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Mahesh Pithiya has a near-identical bowling action to Ashwin

As the much-awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy gets ready to start next week, Australia have arrived in India determined to give their best against the defending champions.

The Australians have adopted an interesting strategy of training in Bengaluru rather than playing tour matches ahead of the series. To prepare for the battles against the spin, the Aussies have roped in a bowler with an uncanny resemblance to veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

The 21-year-old, Mahesh Pithiya, from Junagadh, Gujarat, was recently seen in the first-class arena for Baroda. He was flown in to the Aussies’ base in Bangalore for a four-day training camp at the KSCA Ground in Alur.

The KSCA have provided the team with three pitches that will provide excessive spin from day one. The Australian support staff have asked Pithiya to mimic Ashwin’s action and have given their batters Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head batting sessions in the morning.

All three were troubled by the youngster, who is seen as a secret strategy to tackle India’s star off-spinner. The Aussies will travel to Nagpur for the first Test on February 9 and are hoping that their preparations will pay off.

The visitors are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations and are confident that their strategies will help them on their mission to beat India in their own backyard.

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