Steve Waugh has called India's four-Test tour of Australia a significant chance for the visitors to win their first Test series in the country and reckoned it will be a "really close" affair.
"I will see this as a significant chance and they would have prepared for this tour for a long time, I think it’s going to be a really close series," Waugh, who bowed out from Test cricket in 2004 after the final Test against the touring Indian team, told ESPNcricinfo.
Former Australian batsman Dean Jones has warned the current Australia team not to provoke Virat Kohli on the field in their upcoming Test series against India.— ICC (@ICC) November 30, 2018
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India's captain Virat Kohli, who warmed up for the first Test that begins on 6 December with a half-century against a Cricket Australia XI in Sydney, was India's highest scorer on their last Test tour to the country in 2014-15 and is likely to pose a big threat to the Australian bowlers again.
Asked how will Australia counter India'a ace batsman, Waugh said, "He is a great player and loves the big moment, a bit like (Sachin) Tendulkar and (Brian) Lara.
"They wait for these big series and that’s where they want to show their best. So who is the danger man for Australia? They have got some really good batsmen, they have got a very good all-round team."
Waugh's long-time team-mate Adam Gilchrist also singled out Kohli as the batsman India will rely heavily on. "Virat is clearly the best player in the world at the moment," said Gilchrist.
"So India will look to him to score heavily but all are going to have their challenges and as too will the Australian batting line-up."
Those 'challenges' may include Australia's pace-heavy bowling attack, likely to be led by Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. "I think Pat Cummins is outstanding, Hazlewood is almost (Glenn) McGrath-like with his bowling," pointed out Gilchrist. "Those three guys and there are couple in the wings who are high-quality fast bowlers."
"India will start favourites in the Test series. I feel that it is not only because Steve Smith and Warner are not there. It is because this Indian side has the quality."— ICC (@ICC) December 1, 2018
VVS Laxman weighs in on #AUSvIND.
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India have their own battery of fast bowlers, though, and former Australia fast bowler Geoff Lawson believes it is "as good a group as I have seen for a long time".
"They have got some terrific fast bowlers. They’ve got the spinners that always do the job," Lawson said. "Ishant Sharma’s last time out here he got extra bounce. Umesh Yadav bowls freak (deliveries), Mohammed Shami has been swinging it, Bhuvneshwar Kumar swings it as well.
"They are not going to play all four, they are going to play three and maybe one or two spinners."
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