Perth: He may be an unknown entity in international cricket but Barinder Sran is not quite unfamiliar to Australian captain Steve Smith, who says the rookie pacer has impressive variations in his armoury and was discussed in the dressing room.
"I haven't seen much of Sran's one-day cricket back home in India, but I saw him bowling in the IPL with Rajasthan Royals and he was quite impressive. He's a tall lad, swings the ball early and he's got a few change-ups – I've let the boys know about them," said Smith of his IPL teammate on the eve of the first of five-match ODI series starting here tomorrow.
India could opt to hand their left-arm seamer Sran a debut, while Gurkeerat Mann and Rishi Dhawan wait in the wings. Thanks to his half-century in the warm-up match on Saturday, Manish Pandey looks set to bat at number five on Tuesday.
"I know some of the young guys that are going to get an opportunity through IPL – the likes of Manish Pandey, who I think has progressed really well and played some good cricket of late. And obviously the experience of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma in the top order – they are pretty crucial wickets for us, and hopefully we can get them early," Smith said.
Smith hoped that the pitch at the WACA will aid his seamers.
The hosts have named an all-pace attack for the first of the five-match series.
"There wasn't much pace and bounce in it when we played against New Zealand. Hopefully, tomorrow it can have that," said Smith today, on the eve of the series.
"It looks a little bit soft at the moment, underfoot, but obviously we're still a day out from the game. We'll see how it looks tomorrow. Hopefully, it has more pace and bounce than in that Test."
"It's traditional that we can use a left-arm seamer here who can use the breeze and swing the ball. The wicket looks like it'll be a good one. We are happy to start at the WACA and Gabba for the first two matches of the series. They have been fortresses for us in ODI cricket for a while. Obviously, the conditions are a bit different to what the Indians are used to back home and hopefully we can exploit that," he added.
The 23-year-old left-arm pacer Joel Paris will make his debut tomorrow then, and it will be a special affair for him as the WACA is his home ground. 26-year-old Victorian Scott Boland will also be handed his first ODI cap as Australian named an all-pace attack with Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner filling up the numbers.
"Joel Paris has been very impressive in the Matador Cup for the last couple of years and in the Big Bash this year. Perth is one of the best places in the world to bowl as a fast bowler. You get good pace and carry and a little bit of swing. It's a great opportunity for all of them tomorrow, and particularly Joel playing in his home ground," said the Australian skipper.
Talking about the inexperienced bowling attack in the absence of the retired Mitchell Johnson and the injured Mitchell Starc, Smith said, "We've got a pretty young, inexperienced bowling attack, but they've all been bowling well and I think it's a really exciting time for Australian cricket to see these young guys coming through. I'm sure they are going to relish the opportunity to bowl at places like the WACA and the Gabba."
"India have got some very good players of fast bowling. Last year the more they played in these conditions throughout the Test matches, ODIs and the World Cup, they looked like they adapted to the conditions. For us, we used Glenn Maxwell as our spinner through the World Cup and used our pace attack to good effect. Particularly at the Gabba and WACA, we can use the quicks a lot more than the spinners," he added.