Gillespie shares the Aussie winning formula against IndiaSeptember 22nd, 2008 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS
Melbourne, Sep 22 (IANS) Block out the singles and boundaries with clever field placement and runs will dry up for Indian batsmen, says former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie, giving a peek into the strategy that the World Champions successfully employed four years ago.Gillespie partnered Glenn McGrath, Michael Kasprowicz and Shane Warne in Australia’s historic triumph in India after 35 years.
“I remember one of the big things we did was to target the fitness of the Indian batsmen. They are not regarded as the fittest blokes in the world, and generally score their runs either walking singles or hitting fours. So we would have three or four sweepers out at different times, and the tactic worked really well. To V.V.S. Laxman and Virender Sehwag it was particularly effective.
“I heard Ricky Ponting say that they’ll probably use tactics similar to 2004, and I think that’s the right way to go,” Gillespie was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.
Having observed little physical improvement in the Indians in recent seasons, the 33-year-old is certain Australia’s superior conditioning will prove a crucial factor in the Border-Gavaskar series over the next two months.
“Probably the most enjoyable thing about that tour for me was the different plans we used. At one stage, you had Glenn McGrath taking the new ball with four blokes on the fence. You had to put your ego to one side, and everyone was happy to do that. We did the jobs we had to do as a fast-bowling unit and it worked.”
Gillespie, who led the tourists with 20 wickets at 16.15 in that series, feels Brett Lee is ripe to spearhead the bowling responsibility.
Lee served as a fast-bowling reserve in 2004, and Gillespie believes the experience helped transform him into a driven, ferocious competitor.
“He will go down as one of the best fast bowlers the game has seen. He looks like a bit of a pretty boy with the blond hair and the guitar, but he’s an absolute warrior underneath.
“He’s in agony a lot of the time, but he’s as tough as they come and doesn’t complain. He’s a completely different bowler to the one in the 2001 Ashes series. Back then, he was trying to do something different with every ball, but now he is patient and works to a plan.”
Australia’s bowling hopes will most likely rest with Lee, Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson and Bryce McGain - none of whom have played a Test in India.