The much-awaited rivalry between India and Australia will commence as the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 comprising four Tests will begin on February 9 with the first match to be played in VCA Stadium in Nagpur.
The Australian side will be eager to beat India in their own home, given that India has defeated Australia on their home turf in the last two Test series and the Kangaroos last won a Test series in India in 2004.
Several different Australian stars like Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith, Josh Hazlewood, captain Pat Cummins and more talked about the challenges they face while playing Tests in India and what is bigger, winning in India or the Ashes?
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Mitchell Starc said: “Playing a series in India would be special to our group. I think it’s always been a bit of a crown jewel for Australian touring teams… it’s one of the if not the hardest place to play away with such foreign conditions…how strong the Indian team are at the moment. For our group where we sit at this minute and how we’re building a group and learning and adapting and bringing that experience in. I think that would be really special.”
“On one side you have got all this great history of Ashes…whether you play in England or not and then you have got this tour of India which has always been out of reach for many Australian teams. So, if we could win an away Ashes and an away India then that would be a huge opportunity for any Australian team but certainly a unique opportunity to do this year.”
David Warner said: “Really looking forward to it…it’s always a hard graph and the one thing I’m looking forward to is applying myself against the best spinners of the world. Being a part of that last Ashes was fantastic but to go to India and beat them in India…that’s the toughest challenge in Test cricket for us.”
Josh Hazlewood said: “It’s probably the last thing to think of…winning a series in England and winning a series in India…we won a testament last time we had good chances to win the series but didn’t quite grab them. It’s probably been longer since Australia won there and less frequently they have won there. In world cricket, that’s how runs go…we will try winning in India.”
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Steve Smith said: “It’s a difficult place to win a Test match let alone a series so you know if we were able to topple that mountain that would be huge. I think if we can win in India that would be bigger than the Ashes.”
Nathan Lyon added: “It’s gonna be hard work, we know that but I think I can play a massive role in that. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Travis Head said: “The robbery is growing and growing and growing and that would get one up from us at home and be nice to do it the other way around.”
And finally, the captain Pat Cummins said: “Winning a series in India is like in Ashes away series but even more rare. I think it really is a career highlight and career defining series if you can win over there…so that’s an opportunity…can’t wait.”
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(Indian Express inputs)