Australia all-rounder Ashton Agar has stated that the absence of in-form opener, Shikhar Dhawan, would make things more comfortable for the Kangaroos as they are likely to avoid the left-right combination. Agar also believes that spinners will have a big role to play in the five-game ODI series.
Shikhar Dhawan’s absence from the opening three ODIs against Australia can prove to be a huge concern for team India given the stupendous form he is in at the moment. Aussie all-rounder Ashton Agar pointed out that avoiding the left-right combination at the top will surely make things easier for the Kangaroos now.
Speaking at a press-conference on Friday, Agar said, “Yes, it (left-right combination) can make things hard. In that case, ball swings in a particular direction, making things difficult for the fielding team. So now, (with Shikhar’s absence) it is a big advantage for us. We have to go there for the best and see what combination they set.”
Axar Patel is the only recognized left-handed batsman India have at the moment, who comes way down the order, making Australia’s bowling strategy quite a bit easier to formulate.
Dhawan has two centuries against Australia with an average of 44.71 and was largely relied upon to give his side a blistering start. As per the Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma, India
However, following Australia’s win, against the BCCI Board President's XI, in the warm-up game that assisted the spinners quite well, Australia might just go with two spinners in the opening ODI.
An uncertain Agar said, “It all depends on the wicket. Adam (Zampa) obviously is the frontline spinner in the squad and he has bowled really in these conditions in the IPL and previous tours. It’s obvious that he will start. If the wicket remains (good), I think there might be a chance (for me).”
Agar also thinks that Zampa and Yuzvendra Chahal can have an impactful display in the series as their bowling styles don’t rely on the kind of pitch the match is being played on.
“They are really valuable assets. They can spin the ball both ways. When it’s a night time, it’s hard to pick the wrong one as well. They are genuinely good bowlers and are wicket-taking options for the side. They can be hard to get away,” he said.