AUS v IND 2018-19: Shane Watson predicts the winner of Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Watson believes the contest between Australian bowlers and Indian batsmen will be a great spectacle for Test cricket.

Watson gives the hosts an edge over the highly spirited Indian side | Getty

While they feel extremely confident of rewriting the history books because of Australia's recent struggles, Team India still doesn't start off the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy as firm favourites, reckons former Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson.

Although Watson admitted that this is India's best chance to defeat Australia Down Under, he feels it is extremely difficult to win away from home.

"There is a massive home ground advantage for Australia. They haven't lost too many times in the history in Australia. So while there is no doubt this is India's best chance to win in Australia, it's still incredibly challenging to be able to win away," Watson told India Today.

Although the majority of Indian batsmen failed miserably in the five-Test series against England, bowlers’ showing was one silver lining for the No.1 Test team.

After Indian bowlers claimed 60 wickets in three Tests against South Africa earlier this year, they picked up 20 wickets in three of the five Tests in England. Out of the 82 wickets taken by Indian bowlers in England, the pacers had shared 61 scalps with Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav claiming 18, 16, 14, 10 and 3 wickets respectively.

Amidst plenty of expectations, the Indian bowlers ended up conceding 544 runs in their only four-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI.

"Compared to South Africa, in Australia, depending upon the way wickets are prepared, it can get very very flat with the kookaburra ball not doing much after the first 10 overs with the new ball. It can be a challenge but India have got one of the strongest pace bowling lineups from a pace point of view. And some variety as well with Bumrah who provides a different angle and different speed. So it will be a good test for the Aussie batsmen," Watson pointed out.

Australian Cricket is at possible their all-time low with former skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner still serving their ball-tampering bans. The hosts are now in a dilemma with immense confusion between playing hard and being good.

"The best Australia has the turn-up and at the end every individual has his own way of getting the best out of himself. Some are agressive, some are more in their own space. So it all depends on your own personality and what gets the best out of you. Collectively if the team is at their best, the team will do well," Watson remarked.

He reckons the contest between Australian bowlers and Indian batsmen will be a great spectacle for Test cricket.

"There is no doubt it's a big hole to fill with Smith and Warner missing but there is no doubt that we still have the quality to be able to fill those runs that we need to win. Our bowling attack is still very strong but so is India's batting line up. Virat is going to play a big part and they have a lot of other incredible batsmen. So their batting stocks are pretty strong. So I think it's going to be a awesome Test series to be able to watch," Watson concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 02 Dec, 2018

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