Sun, 02 Apr 2023

New Delhi [India], February 6 (ANI): As both India and Australia gear up for the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson advised visitors to use a straight bat to be able to hit off the back foot to not only survive but also thrive in India.

Not only do Australia and India now hold the top two slots on the ICC Men's Test Rankings, but they also lead the ICC World Test Championship standings and are favourites to qualify for the final in June.

Australia's four-match Test tour of India begins on Thursday 9 February, with the fourth and final Test scheduled to begin on 9 March.

"Using a straight bat to be able to hit off the back foot through the off side or the leg side. I wish I had got that through my head and then developed that instinct earlier because it's much lower risk. All the good players, especially from India, very rarely do they use cross-bat shots, especially for a pull shot. They'll hit it with a straight bat to be able to hit it through the leg side," Shane Watson told ESPNcricinfo.

"One thing I didn't really do [in India] was just accept what I had at that moment in time, instead of trying to be someone else. I was thinking, 'Should I use my feet this time to get out and cover the ball from spinning or should I sit deep in the crease', instead of going, 'Well this is what I've got right now, and this is the best way for me to try and have success," he added.

During an almost week-long training camp in Bengaluru, Australia's batters are attempting to cram for the India exam. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel will most likely be tested on a spinning surface in Nagpur.

Watson believes Jadeja's speed and unerring accuracy make him a significant threat to both edges in turning situations.

"Facing him when the ball is turning compared to when the ball is not turning is just chalk and cheese. It's like you're facing a different bowler when the ball is turning because he's flatter, he's faster, he's accurate all the time. He's always at the stumps," Watson said.

"One will turn or one will skid through. He's very hard to be able to work through as a right-hander, to find a method that's going to not just survive but also score runs," said the former Australia all-rounder. (ANI)

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