Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra has said Indian pacers Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah can challenge the Australian top-order in the absence of David Warner. The southpaw was ruled out of the first Test following a groin injury.
Will Pucovski too is unsure to play the first Test after picking up a concussion injury. All these factors give the Indian pacers a good chance to challenge the Australian top-order feels the former India batsman. Speaking on his official Facebook page, Aakash Chopra was asked to comment on India’s bowling unit and how effective the pacers and spinners will be versus the Australian line-up, comprising Steve Smith, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne in the absence of Warner.
“Yes, yes, yes. I can answer this question with great confidence because there is Bumrah and Shami and whichever third pacer plays will also be good, whether it is Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav or Mohammed Siraj.
As they say, fast bowlers hunt in pairs. So, your pair is already ready. There is no tension there, till the time Bumrah and Shami are there, I feel we will have the ability to rock the top order” said Aakash Chopra.
Absence of David Warner makes top-order weak – Aakash Chopra
The cricketer-turned-commentator felt that the absence of David Warner at the top of the order is also a big reason why the Indian pacers can pose a difficult challenge to the Aussie top-order. Incidentally, Warner suffered a blow in the ODIs and since then has been out of action.
“And let’s be fair, (David) Warner is not there and Joe Burns is also doing 50-50. Will Pucovski has also got a blow to his head and he was also going 50-50. So I feel their top order was anyway becoming a little weak. So if you get one or two wickets with the new ball, then you can expose their middle order even more,” Aakash Chopra added.
All the Indian pacers have done reasonably well in both the warm-up games. It will be interesting to see the options used by the skipper and the team management for the first test in Adelaide. The BCCI earlier asked Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and Natarajan to stay back in Australia as back up in case of injury concerns to the bowlers in the initial squad.