In preparation for the highly anticipated World Test Championship final between India and Australia, cricket legend Wasim Akram shared valuable advice for the Indian fast bowling unit. Akram emphasised the importance of patience rather than being carried away by the new ball in the upcoming match. The final, set to take place at The Oval, marks the culmination of the 2021–2023 cycle of the championship.
Both India, currently ranked as the top team, and second-placed Australia have had a hiatus from Test cricket over the past couple of months due to their players' involvement in the Indian Premier League (IPL). As they transition from using the white Kookaburra ball in limited-overs cricket to the red Dukes ball in Test matches, it will be crucial for the teams to adapt quickly to the format change.
Akram's advice to Indian bowlers
Wasim Akram expressed his hope that the Indian fast bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and featuring the talented Mohammed Siraj as a confirmed starter, will approach the game with strategic wisdom. Akram's advice implies that maintaining composure and not rushing with the new ball will be vital for India's success in the match against Australia.
"These guys are experienced, and they shouldn't get carried away (with the new ball). We all know it swings for 10 to 15 overs, so don't give away extra runs in the first 10 to 15 overs as a fast bowler," Akram was quoted as saying by the ICC.
"(Early on) don't get too excited if there is a bit of bounce, as that is what the Australians want," he added.
Unpredictable conditions makes contest exciting
The Oval will be hosting a match at the beginning of June for the first time in its 140-year history. The unique scheduling has added an extra layer of intrigue to the upcoming contest, as the pitch and prevailing conditions, coupled with the players' recent engagements, bring an additional level of unpredictability to the game.
"This pitch normally favours teams from the sub-continent, but whenever we toured here... it was always at the end of August or start of September. This one is in June, the square is different, a fresh square, and the ball is different altogether as a Dukes," said Akram.