Former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie has opined that India will miss the services of Ishant Sharma, who has been ruled out due to a muscle tear, and it will give an advantage to Australia. He added the real challenge of the Indian pacers will be to adapt to the conditions of Australia.
Ishant Sharma, who has played 97 Tests for India, has not been named in India’s Test squad to Australia because he is recovering from an abdominal muscle tear that ruled him out of IPL13 where he was part of Delhi Capitals. There was some talk that he might recover in time for at least 2 Tests, but now that the quarantine protocols have been announced, it is highly unlikely he will be able to feature in any of the matches even if he recovers.
Given that Ishant Sharma has been to four Australian tours since his first as a 19-year-old, India will surely miss the services of the veteran pacer. He was also a big contributor in India’s first Test series win in Australia in 2018-19 picking 11 wickets in 3 Tests at an average of 24.
Former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie opined that Ishant Sharma’s absence will tilt the balance in favour of Australia when the two teams meet in December.
“I am predicting Australia to edge out India in this series. I think home advantage is going to be a factor. Besides, it will be a blow with both Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar injured. Bumrah and Shami have been bowling well for India. But, India will miss Ishant for his experience in Australian conditions,” Gillespie said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
The Australian pitches offer steep bounce, which moves the ideal length of the pacer further towards the batsman as opposed to the sub-continent, where the ideal length is not that far upfront. Gillespie insisted that the real challenger for the Indian pacers would be to adapt to the conditions of Australians.
“For the Indian seam attack, the real challenge is how quickly they can adapt to Australian conditions and get their length on delivery right. Sometimes, when teams come from the sub-continent, it takes a little while to find the correct length. The Australians do it year in, year out,” he said.