Kuldeep Yadav grabbed a 4-for on debut    AFP
Kuldeep Yadav grabbed a 4-for on debut AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) assistant coach Simon Katich today said too much should not be read into it the aggression displayed by both India and Australia in the hard-fought series. Constant sledging and the DRS controversy in the second Test added to growing hostilities between the two teams in the bitterly fought series. “India deserve a lot of credit for fighting back after they were handsomely beaten in Pune. They dug deep and showed why they are number one team in the world,” the former Australian batsman said. “Regardless of what happened at different times, I thought it was a fantastic series. Sometimes that happens in Test cricket, emotions take over and players do get carried away with the spirit of the moment stuff. It was a fantastic series that will be remembered for a long time.” FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 4th Test at Dharamsala

He also praised the Steve Smith led Australians for giving India a tough fight in their own backyard.

“For a young side, Australia played some fantastic cricket and put up a tough fight but fell on the final hurdle unfortunately. They deserve a lot of credit for showing fight in this series.” The Aussie 41-year-old, who is the assistant coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, is excited about working with India’s in-form players Umesh Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav during the IPL.

“They both have big roles to play no doubt about that. Umesh is bowling a lot quicker at the moment, bowled beautifully with new ball in Tests. He will be crucial in our campaign,” Katich said. For the spinner, he said: “Kuldeep is an exciting young prospect. He got three wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad last year. Given the depth in our squad, we have got a number of options and it would be tough to pick the team with so many guys doing well.”

And to assess that, the two-time IPL champions will play a number of practice matches in the lead up to the April 6-May 21 tournament. “We will play a number of practice matches this week. The likes of Chris Woakes, Shakib Al Hasan will arrive next week.” “We will get a better idea next week after playing practice games. We are happy with the wickets we had last year. Our batsmen will enjoy batting in this wicket.” On the void left by Windies all-rounder Andre Russell who’s serving a ban, he said: “We have huge shoes to fill. He bowls up front, takes a lot of wickets in powerplay, also bowls well at the death and bat at the back end of the innings.”

Indicating that English all-rounder Woakes may be the one to replace Russell, he said: “We have identified a number of players. Woakes is in good form for England. But he’s a different style of player to Russell. He’s a wicket taker up front and his role with new ball will be crucial. He’s also a capable batsman.” He further said they have the hardhitting Aussie batsman in Chris Lynn who could be handy down the order.

Giving an injury update on New Zealand pacer Trent Boult who missed two Tests against South Africa, he said: “He has not played a couple of Tests but we were told he should be alright before the tournament. He will join the camp early next week. He’s finishing his rehab.” Windies signing Darren Bravo missed today’s practice after being hit by a rising delivery yesterday but Katich said it’s a precautionary measure.