File photo of Wasim Jaffer.© Instagram
The four-match Test series between India and Australia is all set to kick off on February 9 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur. Having turned down the plan to play a few practice games in the sub-continent, Australia are preparing for the Test assignment in a unique manner. To counter the Ravichandran Ashwin threat in the Test series, Australian batters have been practicing against the off-spinner’s “duplicate” Maheesh Pithiya, flying him to Bengaluru by the touring team as a net bowler.
Cricket.com.au shared a video from Australian cricket team’s practice session in which Pithiya could be seen bowling to the visiting team in nets. Taking a dig at the guests, Wasim Jaffer said that the first Test is still some days away but Ashwin is already in the head of Australia.
“First Test is five days away and @ashwinravi99 is already inside Aus head #INDvAUS #BorderGavaskarTrophy,” wrote Jaffer.
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) February 4, 2023
Mahesh Pithiya has an uncanny resemblance to India’s spin ace Ashwin. Australia’s support staff was reportedly sent a footage of Pithiya’s bowling via social media. The uncanny similarities between him and Ashwin prompted the touring side to fly the youngster to Bangalore for a four-day training camp at the Kanataka State Cricket Association ground.
Australia, who identify Ashwin as one of the biggest hurdles in their hopes of winning the Border-Gavaskar Test series in India, are making use of Pithiya in order to prepare for the threat that the India international possesses.
Having already prepared some pitches that resemble the kind of wickets that would be prepared in the actual Test series, Australia are practicing playing Pithiya, hoping to get used to the sort of impact Ashwin could create on such pitches.
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