Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes Virat Kohli-led India are the only side that are capable of beating the mighty Australia on their home soil. Australia are currently hosting New Zealand in a three-Test series with the home team leading 1-0 after a convincing win in the first Day-Night Test. Prior to this, Pakistan had also toured Australia for two Tests, but endured innings defeat in both.
India, on the other hand, defeated Australia 2-1 in the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy to claim their first Test series win in 71 years. Currently, the No.-1 ranked Test side in the world, India are also leading the World Test Championship standings with 360 points having won seven out of seven Tests, followed by Australia at No. 2 with 216 points.
Back then, Australia were without Steve Smith, David Warner and new batting sensation Marnus Labuschagne, but Vaughan is confident of India producing a repeat even in the presence of the big three when they tour Down Under next year.
“I think there are two teams, India and Australia, they are the best Test match teams in the world, without question. I think there is only one team that can come here and put Australia under pressure, that was 12 months ago, that they won here, India,” Vaughan told Sydney Morning Herald.
“There was no Smith, no Warner, no (Marnus) Labuschagne in the Australian ranks in that series, I think the series later on next year, when India arrive back here, hopefully everyone will be fit.
“That Indian attack has got the pace, it has also got the spin, the batting unit has got all the experience. I only see only one team at this stage that can compete with Australia here and that is India.”
Vaughan also slammed the International Cricket Council’s ranking system, terming it as “absolute garbage”. The cricketer-turned-commentator feels New Zealand and England don’t deserve to get the second and fourth spot in the ICC Test rankings as they haven’t won enough Test series in the last two years.
“I will be dead honest about the ICC rankings. I think they are absolute garbage,” Vaughan said. “I have no idea how – New Zealand have won plenty of series over the course of the last two years – but for them to be second, and where it stands out for me that the rankings can’t be right is that England in Test match cricket are third, and England for three or four years have struggled in Test match cricket, particularly overseas.”
Vaughan, who captained England Test team from 2003 to 2008, further added the ICC ranking is confusing.
“They have won series at home. They have only just drawn the Ashes in English conditions, they only just beat Ireland. I think the rankings are a little bit confusing. I certainly don’t, in my opinion, have New Zealand as the second best Test match nation in the world. I think, particularly over here in Australia, Australia are a far better Test match team,” he said.