Ian Chappell believes that India will start their tour of Australia in November this year as favourites.
Australia will be without the services of Steve Smith and David Warner, both of whom have been banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia (CA) for their involvement in the ball-tampering controversy that rocked Australia during their tour of South Africa last month.
Chappell, who is in India for a short visit, felt the Indian attack, with a balance of good pace bowlers and wrist spinners, was ideal for the Australian conditions.
"If I was predicting, it would be an Indian victory," he said. "I don’t know if they will win comfortably, but India will win. It is certainly India’s best opportunity.
“You need good pace bowling there. I think that the fact that they've got some wrist spinners will help them too, because wrist spinners, if they bowl well, perform well there."
India have never won a Test series in Australia, with their best result a 1-1 draw under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy in 2003. The last time the Indians were in Australia for a full tour was in 2014-15, where the hosts won a thrilling four-match Test series 2-0.
India had their revenge when Australia came visiting in early 2017.
But despite a depleted batting unit, Chappell felt Australia's pace unit would not make life easy for India.
“Australia will still be hard to beat because they have a good bowling attack," he said. "To get 20 wickets is the hardest part of the game. I think the Australian bowling attack will have to start thinking like Andy Roberts. During the World Series Cricket period, he said, ‘It doesn’t matter what they bowl us out for, we will bowl them out for less’.
“The Australian bowling attack will have to think along those lines because it won’t have so many runs to bowl with.”
Chappell also felt that it would not be easy for Smith, Warner or Cameron Bancroft to get over the ball-tampering fiasco easily.
“It’s a matter of what it will do to their confidence, because that is a big part of the game," said Chappell. "I am not sure if Smith will get that confidence back. Even if he gets it back, I don’t think he will captain Australia again.”