Indian coach Ravi Shastri, in an interview in September, claimed that the current Indian side is the best one in the last 15-20 years. But former Australia captain Steve Waugh believes otherwise. The former right-hand batsman, in an interview to ESPN Cricinfo, said that the current side led by Virat Kohli is not better than some of the sides he played against.
“Look I have played against some great Indian sides and I am not sure that the current side is better than the ones we played against,” the 52-year-old said. He further added that he understands that Shastri wanted to boost the morale of his side, but added that such sweeping comments could have been avoided.
“I am not really sure but probably not a great thing to say as it puts extra pressure on the team. Once they start losing, they will get a lot of criticism for that. Look, it’s good that Ravi Shastri believes in his side but comments like these could be kept to himself,” the former Australian international said.
With India set to travel to Australia for a 2-month tour, Waugh stressed that India will find it hard to beat Australia at home despite the ongoing problems with the team. “Australia will be hard to beat in Australia. We have a bowling attack as good as any team in world cricket and we can take wickets. It’s our batting if we score 350 runs in first innings, I think we will be very hard to beat. And someone will always come and do well and that’s the nature of the sport,” he said.
The former batsman added that he expects the series to be a close affair. “I am still pretty confident that we can win in Australia but it’s going to be a close series though,” he said.
Waugh also praised Virat Kohli and compared him to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. “He is a great player and he loves these big moments. He is like Tendulkar and Lara. They wait for these and that’s where they want to show their best. He will be the dangerman straightaway but they have some pretty good batsmen,” he said.
“Actually, India have quite a rounded team and they will see this as a significant chance. They would have prepared for this tour for a long time. I think it is going to be really close series,” he added.
India will face Australia in the first T20I on November 21, 2018.