India will be facing arguably the weakest Australian Test team in a long time.
India begin their tour of Australia with the first of the three Twenty20 internationals (T20I) beginning on November 21. However, the real test for Virat Kohli’s team will come in the four-match Test series that starts with the first match at the Adelaide Oval on December 6 and former Australia batsman Dean Jones believes this is a great chance for India to claim their first Test series win on Australian soil. The Australian great also predicted Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin “to have a ripper of a series”.
“I’m expecting Ashwin to have a ripper of a series. He had a good series last time India were here, and had he played in that first Test in Adelaide, India might have won the series,” Jones was quoted as saying by Cricketcountry.
“India have a good chance, they’ve never won a Test series over here, and if they don’t I would be surprised.”
Despite Virat Kohli‘s heroics with the bat, India lost the Test series 0-2, the last time they visited Australia in 2014/15. After losing the opening two Tests in Adelaide and Brisbane, India impressed to draw the next two in Melbourne and Sydney.
Kohli also boasts of a brilliant Test record in Australia. In eight Tests played Down Under, he has amassed 992 runs at an average of 62 with a high score of 169 and five centuries to his name.
In the 2014-15 tour Down Under, Kohli made merry against the Australian bowlers. In the Test series, Kohli scored 692 runs in the four-match series, scoring four centuries in the process at a staggering average of 86.50.
However, Jones feels that Australia’s greatest test will come in the form of Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav.
“How Australia play Ashwin and Kuldeep is going to decisive, and that’s why I think we have to have (Peter) Handscomb and (Aaron) Finch, who are our best players of spin, available so they can counter them,” he said.
Ashwin and Kuldeep starred with the ball for India in the Test series at home against the Windies. While Umesh Yadav was the highest wicket-taker in the series, Kuldeep and Ashwin were a close second and third with 10 and nine wickets, respectively.