India's cricket captain Virat Kohli talks to teammates.
India's cricket captain Virat Kohli talks to teammates.

‘Caught up in the hype’: Was India fooled by Perth pitch?

India may have shot themselves in the foot by opting to go into the second Test without a specialist spinner - only the third time of doing so in the team's history.

That's the opinion of Fox Cricket commentators Michael Vaughan and Allan Border, while former Test spinner Kerry O'Keeffe proclaimed, "I death ride any team that doesn't go in with a specialist spinner".

Pace legend Glenn McGrath even thinks the Indians were fooled by the "hype" surrounding the green and bouncy Perth Stadium deck.

"They have got caught up in the hype and felt this pitch was going to do everything, bounce, pace, carry, seam," McGrath told Channel Seven.

The Indians were thrown into disarray on the eve of the match when star finger spinner Ravi Ashwin was ruled out with a side strain.

They could have brought spin bowler Ravindra Jadeja into the team but instead opted for a fourth specialist pace bowler in Umesh Yadav. It leaves them with part-timer Hanuma Vihari as the only spinning option for the Perth Stadium game.

The only other two times India hasn't taken a specialist spinner into a Test match were in Perth in 2012, which they lost, and against South Africa in January this year, which they won.

Vaughan in particular was critical of the selection, claiming "India has got the team wrong".

"I just thought at Adelaide Oval, I know it's a different pitch, but the balance of the attack was spot on," Vaughan told Fox Cricket.

"The three quicks are outstanding and I do think over the course of the next few days Virat (Kohli) will be looking over his shoulder and thinking 'why didn't I play a specialist spinner?'.

"Jadeja is quality as well, so I would have gone with a spinner.

"Jadeja has also got that buzz of energy. He's a fire cracker in the field, bowls his left-arm spin ... he's very similar to Ravi actually, a very similar kind of bowler."

The puzzling selection leaves India with an almost exclusively fast bowling attack for the spongy Perth deck.

On the other side, Australia has class offie Nathan Lyon to partner the three specialist quicks.

Border agreed the Indian attack looks a little one-dimensional.

"I do think it's good to have that variety in attack, and the India pace bowling they were tremendous in Adelaide. They got through the heat and the conditions of all five days, they kept running in so I don't think they need another one," Border said.

"A spinner would have been ideal later on in the game in particular.

"One of Australia's weaknesses in the past few years has been left-arm spin."

Australia was 0-66 at lunch on day one.

News Corp Australia


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