1:35 pm - Saturday September 23, 2023

Australia v India 2014: Aussie fast bowlers should be aggressive, urges Jason Gillespie

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JASON Gillespie has urged Australia’s pacemen to maintain their trademark edge in order to honour fallen mate Phillip Hughes against India in the series opener at Adelaide Oval.

While former Australian speedster Gillespie envisions 26-Test batsman Hughes eventually being immortalised at Adelaide Oval, there’s little room for sentiment in the make-up of a fast bowler.

Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and/or Josh Hazlewood will be forced to find the fire within from Tuesday against India despite Hughes’s tragic end.Gillespie was devastated to leave close mate and former Australian all-rounder Colin “Funky” Miller with a metal plate in his head during the late 1990s but never considered taming his approach with the ball.

“I bowled a bouncer to Colin Miller, who is a great mate of mine, and he had a plate inserted which he has still got in his cheek,” recalled South Australian Gillespie.

“I felt absolutely gutted and terrible but eventually the game must go on. I pitched the ball outside off-stump and it hit the seam and came back in through his grill.

“These things can happen in cricket but no one wants someone to get hurt.”

Redbacks opener Hughes was felled by a bouncer batting against New South Wales on November 25 in Sydney and never recovered, passing away two days later.

Devastated Harris has abandoned plans to sit out the first Test while Hazlewood and Siddle broke the ice by sending down bouncers to Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson at training in Adelaide on Friday.

Gillespie suspects Hughes would want his mates surging on all cylinders come Tuesday.

“If I was in that situation I would probably want to honour a friend’s memory by playing a positive, aggressive brand of cricket,” said Gillespie, who came to know Hughes fondly coaching with Australia A in Zimbabwe three years ago.

“That is exactly what the Australian cricket team will do. We will see a fantastic game of cricket.”“Michael Clarke is doing what he feels is right for Phillip’s friends, teammates and everyone involved,” said Gillespie of Clarke, who is firming to overcome a hamstring strain and figure against Virat Kohli’s men.

“Everyone wants to see Michael lead this side out. I am sure the selectors will give him every chance to play but the team must come first.”

Gillespie, cricket’s hottest coaching property after leading Yorkshire to the 2014 county championship, noted the outpouring of emotion after popular Hughes’ passing was unprecedented.

However, Dizzy doesn’t support rule changes in response.It’s certainly shaken world cricket to its foundations,” 71-Test great Gillespie said.

“It shows how much Hughesy was admired and loved. I think two bouncers per over is fair, a legitimate tactic. If the batsman is an attacking player and you have men out on the hook it is a wicket-taking delivery.

“The game is safer now with technology but what we saw was a freak accident.”

Gillespie and Australian coach Darren Lehmann have their own statues at Adelaide Oval and Gillespie would love to see Hughes given a similar honour.

“It would certainly be a fitting tribute to a fantastic young man,” said Gillespie.

“Once there has been a bit of time, there will be some sort of memorial for Phillip Hughes.”

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