The much-awaited multi-format series between India and Australia gets underway with the opening ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. As has been the trend in recent times, Jasprit Bumrah will once again lead the bowling unit and be India skipper Virat Kohli‘s go-to-man both at the start of the innings as well as in the death overs. While it can be quite daunting for a 26-year-old to shoulder the responsibilities of leading a bowling attack, Bumrah says that he loves challenges, and playing against the best in the business is what brings out the best in him. “It will be interesting, always a challenge when you go to Australia and it is a well-fought series. You look forward to it as you always want to play against the best, you always want to challenge yourself and be in pressure situations,” he told ANI in Dubai during the business end of the IPL.
Having been a part of the historic series win in 2018-19, one would expect Bumrah to feel at home on Australian pitches. After all, he had an impressive Test series picking 21 wickets from 4 games — finishing joint-highest wicket-taker with Nathan Lyon. But the pacer is looking at the opening Test in Adelaide with bated breath as this will only be India’s second day-night Test and their first in Australia.
“Looking forward to it will be an interesting tour. Many new exciting things are also there, you have the pink-ball Test match. Hoping everything goes well and we will have a good time,” he said.
In fact, Bumrah also believes that the ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball that has come in with an eye on the spread of the coronavirus will have a bigger role to play in the five-day format as compared to white-ball cricket.
“For me, it is not a big factor in white-ball cricket because the ball doesn’t swing anyway a lot and the seam movement is also not much in the shortest format. So, you don’t look to shine the ball a lot and it can only come into play when the surfaces are dry and you can reverse the ball. I feel it is a much bigger factor in the red-ball format,” he pointed.
India and Australia will play three ODIs, three T20Is, and four Tests against each other. The Test series will be a part of the World Test Championship.
The first Test is set to be played under lights from December 17 to 21 at the Adelaide Oval. The second is the Boxing Day Test which will be at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26 to 30. The third Test will be at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7 to 11 and the final Test at the Gabba from January 15 to 19.
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