Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t believe in making any predictions but feels that the Virat Kohli-led Indian Cricket Team will start the four-match Test Series down under with the upper hand against Australia, starting from Thursday (December 6) in Adelaide.
The batting maestro further went on to claim on Wednesday (December 5) that the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia will be less challenging than South Africa and England, where India managed to win only one Test in both countries this year.
Tendulkar told The Telegraph, “It’s difficult to make a prediction, and I generally do not, but I do feel that Virat Kohli’s team will start with the upper hand. Where challenges go, I think the series would be less challenging than the ones in South Africa and in England at different times this year.”
He also believes that the “nature of wickets” will decide Test series’ fortune, saying: “Compared to India, Australia’s batting is weaker, but their bowling attack is still good and, obviously, is their strength...So, would seaming wickets be offered to enable Australia’s new-ball bowlers to strike early at India’s top order or will they only be hard and bouncy? I’m very keen to know...If the wickets are no more than hard and bouncy, with no lateral movement, then it would be easier for India’s strong batting line-up.”
Meanwhile, the master blaster also warned the openers that they would have a critical job to do in Australia, saying: “The lesser the pressure on the batsmen down the order, the better...Batting first, we cannot afford to total less than 400. If Australia has the first strike, then they must not be allowed to get in the region of 300-325.”
Commenting on Prithvi Shaw, who ruled out of Adelaide Test with the ankle injury, Tendulkar said, “I’d say it’s most unfortunate, but Prithvi is only 19 and surely has many years in the India cap ahead of him. Injuries happen. They are part of the sport and, indeed, life itself... “I’m sure the team must have been looking to play Prithvi (as one of the openers). That way, then, India’s plan has to be rejigged.”
On Australian line-up, the legend feels that Tim Paine and Co. will compete hard in the coming Test series against India, saying they would be already prepared with their game.
Tendulkar signed off by saying, “Coach Justin Langer has already spoken of the need to bond even more closely. No doubt, Australia will compete hard, for it’s in their nature. That, of course, applies to all sport, not exclusively cricket... “I’m sure the senior guys in our team are aware of that and would be preparing accordingly.”
(With The Telegraph Inputs)