Former Australian keeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist is confident that the national team will win their first Test series in India since 2004. However, the 51-year-old warned the Australians against expecting to see a spinner on such a tour.
With spin expected to play a significant role in India, Australia has named four spinners to their 18-man Test squad. The Australians haven’t won a Test series in India in nearly two decades and have only one Test victory in their last four attempts.
Gilchrist, who captained Australia to victory in 2004, advised the visitors not to give spinners a chance just for the sake of it. To stem the flow of runs, the former wicketkeeper urged Australia to continue attacking the stumps and place fielders in multiple catching positions. Gilchrist explained to Fox Cricket:
“What we tried to change with our mentality back then – and I’d be interested to see if the Australians do it this time – is don’t go searching and just rolling spinners out there. Attack the stumps right from ball one.”
“Pick your best four bowlers, run with them” – Adam Gilchrist
“Swallow your pride a bit, be defensive to be aggressive. Start with one slip, start with a catching mid-wicket, put fielders out on the boundary to nullify the boundary option, but keep a couple of catchers in place – either at short cover or short mid-wicket – and just be patient.”
There is hope, according to Gilchrist, because the squad chosen by the selectors is similar to their 2004 unit. He believes that visitors should stick to a simple plan and avoid doing too much, adding:
“I think they’ll do it. I really do. I think they’ve got a squad and final XI that will have a lot of similarities to the team we rolled with in 2004. So often teams go to India hoping to unveil some new spinner that’s going to come in and adapt and bedazzle in India — it doesn’t really happen.”
“Pick your best four bowlers, run with them — and if that is three seamers who can all get really nice reserve swing and Nathan Lyon, who’s outstanding and clearly the best off-spinner we’ve ever had, can play his role — that’s my gut feeling. You do that, you go with it.”