Former Australia captain Steve Waugh didn’t agree to former India captain Sourav Ganguly’s comments that the Australia could lose the upcoming series in India four-nil. Waugh felt it would be “foolish to write off” the visitors and they have what it takes to spring a few surprises.
“It will be foolish to write off Australia. I have known this Australian team and they can spring a few surprises. They have some match-winners in the team and I think Sourav is a bit optimistic … anything can happen.
“May be he is right, but I will love to challenge Sourav on that part. Certainly, Australia won’t be going to India thinking that they will lose four nil,” Waugh told hindustantimes.com.
“Everyone’s form overseas has been dismal and there is no reason for that. Neutral umpires, decisions can be reviewed and there is no excuse for this. I really don’t know what the reasons to lose overseas are. May be, it is a mental thing,” said Waugh.
The former Australian skipper also felt that the India-Australia series won’t be like the hosts’ contests against England and New Zealand. India managed to outplay their opponents in the Test series. Waugh had a special mention for India’s premier off-spinner R Ashwin and said that his skills with the bat could also come handy in the upcoming series starting on February 23 in Pune.
“Ashwin has done some amazing things and he has been the Don Bradman of bowling. Plus, he has been a handy batsman.”
Waugh lavished a lot of praise on the current Indian unit and felt it will take some doing to beat Kohli-led squad in home conditions. “This new team India can achieve anything and Virat Kohli’s leadership has been contagious. India will be hard to beat in India and that has been proved in the last couple of years,” said Waugh.
As it has been for most away sides, first Test would be crucial to gain early momentum in the tour. As far as Australia’s chances are concerned, Waugh felt the senior players need to lead from the front and deliver in these conditions.
“We have a few surprises in the team, but it will be the senior players who have to take the responsibility, first up,” said Waugh.
How to challenge India in India? “For Australia to win or compete in India, Warner has to score a lot of runs,” said Waugh.