Former India cricketer Rahul Dravid strongly believes that the Indian bowling attack will find success against Australia in the forthcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy but what the tourists would require is a batsman who could hammer over 500 runs to dominate them on their own turf.
In the previous tour of Australia in 2018-19, Cheteshwar Pujara emerged as the ‘Player of the Series’ with 521 runs in 4 matches, averaging 74.42 with three hundreds and a fifty, and a high score of 193 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
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The Saurashtra cricketer ped a key role in the Indian batting order as he helped the visitors draw the first blood in the opening Test at Adelaide, and then continued the attack against the likes of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon throughout the series.
With skipper Virat Kohli returning home after the opening Test and missing out on the last three matches, the onus would be back on Pujara for piling those runs against Tim Paine & Co.
“Who is going to be our Pujara from last time? I am saying that because Pujara scored 500-plus runs last time, so you are going to need one of your best batsmen to repeat that,” Rahul Dravid said in a webinar conducted by L&T Financial Services Mutual Fund’s annual conclave – The Winner’s Circle.
“Either it is going to be Pujara himself, obviously it can’t be Kohli because he is not going to be there for the whole tour, but you are going to need one of your batsmen at least in my opinion over the four-Test matches to get you something like 500 runs,” added the former Karnataka cricketer who had rendered ‘Player of the Series’ exhibition in the tour of Australia in 2003-04.
We will be able to get 20 wickets over five days, says Rahul Dravid
Dravid, who has been a veteran of 164 Tests and amassed 13,288 runs with 36 hundreds, reckons that the Indian cricket team has the fire-power in their bowling attack to emulate their performance from the Australian tour of 2018-19. However, the 47-year-old raised his doubt if the tourists would get a batsman who could clobber over 500 runs in the four Tests.
“I do believe we have got a bowling attack that can take 20 wickets in those conditions. They will be challenging conditions – Australia will try and put out conditions that will support the quality of fast bowlers. So will we be able to match that?
I think we will be able to get 20 wickets over five days but will we get a batsman who will get 500-plus runs for us in the series or not might define it. If we can get that, then we give ourselves a great chance. If one of Smith and Warner, who missed the last series gets that then they (Australia) probably will have the edge,” said the batting maestro.
The four-match Test series would commence from December 17 with the first Test set to take place at Adelaide Oval in Adelaide.