Test.

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However, Warne believes the Australian pace battery deserves more credit for the win in the series-opener than the criticism faced by the Indian batsmen.

“Yeah, you can have a go at the Indians but I think you would rather give credit to the Australians and how well they bowled,” the 51-year-old former leg-spinner said.

“They were outstanding, that bowling attack. The four bowlers plus Green, they have been good bowlers for a long time. They are turning themselves into great bowlers now. To watch them go to work in Adelaide was fantastic.” Warne believes the current quartet of Cummins, Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon is already on track to become Australia’s greatest bowling unit.

“They are definitely in the conversation (to compare them to my era). They are outstanding those four bowlers and they have been for a while,” Warne said.

“If they continue on this form for the next four or five years going like this, then they will be in the conversation as the best bowling attack Australia maybe has ever had.” Australia has produced some of the world’s greatest bowlers such as Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie, apart from a spin wizard like Warne.

“You think of Lillee, Thommo, Lee, Gillespie and those guys… But as a four any one time, these guys are in the conversation as some of the best Australia has ever had,” he said.

(With agency inputs)

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