Former Australia batsman Mike Hussey believes that India will miss the services of all-rounder Hardik Pandya during the upcoming Test series in Down Under.
Pandya is currently going through rehabilitation after sustaining a lower-back injury during the Asia Cup in Dubai in September. While India’s tour of Australia will commence on November 21 with the T20I series, the four-match Test will begin on December 6 in Adelaide.
“I think Hardik is a wonderful talent and I am sure his game style would have been suited to the Australian conditions. Add to that, the balance he offers the team with his all-round abilities, yes I think his absence will hurt India,” Hussey told PTI.
India have a good chance of doing well in Australia in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner but Hussey feels that the home team’s seasoned bowling attack will test some of the younger batsmen in the visiting team.
“I do think India have a good chance as they have an excellent team with some very good fast bowlers. However, I think Australia’s bowling attack is world class and will challenge the Indian team, particularly the younger players in Australian conditions. Australia always play well at home and hence will be very hard to beat,” he opined.
Virat Kohli remains the biggest threat to Australia as he boasts an incredible record in Down Under. In 8 Tests on Aussie soil, Kohli has hit 992 runs at an average of 62 with 5 tons and 2 fifties. Hussey reckons that the Australian bowlers need to be patient against the Indian skipper.
“The Australians will prepare well against Kohli, but it comes down to execution. In my view the Aussies need to be incredibly patient and disciplined for long periods of time against a world class player like Kohli,” he stated.
Mike Hussey, who has played 79 Tests and 185 ODIs for Australia, also said that India’s 1-4 series defeat against England will have no bearing in the upcoming series.
“It’s a completely new series in completely different conditions. I think India played some brilliant cricket in England but unfortunately, the results didn’t go their way,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)