Tuesday, June 18, 2024

India favourites against Aussies, says Gilchrist


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Mumbai: Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist feels India has a great opportunity to register their first ever Test series victory Down Under as the former world number one side is currently going through a transitional phase.

“Its a good chance for India with Australia being through somewhat of a transitional period. They are still finding their way. India have got a few good results in the last couple of series (against Australia).

“I think Australia are aware of that. They need to be on top of their game to hold on to their (undefeated) record at home against India,” he said at a press conferencehere on Monday.

The 40-year-old left-hander, who represented Australia in 96 Tests and 287 ODIs scoring 5570 and and 9619 runs respectively, was of the view that unlike England, pitches in Australia would favour the Indians.

“I think the last two tours when India came to Australia, batsmen had certainly dominated. The Indian batsmen especially have accommodated these conditions very very well. In 1999-2000, when I played first against India in Australia, the conditions were a bit more difficult for them. There was a lot of grass on the wicket and a lot of bounce.

“(However) The general view is that wickets have tamed somewhat and the Indian players – they are world class players – will certainly find ways to score hundreds in those conditions. I wouldn’t say there will be dead wickets but maybe not as spicy as it used to be in previous years.

India are slated to play four Tests, beginning December 26 in Melbourne, followed by two T20s and a tri-series tournament also involving Sri Lanka.

Gilchrist, who was here for a promotional event, felt the Indian spin duo of R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha would enjoy bowling in the Australian conditions.

The southpaw, who redefined the role of a wicket-keeper batsman, heaped praise on Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and said his much-awaited century of centuries was inevitable.

“It is inevitable. It was suppose to happen at Lord’s, at the home of cricket, with India playing its hundredth match against England and it was all supposed to synchronise together but it didn’t happen. He missed a hundred at his homeground. It is going to happen someday. He is a class act.”

Gilchrist was impressed with the way Indian youngsters, especially Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, were shaping up and added that they could play an important role for the team when the senior cricketers retired.

“I have been nothing but impressed by Virat Kohli. He looks to me like an astonishingly good player.”

“Rohit Sharma is a talented youngster and a terrific person I enjoyed getting to know (while playing for IPL squad Deccan Chargers). He knows he has got more to offer.”

Gilchrist also spoke highly of young Indian speedsters Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron. “Aaron and Yadav looked to me like good bowlers. I was very impressed with them in the IPL though it was short cricket,” he said. (PTI)


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