Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has admitted that “The Gabba is Australia's fortress” but said he will not be surprised if Ajinkya Rahane-led Team India beat the hosts in the fourth and final Test in Brisbane.
Gavaskar, who had already predicted a 2-1 Test series win for India in Australia, further said it will be India’s “tremendous achievement” if they emerge winner in the upcoming Brisbane Test starting January 15, and the series victory will be ranked as “one of India's best overseas wins”.
His comments came after India scripted a memorable draw on Day 5 of the third Pink Test in Sydney on Monday (January 11) to prevent Australia from taking a 2-1 lead in the ongoing four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy despite being in a strong position to win the SCG game.
However, Australia hasn’t lost a single Test match at The Gabba since 1988 but the legendary Indian cricketer is confident that his prediction of a 2-1 win for India will come true, saying there is always a first time and India can be the first team to defeat the Aussies in Brisbane in 33 years.
While pointing out Australia’s batting weakness, Gavaskar said Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj have the potential to trouble the Australians and take the wickets to make every chance to record one of their best overseas Test wins at The Gabba.
Gavaskar told India Today: “I predicted before the series started here on Australian television that India is going to win 2-1. At the moment, the Test series is 1-1. Yes, I know Gabba is Australia's fortress. But India, in Bumrah, Saini, and Siraj, has the ability to take on the Australians. That is their fortress, they have not lost there. But there is always a first time. If Ajinkya Rahane and company do it, I won't be surprised at all.”
On the Australian team, he noted: “Absolutely, apart from pace for pace, if you look at the Australian opening, they have struggled when India got off to good starts in both the innings at Sydney.
Apart from Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, the other batsmen haven't got too many runs. Yes, Cameron Green got runs towards the end and Tim Paine was also looking good. But the Indians were not looking to try and take wickets; they were trying to delay the declaration. So the Australian batting is vulnerable. Anything can happen.”
Gavaskar signed off, “It will probably be the best win because this is a very good Australian attack. With Smith and Labuschagne getting runs, it's not been easy. So yes, winning this series will be a tremendous achievement and will rank as one of India's best overseas wins.”
(India Today inputs)