Perth Test: Aussie batsmen must follow Cheteshwar Pujara's example, says Geoff Lawson

Updated: Dec 14, 2018, 11:39 IST | Clayton Murzello |

"How the [new stadium's] pitch will play is going to be very interesting, but it could be very similar to the traditional WACA strip

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara

Geoff Lawson, the former Australia pace bowler of the 1980s and erstwhile Pakistan coach, reckons the Optus Stadium in Perth will be similar in nature to the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground. India and Australia clash in the second 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy game at the new stadium today.

"How the [new stadium's] pitch will play is going to be very interesting, but it could be very similar to the traditional WACA strip. There will be plenty pace and bounce," said Lawson, who predicted the pitch will develop cracks earlier than what was witnessed in a New South Wales v Western Australia Sheffield Shield clash last month because it was less hot than the current climate in Perth. Interestingly, Australia's premier spinner Nathan Lyon turned out for NSW in that game and claimed seven wickets although there wasn't much turn for the spinners.

Geoff Lawson
Geoff Lawson

Lawson stressed that batting is a major worry for Australia. "They lost in Adelaide because the batsmen did not make big runs. The second half of the order got most of the runs. No one got half centuries in the top order [in the first innings] and they need to be a bit more patient and follow the example of Cheteshwar Pujara," he said.

Lawson claimed 18 wickets in seven Tests at Perth. "You would think it might favour Australia a bit more than Adelaide did, but India's fast bowling is excellent. They can bowl on all sorts of wickets. All their bowlers did pretty well. They bowled well as a unit and kept pressure at both ends," said Lawson, 61, who was appointed Pakistan's coach after the demise of Bob Woolmer in 2007. He was axed the following year. Lawson is now bowling coach of Big Bash League team Sydney Sixers.

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