India vs Australia: ‘If Aussies act wisely, they should produce pace-friendly wickets for India,’ says Shoaib Akhtar

As Virat Kohli’s India prepare to take on Australia on their soil, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar reckons pitches will be a factor that promises to make a big difference in the series. While Australian pitches are known to be pacey and carry a lot of bounce, recent years have seen slight deterioration in these factors on Aussie pitches, which has allowed the opposition batsmen to thrive.

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It was one of the factors that helped the Indian bowling attack the last time India had visited Australia in 2018/19. The Virat Kohli-led Indian team went on to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 with Indian bowlers toppling Australia’s batting line-up. Akhtar believes that if Australia act wisely, they would create hard and bouncy pitches as their fast bowlers have the potential to run through the batting line-up.

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“It takes two-three innings to control that forward trigger movement in foreign conditions. You can’t drive on the up and have to play close to the body,” the Pakistan bowling legend told news agency PTI. “It will be interesting to see how the pitches will be. The Aussies will come hard at India that is for sure and won’t be giving easy balls to drive.”

Australia should produce fast and bouncy wickets for the series as it will help their potent pace attack, feels Akhtar.

“They can run through teams and they can run through your bodies (laughs). If Australia act wisely, they should produce pace-friendly wickets,” he said referring to the trio of Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc.

India will play three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests against Australia.

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