It seems Australia have not forgotten their struggle against Kuldeep Yadav in the final Test of the four-match series earlier this year in Dharamsala. The wrist-spinner, on Test debut, ran through the visitors' batting line-up, picking up four wickets in the first innings to help Virat Kohli's Team India clinch the series.
As it turns out, Steve Smith's men are not just working hard, but are also working smart in the training sessions to tackle Indian spinners in the upcoming five-match ODI series, starting Sunday, September 17 in Chennai.
The Australian team management roped in a mystery bowler from Kerala to help their batsmen prepare for the Indian spinners. KK Jiyas, the chinaman bowler, was seen bowling to top Australian batsmen, including captain Smith, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner at the nets in Chennai on Friday, September 15, according to the Times of India.
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Former India batsman Sridharan Sriram, who is working as team consultant of the Australian team, had suggested the visitors face Jiyas at the nets.
Notably, the chinaman bowler shot into prominence when he bagged an Indian Premier League contract with the Delhi Daredevils in 2015. A lot was also said about his facial resemblance to Maxwell. The hype though failed to work in his favour as the 25-year-old did not even play a single game for the Daredevils.
Also, Jiyas has not played a single match at the senior level for his state -- Kerala. However, the confident chinaman bowler reveals he troubled a few of the Australian batsmen at the nets in Chennai.
"Sriram (Australian team consultant) called me to bowl against their batsmen. But for David Warner and Aaron Finch (who is injured), I bowled to all the other top batsmen and troubled a few of them," Jiyas said, as quoted by the report.
He added: "Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner, though, hit me inside out and slogged me over mid-wicket."
It will be important for Kohli's men to gain the early advantage in the upcoming series. Spinners will be expected to play a key role as they will be required to slow down proceedings on what is expected to be batsman-friendly wickets across the venues.
Despite resting R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India have three bankable spinners in Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel, which gives Kohli a selection headache. It will be interesting to see if the Indian skipper chooses to go in with two wrist-spinners as early as in the first ODI.
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma, on Friday, also spoke on the importance of having wrist-spinners in the team. He shed light on how difficult it is to face "mystery spinners" at the nets.
"I kind of look at them as mystery spinners. You never know what's coming out of their hand. The captain is comfortable and quite happy to get them into the fray. They can get crucial breakthroughs we look forward to in the middle part of the game," Rohit said.