WACA CEO foresees torrid time for India

WACA CEO Graeme Wood feels the Indian batsmen will have tough time facing Australia’s all-pace attack at Perth Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Perth: Jan 9, 2012

Former Australian opener and WACA CEO Graeme Wood foresees a torrid time for Indian batsmen at the dreaded pitch as he feels the dominant hosts will unleash an all-pace attack in the third Test starting at Perth on Friday.

“Australia would be thinking about that (to play four fast bowlers). I would be surprised if they don’t field four pace bowlers in this Test,” said Wood, who played 59 Tests in the 70s and 80s and is presently the CEO of the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA).

The four fast bowlers in the Australian squad for the Perth Test are likely to be Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris and Mitchell Starc.

“Like the West Indians did here, they had four quicks.

With that attack, they could continue to build pressure. They could bowl with two quicks and the other two would be ready,” Wood said.

The former player said the pace and bounce at WACA is usually unnerving for the visiting batsmen.

“I remember Sunny Gavaskar once telling me that it would be crazy for the first three (in the line-up) to play a Test in WACA. It has stuck in my mind for it can be hard work if you are batting in the first three at this venue.”

Wood, who made his debut against India at Adelaide during the 1977-78 series, said the pace on this pitch would be similar to the one in the 2010 Ashes Test here when England were bowled out for 187 and 123 runs in the two innings and went down by 267 runs.

“Last pitch here was an outstanding cricket pitch. We are hoping to have the same bounce and little sideways movement.

But it’s just the pace and bounce (which unnerves batsmen),” recalled Wood.

“The way to play on this pitch is the way Mike Hussey plays. He lets a lot of ball go. He knows where his off-stump is. The bounce is so true he would let them go.

“People who haven’t played here tend to play at deliveries on or outside the off-stump. But there is a surety of bounce. Once you get set in, you can come good. The pitch will be as good on Day Four as on Day One.”

Wood doesn’t rule out a comeback by the Indians, especially Sachin Tendulkar, who has looked in good form without quite hitting a big score.

“He’s a great talk (ahead of this Test). He made a brilliant hundred here in 1992 which meant great things for Indian cricket and for him.”

The former Australian opener feels the only way batters can score here is by trying to take the attack into the opposition camp.

“I think so (that’s the right way). It’s difficult to hang around for while two are bowling, the other two are waiting to come on. You would have to find a way to score.”

Wood said good crowd is expected during the Test match and he expected them to get right behind the local guys, Hussey and Shaun Marsh. (PTI)