Bouncers will be part of menu at Adelaide Oval

Teams won't fight shy of using the short ball, say Johnson, Kohli

Bouncers will be part of menu at Adelaide Oval

To bowl bouncer or not has been the dilemma of fast bowlers across the world following Phillip Hughes’ tragic demise after being struck by a short-pitched delivery.

New Zealand pacemen restrained themselves from bowling bouncers on the second day of the third Test against Pakistan. Alastair Cook felt the intensity will be missing in their ODI against Sri Lanka in the immediate aftermath of Hughes’ death.

More importantly, the question remains if the Aussie bowlers – Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris – will resort to bowling short balls, against which Indian batsmen are perceived to be weak.

Johsnon has emerged as the fiercest fast bowler in the world over the last one year or so by terrorising the English and South African batsmen with his thunderbolts. He has taken 65 wickets in the last 10 Tests at an average of under 17 that helped Australia regain the Ashes and win a series in South Africa. How well Australia bowl depends a lot on how well Johnson bowls and how effectively he uses the bouncer.

If his words are any indication, there will be no change in his approach once he starts his run up.“We’ve got to play the way that we’ve been playing and that’s been aggressive,” said Johnson. “That’s the way I’ve always played the game and I know how the boys will be, going out there and playing the best cricket they can. If that’s bowling the short ball like we have been, then that’s how we’ll do it.

“We’ll assess the conditions obviously, but we’re not going to change a thing. The last probably 18 months, I’ve been bowling very aggressive and I’m not going to change that,” he remarked.

Johnson, though, felt it’s going to be a difficult first spell. “It’s going to be an emotional morning,” he said.  “Probably looking at it from our first little part of the game, for me going out there and bowling the first spell might be the most difficult and then might just get into the game a bit more but I think mentally, we’ve had a few training sessions, the vibe’s good. Everyone’s really keen to get out there and play some cricket now.”

Indian captain Virat Kohli was even more candid with his opinion on bouncers. With at least three pacers -- who can all breach 140kph barrier on a consistent basis -- at his disposal, he isn’t going to put any restrictions on them.
 
“I don’t think that’s even a thing of debate I guess,” he said when asked if he would use short-ball strategy on Aussies. “It is a part of cricket. It’s every bowler’s right to utilise it and it depends on what we have in mind. We’ll obviously make use of.

I don’t think we will drift away from our plans. It’s still a part of cricket and you know we’re going to stick to the plans we have in mind. We have four bowlers who can bowl quick and all are fully fit right now. It’s obviously a great thing to have. Three-four guys bowling 140+, maybe couple of them going up to the 150+ as well... It feels good as a captain,” he said.
DH News Service

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