Rohit Sharma also leads the way with the bat, allowing the team to get off to quick starts, but Viswanath wants the skipper to score a big hundred in the race for the top spot.
After 10 wins in as many matches, the Rohit-led side are now targeting a third World Cup title.
“Sometimes when you don’t take a break, Shami comes and gives you a wicket right away. Just look at how many times he got wickets from the first ball. Unfortunately, Hardik (Pandya) got injured and he (Shami) came and grabbed the opportunity,” Viswanath told PTI .
“(Shami) hit the board and got into pace. He slips, that’s the beauty of his bowling, so it goes a bit fast and surprises the batsmen. The others too, (Jasprit) Bumrah being Bumrah, he’s got a good repertoire and (Mohammed) Siraj is improving .
“Overall, our attack is more balanced than the Australian, no doubt.”
So does the Indian team have an edge in the bowling department?
“Yes, exactly. The two spinners (Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja) also played brilliantly. It’s only (Adam) Zampa for them. But against India, (Zampa) might struggle to get wickets.”
“Australian bowling is a bit inconsistent”
Viswanath, 74, who was part of the Indian team during the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, feels that Australia’s bowling is “a bit inconsistent.”
“If (Mithcell) Starc doesn’t get his line and length from the first over, then he goes for runs. (Pat) Cummins takes wickets here and there but runs short,” said Viswanath, commentating for the Star. Kannada Sports in the World Cup.
“The only consistent bowler is (Josh) Hazlewood and he’s a great bowler. Zampa is there to pick wickets. Maxwell is doing well and Travis Head came in yesterday.”
“Rohit’s aggressive batting is the key”
Rohit has amassed 550 runs with 1350s but has often been in the 40s after an aggressive start and Viswanath wants the opener to convert starts into high scores in the final.
“The way Rohit has started aggressively in the powerplay, even if he doesn’t score as high as 100, which he is capable of…other batsmen follow that pattern,” he said.
“From the start, Kohli doesn’t go for sixes, he tries to work it out because Rohit sets the foundation. Everyone knows Shubman has hit cleanly, so it’s key for the other batsmen to come and go.”
“This is the final so he (Rohit) should continue. We all know what kind of batting he is, he is capable of scoring 150 if not more, that’s what he should think about. Instead of giving a platform to other batsmen, once he gets into the game and he gets closer to the powerplay, he should continue, it will help the team and give more worries to the opponent.”
‘It won’t be a cakewalk’
India may have been unbeaten in the tournament so far, but Viswanath doesn’t want to label them as favorites to reach the final.
“Australia’s batting is pretty good. David Warner and Travis Head can destroy any bowler and with Mitchell Marsh and (Steve) Smith, if Maxwell comes out well, it’s a balanced side. So I can’t say India can (win),” he said.
“I think India should win, but you can’t take it for granted. It won’t be a cakewalk. If Australia get an inch, they won’t let it go, that’s their hallmark. They’ll fight to the last ball.” So it’s going to be one hell of a match.”
India beat Australia in the opening tournament, but overall the hosts have won just five times in 13 World Cup encounters against the team from Down Under.
“It will be an amazing match. India is playing in India and especially the way they are playing in all departments gives the fans a lot of hope,” he said.
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“Sometimes you lose faith when you see a big opposition partnership, but they kept their heads up then too, that’s a wonderful attitude. We managed to go on with five bowlers and never felt the need for a sixth bowler.”
“Great attitude, great consistency and everyone knows what they are doing, all the batsmen are doing well, bowling and captaincy is also good. So one more game,” he signed off.
(With inputs from PTI)
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