CHENNAI (Reuters) - Australia skipper Steve Smith exuded confidence his team can dominate India’s left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the one-day series beginning on Sunday after two days of facing a local bowler of similar action in the nets.
Yadav’s 4-68 on test debut against Australia helped secure India’s 2-1 series victory earlier this year but the tourists left no stone unturned in their preparation, roping in local left-arm wrist spinner KK Jiyas for some valuable practice.
“He’s a good young talent,” Smith said of Yadav, who will lead India’s spin attack in absence of seniors Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who have been rested from the first three encounters of the five-match ODI series.
“He can be difficult to pick at times so he’s someone you’ve got to watch really closely. Hopefully we can put him under a little bit of pressure early in his spell and try and take him for as many (runs) as we can.
“(Engaging Jiyas) is a chance to train against someone who bowls the same. There’s not too many around the world so it’s a little bit different and it’s been good to get someone who bowls a bit of that.”
While Yadav remains the worry for Australia, India are fretting over Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement after the opener was released from the squad to be with his ailing wife.
Home captain Virat Kohli hinted Ajinkya Rahane would partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the batting order.
“I am not saying it’s easy,” Kohli told reporters at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. “Ajinkya Rahane plays in middle order in ODIs and tests and then he has opened in the ODIs as well.”
“Now we are backing Rahane at the top of the order so he knows his plans are clear.”
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Pritha Sarkar