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Did India err by not picking a spinner for Perth Test?

Source: PTI
December 14, 2018 20:45 IST
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'They bowled well but if I'm being supercritical they were a little bit short.'

IMAGE: India's players celebrate the wicket of Peter Handscomb. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Former skipper Allan Border feels the Australian pace battery will have the advantage of learning from the mistakes of Indian seamers, who bowled a 'little bit short' on the opening day of second Test in Perth on Friday.


India struck three times in the second and third sessions to restrict Australia to 277 for six at stumps on Day 1.

"Given the amount of deliveries that went past the outside edge India will feel they could have had a better day. They bowled well but if I'm being supercritical they were a little bit short," he wrote in a column for Fox Sports.

"With so many balls passing the outside edge you've got to err on the fuller side. You may occasionally get hit down the ground but any ball that moves off the seam is good chance of catching the edge.

"The good news for Australia is their bowlers will have learned from what worked and what didn't, and when it is their turn to bowl they will be confident. There were just enough balls bouncing awkwardly or moving off the seam to encourage them."

With Ravichandran Ashwin injured, India drafted in Umesh Yadav in the playing eleven, making it a four-men pace attack -- only the third time in their Test history.

Part-time spinner Hanuma Vihari, who was included in the team in place of the injured Rohit Sharma, took two wickets and Border hinted India might have missed a trick by not opting for a specialist tweaker, looking at the variable bounce.

"Moving forward in this Test we'll see whether or not India has missed a trick by not picking a specialist spinner," he wrote.

"Despite part-time off-spinner Hanuma Vihari's two bonus wickets, I still think this is a seamer's wicket."

The former Australia batsman said the hosts' first-innings runs might prove to be gold on this pitch.

"Both teams went hard on Friday but Australia finished it with their noses in front. On a surface like this runs on the board, particularly in the first innings, are like gold.

"At the same time, we won't have a true sense of where this game stands until India has also had the chance to bat on it."

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