Former Australian cricket team head coach John Buchanan knows the game well and even more than that he understands everything about the importance of the game Down Under. Having overseen Australia’s two consecutive World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007, Buchanan knows winning.
In an exclusive interview with WION, the now 67-year-old Buchanan talked about the ongoing ODI series between Australia and India. He offered his thoughts on why the visitors are struggling this time around.
India have been comprehensively beaten by Australia in the first two ODI’s and it looks highly unlikely that their fortunes will be changed in the final game at Canberra on Wednesday (December 2).
“It is a great start by the Australian team. The batsmen knew their plans and executed them well without overthinking. Some of the shots the Australian batsmen have played show how clear they are about their plans and to this against a good Indian bowling attack is a great achievement. On the other hand, the Indian bowling attack is suddenly looking weak. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are great bowlers but they haven’t fired well together. Same with the spinners,” Buchanan told WION.
Aussie batting talisman Steve Smith has scored back to back tons at a strike-rate of 160, belting the Indian bowlers with ease. The Indian bowlers have taken a combined 10 wickets from the two games played so far with Australia posting mammoth totals of 374/6 and 389/4 on the board respectively.
The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal have looked sub-par, being taken to the cleaners by the Aussie batsmen.
“The Indian bowling attack is looking a bit rusty. It could be the IPL effect but in a major series like this, you have to be at your prime mentally and physically. But sometimes we are hard on these players. The bio-secure bubbles, so many restrictions due to coronavirus; these things take a toll on you slowly. We don’t see it from our television sets but it gradually affects the performance of players. Having said that, the Indian attack is looking a bit jaded,” Buchanan, remarked about the sub-par Indian bowlers.
Every single Aussie player has been amongst the runs and the side even scripted history in the second ODI when just for the second time in history of the 50-over format, the top five batsmen all scored fifty or more runs in the same game. Glenn Maxwell, who managed just 108 runs in all of IPL 2020, has scored two rapid-fire half centuries – justifying his billing as the best finisher in the game right now.
Talking about Virat Kohli’s paternity leave, which has become a hot-topic of discussion, Buchanan said that Kohli’s absence will be a big blow to the visitors. Kohli will be returning home after the first Test at Adelaide for the birth of his first child with actress wife Anushka Sharma.
“Virat Kohli’s absence is a great deal and I think it can be the difference in the Test series. Not only his absence on the field but off it as well. He is the one who passes on the confidence and pump. For Rohit Sharma, if he is there then it will be a big boost for India. Since the last few years, Kohli and Rohit have determined how India play on the field and if they both are absent then it is a major headache for India,” Buchanan, Australia’s coach between 1999 and 2007 said.