Former England captain Michael Atherton wants to see the game plan employed by Indian pace attack against an unorthodox batsman like Australia’s Steve Smith when the two teams square off at the end of the year.
Smith was serving one-year ball-tampering suspension when India toured Down Under in 2018-19 and won their maiden Test series 2-1 with David Warner also among the list of banned players. “I’ll be very interested to see what India come up with (against Smith). He (Smith) is a highly unorthodox player, but I enjoy watching and for that reason,” Atherton said in a chat show on Sony Ten’s ‘Pit Stop’. “I think the game is a better game when you’ve got people who are very unusual in the way that they play,” Atherton added. But Atherton, one of the most respected voices of world cricket feels that India’s world-class pace attack comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma makes it an even battle for the visitors. “What really should give India fans hope I think Down Under is the strength of the bowling attack. It’s very, very difficult to win in Australia without a strong seam bowling attack,” Atherton said.
The man who led England in 54 Tests, is impressed with India’s fast-bowling pool. “One of the great things in the last few years from my perspective, I’ve seen this sea change really, in terms of the quality of the fast bowlers that you’ve produced. If I go back and think to when I played in India in 93, it was completely spin-based, you obviously had good fast bowlers as well but I don’t think that number in depth that you have now.”