Australia fine tune strategy, hire ex-Indian spinner ahead of tour

Indian cricketer S. Sriram prepares to bowl during a practice session at the Green Park Cricket Stadium in Kanpur, 14 April 2005. India will play Pakistan on 15 April in the fifth one day international match as the six-match series is currently tied at 2-2. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH / AFP / PRAKASH SINGH

Australia is focusing on spin to turn the tables against India as it prepares for the challenges for the tour to India. Cricket Australia has appointed former India cricketer Sridharan Sriram and former English spinner Monty Panesar to guide their spinner Steve O’Keefe.

Cricket Australia’s high-performance manager Pat Howard said Sriram’s understanding of the Indian conditions will help the team.

Pat Howard, Cricket Australia high performance manager, said Sriram brought continuity in the role. “Sri has worked with us on a number of occasions now all across our pathway system and he is currently in Dubai with our Under-16 team providing his expertise on sub-continental conditions,” he said. “He knows our players very well and has a wealth of knowledge on the conditions that our players will face in India”, Howard told Cricbuzz.

Panesar’s role was critical in the 2012 English tour to India when the visitors beat India, the last team to have beaten India in a home series. The spinner took 17 wickets in the series.


According to a report on The Australian, Panesar will head to the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane to assist Steve O’Keefe, the left-arm spinner, in his preparations for the India tour.

Australia had last won a test match series against India in 2004-05. When Steve Waugh had won that test series, it had come after a gap of 35 years. Australia would certainly not want a similar gap in winning a test series in India again.