Aussie batsmen told to stick to their guns

Scott Bailey
·2-min read

Australia's batsmen have been told to have the courage to commit to their plans and put the pressure back on India in the crucial third Test at the SCG.

The hosts are battling one of their toughest summers with the bat in memory, failing to pass 200 in completed back-to-back first innings for the first time since 1984.

Much of that has been put down to the way India's bowlers have been able to build pressure, with scoring rates also the slowest this century.

Australia hope the addition of David Warner will go part way to solving that in Sydney, with the aggressive opener returning from a groin injury and the series level at 1-1.

But squad-wise, captain Tim Paine wants Australia's batsmen to have courage in their convictions in a bid to avoid being tangled in India's web.

"We've just spoken about mindset," Paine said.

"We think we've actually got some decent plans, it's just a matter of going out and having the courage to execute them.

"At times we've just let them dictate to us a little bit, let them build pressure. Then with pressure you get wickets at times.

"If you're a guy who wants to take them on and hit over the top, or if you're a guy or wants to sweep or reverse-sweep the spinners ... then we've just been encouraging guys to do that.

"To have the courage to take the game on and play the way you want to play."

India have clearly come armed with plans for Australia, with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith both falling down the legside.

Adding further weight to Paine's theory is that India's bowling stocks have taken a hit with Umesh Yadav joining Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma on the sideline.

Navdeep Saini will debut for India after fellow quick Mohammed Siraj impressed in his first outing in Melbourne.

"Ideally, obviously we'd want them bowling a lot of overs. It means we're scoring a lot of runs," Paine said.

"But what we've seen again, even with the Indian batters, is they've got some real depth around their squad.

"We certainly can't take any of them lightly but obviously a huge key is to try and get a lot of overs into (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Ravichandran) Ashwin.

"And if we can do that then obviously we're scoring more runs and making the younger guys bowl a bit more as well."