With the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner back in the ranks – Australia are once again taking small but significant steps to reassert their authority in cricket’s traditional form. After thumping Pakistan at home, the Australians are flexing their muscles in Test cricket against the number two ranked New Zealand. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly feels beating Australia on their home soil will be a bigger challenge for India next year compared to the one in 2018-19 when Smith and Warner were not present in the squad. The famed duo was serving ball-tampering bans when India won their first series in Australia, ending a 71-year wait.
“I think that’s going to be bigger challenge for them (2020 Test series) and I am sure (with) the standards Virat Kohli sets for himself and his team, he’ll know at the back of his mind that the 2018 Australian team was not the best Australian team of his generation,” Ganguly said on India Today’s special programme ‘Inspiration’.
Ganguly’s statement came with obvious reference to the absence of the star duo (Smith and Warner) who was out of the team due to the ban for ball-tampering charges.
India’s tour of Australia next year will be preceded by the T20 World Cup, to be held Down Under from October 18 to November 15.
“And what he’s (Kohli) going to face next year in October, which is not far away, it’s going to be a different, full strength and strong Australia. They (India) have the team to beat them, they just have to believe and get everything right to beat them.
“So that’s what I am looking for, you know when I became captain that was one of my aims, to compete with the best and I remember 2003 in Australia against that Australia, we were outstanding and this team has the potential to do it,” he said.
Under Ganguly, India drew the four-Test series 1-1 but Australia were without their best bowlers Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Ganguly asserted that India have the resources to beat Australia in their own backyard.
“They have fast bowlers, they have spinners, they have a champion in Virat Kohli, as a batsman it’s a new Ajinkya Rahane, which we have seen in the last three, four months and now Rohit Sharma (as opener).
“I am looking forward to his performance, and if India get the order right and the openers, because the opening is the most important thing in overseas cricket… so if they can get that right they will be able to beat this Australian team,” the former India skipper further added.