23 Oct 2008

Indian bowlers all over Australian counterparts

5:00 am on 23 October 2008

The former Australian fast bowler Bruce Reid believes India's reverse psychology and their superior use of home conditions gave them a major edge over their pace counterparts in Ricky Ponting's side.

Reid says the preparedness of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma to seek reverse swing immediately in Mohali was instrumental in India's massive win in the second Test, and that Australia's pacemen had only a small window to try to catch up.

Zaheer and Sharma were able to move the ball the opposite way to conventional swing early in both Australian innings whereas the Australian quicks were unable to get much sideways movement once the initial shine wore off.

Reid, who was India's bowling coach on their tour of Australia in 2003-04, says the major difference between the two pace outfits was that India were prepared to scuff the new ball in search of moving the ball the dangerous, reverse way.

Australia's struggles with reverse swing in Mohali rekindled the painful memories of the 2005 Ashes tour, when England's quicks frequently defied convention while their opponents could not.

Reid says the SG ball being used in this series, which has a more pronounced seam than the Kookaburra ball used in Australia, was another factor aiding the Indians.

Australia's pacemen have struggled for impact in the two Tests so far, and failed to contain India's batsmen from scoring freely, the way Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz did so successfully in 2004.