Since 2018-19, though, when Virat Kohli’s boys won the series 2-1, there has been a remarkable decrease in Aussie run-rates. In 11 innings (8 in 2018-19 and 3 on the current tour), the Australians have touched a run-rate of 3.0 only once, in the first innings of Perth where they won the Test.
On all other occasions it was well below 3 and in the ongoing series, their run-rates have been 2.67, 2 and 2.65. The Aussies have never been able to dominate the Indian bowling attack at any stage.
Compare this to the Australians’ run-rates in the 2014-15 series, which they won 2-0: 4.31, 4.21, 3.73, 5.63, 3.73, 3.24, 3.76 and 6.23. Not for once were India able to stop the flow of runs and the Australians, even when they were in tight corners, were able to counterattack and get to a zone of safety.
“It is all a well-thought-out plan that the Indian team management has worked on to strangle the Aussie batting. It had a lot to do with the scientific approach that the management endorsed in their handling of pace bowlers,” Sunil Subramanian, who was the manager of the Indian team during the 2018-19 series, told TOI.
In addition to a player-by-player analysis of rival batsmen, which has been common practice for the last 20 years according to Subramanian, the introduction of DNA testing that was introduced by former trainer Shankar Basu went a long way in Indian pacers reaching their full potential.
On the basis of the reports that were formed, it was chalked out how much workload a bowler could take, what pace they could bowl at and for how long.
“Now Shami knows even when he is bowling his fourth spell of the day that he can push for a pace of 145 km/hr without any fear of breakdown. It has been drilled into every bowler like a machine how much he can give,” Subramanian, who had worked with T Natarajan in correcting his action and was also the coach of off-spinner R Ashwin, said.
This analysis has not just been about pace, but also the line, lengths and other aspects of the game. It has meant that the Indian bowlers have always been the best versions of themselves in every spell and the Aussies have not been allowed any leeway.
“Add to that bowling coach B Arun’s knowledge of these bowlers, with whom he has worked from the U-19 level. The skill-training is taken care of and coach Ravi Shastri’s mantra is to make them believe they are the best in the business. All this worked like magic,” Subramanian said.
However, the former manager agrees that the lack of X-factor in the Australian batting lineup has also been a big help for India. While Steve Smith and David Warner were not there in the 2018-19 series, Smith has been unable to get going in the current series so far and Warner has been unavailable due to injury.
“The rest of the Australian batsmen are quite conventional in their approach. It is easier to set plans against them,” he said.