3 reasons why the upcoming series is India's best ever chance to win in Australia
It's all back to where it all started. After four years, Virat Kohli will return to the land wherein he played his first Test as captain of India.
The upcoming one is India's last Test series this year. Although they had lost in South Africa and England, they are still favorites to win the series.
Stats suggest that India have never won a Test series on Australian soil. They have played down under 11 times and drawn three series while losing the other eight. Last time they went there, they lost the series 2-0 in 2014/15. But this time around, Kohli and his troops will be hoping to avenge the past. Here are three reasons why the upcoming series is India's best ever chance to win in Australia.
#3 Likely absence of Smith and Warner
Australia, in this series, are likely to miss the services of two of their most accomplished batsmen in Steven Smith and David Warner. The duo, who were banned for an year following the ball tampering scandal, are being considered for a premature return to the national team. However, their comeback plans might be delayed till the World Cup.
In their absence, all the batting duties will fall upon the other batsmen. In 2014/15, Steven Smith scored 769 runs against India. He was Man of the Match in the second and fourth Tests aside from becoming Man of the Series.
Not to be left behind, David Warner also scored 427 runs in the series which included two centuries in the first test. They were largely responsible for Australia making big totals against India. This time around, with no Smith or Warner, a much more fragile Australian batting unit will be up against a much better Indian bowling lineup. Things could be very different as we might not see Australia posting mammoth totals and troubling India.
#2 The Kohli factor
It may not be far-fetched to say that Virat Kohli enjoys batting in Australia. He has so far scored 5 Test centuries in Australia and averages 62 in the eight tests which he played against them on Australian soil.
In the 2014/15 series, Kohli scored 697 runs in eight innings and was India's most consistent fighter. This time around, with a much improved technique, he might prove to be even more dangerous for Australia.
Much to his delight, there will be no Ryan Harris or Mitchell Johnson in this lineup. Those two pacers troubled him the most when India toured Australia last time. The visitors can hope for a typical Kohli show once again.
#1 Much improved pace attack
505, 517, 530 and 572 - Those were the four first-innings totals that Australia registered against India during the 2014/15 series. During the whole tour, the likes of Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin failed to challenge the Australian batting lineup.
This time around, India's pace attack has improved a lot. Their current bowling lineup has the ability to restrict Australia to low totals in the same manner which they had accomplished against South Africa earlier in the year. They had taken all 60 wickets in the three matches.
If they replicate their recent form against Australia, it will make the work a lot easier for India. With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma in the mix, India have adequate ability in their bowling unit.