Australian Cricket is at their all-time low after the ball-tampering saga led to severe bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. Smith and Warner are in their eighth month of the 12-month suspension, while Bancroft will be eligible to return in December after serving his 9-month period. No wonder, the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy is deemed as India’s best chance to register a maiden Test series win Down Under.
India have never won a Test series in Australia, with its best result being a 1-1 draw in 2003-04. However, Virat Kohli and company have the firepower to script a new history this summer.
"Looking at how much experience we have gained in the last four years since we have been here, and how the team has played, we definitely feel we have what it takes to win Test matches away from home and, hopefully, this time around, a full series," Kohli said in an interview with Macquarie Radio.
"We don't want to have one or two exciting Tests, we want to be able to perform consistently and put in those hard yards every game that we play and not be satisfied at any stage. In terms of skill, in terms of experience, in terms of how we are playing, our mindset, we definitely feel we have the ability to win a series here," he added.
India have arrived in Australia as a No.1 ranked Test side. However, they still have a lot to prove outside the subcontinent. Kohli’s side lost 2-1 to South Africa earlier this year and then suffered a 4-1 series defeat in England this summer.
"I think it's about handling difficult situations well because the easiest situations in Test cricket are not something you think about," the Indian captain asserted.
"It's making sure those difficult sessions don't turn about out to be horrible sessions which have happened in the past where we have lost five, six wickets in the span of an hour and a half and that has hurt us really bad. I think we have played at times better cricket than the opposition away from home but it's those mistakes that have cost us that have been so extreme that we haven't been able to come back from them. I think it will take composure and character to stem the flow which the opposition gains, block that momentum and try and turn the tide towards us, slowly but surely," he explained.
The last series between India and Australia was quite a controversial one, with match referee having to summon captains from both sides on numerous occasions. However, Australian cricketers’ on-field behaviour have changed drastically in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa and Kohli also doesn’t expect a repeat of the events of 2017.
"We might not see the stuff that happened in the last series but I think in terms of their body language and the intent they have, I am sure they are still going to be aggressive in their minds, and that's the way Australia has always played," Virat said.
"I don't think there is any other way they like to play their cricket, so I don't see any incidents happening on the field, I think it's definitely going to be competitive cricket, they are going to bring their A game to us and expect us to bring ours. We definitely expect stiff competition from Australia as always and we are definitely not taking anything for granted," he concluded.
(With inputs from CricketNext)