Former Australia batsman Mike Hussey said India has the best chance to record a maiden Test series win Down Under later this year. India will face a weakened Australian batting line-up in the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith when the team plays four Tests in December-January.
“I am a little worried about Australia’s batting because we are missing two of our best batsmen in Smith and Warner. It is a wonderful chance for India to win its first ever Test series in Australia,” Hussey told reporters at a Karnataka Premier League event Bengaluru.
Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft are serving bans for their roles in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.
Hussey, however, said that Indian batsmen would still have to work hard if Australian bowlers led by Mitchell Starc fire at bouncy and pacy tracks.
“If Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathon Lyon are fit and firing, India will have to work hard for runs. Australia have an excellent bowling attack,” he said.
Asked about the dropping of Cheteshwar Pujara from the Indian playing eleven against England in the ongoing Edgbaston Test, Hussey said it showed India is a strong team with good batting lineup.
“The dropping of Pujara from the squad for the first test (against England) is real good sign of strength for India. It suggests India is a good side with a strong battling lineup,” he said.
Hussey said Lokesh Rahul might have got into the playing eleven because of his current form, which is better than Pujara.
“Both Pujara and Rahul are good batsmen, but sometimes a team goes for a batsman who is playing batting better than the other at a given point of time,” he said.
Asked how he managed to tide over bad patches during his career, Hussey said he picked up some good points of keeping the balance from captains like Ricky Ponting and Mahendra Singh Dhoni because they are not emotional players.
“Both Ricky Ponting and MS Dhoni — they are very much balanced players. When things are going down and moving up, they keep themselves in a small range. They are not emotional people and that rubs on rest of the team,” he said.
Asked which yesteryear players could have made big in the IPL, Hussey picked Gary Sobers and Vivian Richards.
“The West Indians would stand out as exciting players in IPL because they are good entertainers and enjoy aggressive cricket. Gary Sobers and Viv Richarfds could have been most sought after players in the auction. Also, their fast bowling quartet would have gone for a price,” he said.
Dean Jones could have been a fantastic T20 player and enjoyed playing IPL, he added.
Hussey said T20 was still tilted towards batsmen but bowlers have improved by adapting various tricks to contain batsmen.
“I still think T20 is in batsmen’s favour, but bowlers have also improved a lot by adding sone tricks into their kitty,” he said.
“T20 is all about providing entertainment and people want to watch fours and sixes. However, spinners and fast bowlers gain upper hand on pitches suiting them,” Hussey added.