India have conceded the Test series against Australia and team director Ravi Shastri feels lack of bowling options are a major concern on overseas tours. The former cricketer is of the opinion that having batsmen who could share the burden of bowling - on the lines of Sourav Ganguly -- could be the key to success.
India drew the Melbourne Test earlier this week and are trailing 2-0 with one Test left. While Shastri is not perturbed about the scorline, he feels the aggressive intent shown has to be maintained and for that, his bowlers need to be fresh and raring to fire. After MS Dhoni quits Tests after the Boxing Day Test, Virat Kohli will lead the team in Sydney. (MS Dhoni: The Untold Story)
"If you have three fast bowlers, the workload is hard. One needs a fifth bowler," he told STAR Sports. "What we miss overseas is a batsman who can bowl a bit. When Sourav Ganguly was there, he could bowl 10-15 overs. Combinations have to be tried out that can fit the billing."
India's bowling campaign Down Under has been led by Ishant Sharma with Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami and Varun Aaron in supporting roles. The team has opted to play three pacers in each of the three Tests so far. (Dhoni True Gentleman of the Game: Haddin)
With Australian batsmen in form and tailenders mounting repeated resistances, the Indian bowlers have had long spells. Shastri though is confident that the players will bowl their heart out in the final contest in Sydney. (Team India Attends Afternoon Tea With Australian Prime Minister)
"The way India bowled on the fifth morning (of the Melbourne Test), they have the confidence to keep Australia quiet. We will go to Sydney without a care in the world," he said.
Shastri sees enormous potential in the current team. Saying "to hell with scorelines", the former all-rounder says India will break into the top 3 in Tests in "12 months".