Former India speedster RP Singh feels the Men in Blue have a strong chance of winning the ODIs and T20Is in the upcoming series against Australia while there would be an “equal fight” in the 4-match Test series.
India’s tour of Australia would comprise 3-match ODIs, followed by as many T20Is, and then the Test series that would be played in December-January.
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In the previous tour of Australia in 2018-19, India had won the ODIs by 2-1, leveled the T20Is by 1-1, and won the much-coveted Border Gavaskar Test series by 2-1. With that, India became the first Asian side to beat the Aussies in the longer formats on their own turf.
“In T20Is and ODIs, I don’t think there is a probability of Australia winning. Our team is doing very well, and we are far ahead of Australia in these two formats. But India will get a fight in the Test series. It is a different format and we will have to work hard and differently,” RP told IANS.
He added, “The chances of India winning are higher than Australia’s, but it will be an equal fight. I think the bowling departments of both teams are equal, as Australia have pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. But I think India has the upper hand in the batting department.”
India is a much-better balanced team than Australia, says RP Singh
Singh, who was a part of Team India in the tour of Australia 2007-08, pointed out that the current Indian bowling attack is likely to surprise the hosts and in terms of bench strength and the balance overall, tourists clearly have an edge.
“Our bowling department, including Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, is very good and it will surely surprise the Australians. Even our bench is very good. And if you look at the team balance, India is a much better-balanced team,” said the former cricketer.
In the current unit on tour Australia, the batting department comprises skipper Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Prithvi Shaw, and Mayank Agarwal as the key players whereas the pace department would be reliant on the performances from Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, and Umesh Yadav. Among the spinners include Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
“Playing in Australia is special, considering their crowds, atmosphere, and pitches, including drop-in pitches. It is not that we will fight only with our bowlers, but they will have to fight with our bowlers as well because the weather in Australia is different,” said the 34-year-old.
Singh feels that there are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration when competing against the Aussies on their own turf.
“In Perth, for example, the wind is crucial, it comes at a certain time in a day, closer to the evening, and that helps bowlers. So, you have to calculate all these factors while playing there. The pitch is quite different from the outfield there. You cannot play traditional cricket and win. You have to think out of the box in Australia to win.
Our batting department is also good. But we will need a collective effort, and think out of the box, and plan and prepare accordingly. We will surely beat them, this probability is very high,” he said.
Singh rates Australia as the best conditions for playing cricket. He further cited that the Aussies’ style of cricket could pose a bit of a problem.
“Australis is the country I would place at the number one spot for the joy of playing cricket against. They almost have a balanced team. And their approach towards playing cricket, plus their killer instinct. Their habit of winning poses problems to you, and they have maintained this habit of theirs,” said the left-armer who picked 13 wickets in the four-Test matches during the tour of 2007-08 with best figures in an innings being 4/68.
When asked about ‘sledging’ as the tactics used by the Australian cricketers over the years to get the better of their rivals, RP mentioned that one should look to avoid indulging as much as possible.
“Sledging is a very common part of their game. They keep you engaged by sledging or talking to you. Sledging is engaged in to break your concentration. One should not reply to sledging, but some people enjoy replying as well. Everyone has a different way to tackle it. I didn’t face much of sledging,” said the former UP cricketer.