Sachin Tendulkar feels India have a ‘very good chance’ to win their maiden Test series in Australia on their upcoming tour later this year.
Tendulkar is well aware of how difficult Australian conditions can be for Indian teams. He played 20 of his 200 Tests in Australia, and scored 1809 runs at an average of 53.20, a touch below his exceptional career average of 53.78. But despite his impressive numbers, India managed to win just two of those Tests – Adelaide in 2003 and Perth in 2008.
But Tendulkar pointed out that the current Australian side is ‘considerably inexperienced’, and that allows a very strong-looking Virat Kohli-led side a solid chance to come out on top.
“If you see the Australia teams in the past and compare them to this one, yes we have a very good chance,” said Tendulkar in an interview with Cricketnext. “I mean playing cricket at the highest level, I don’t think it is at the highest level at this stage. I think they have had better sides in the past. They have had better players with more experience, this is considerably an inexperienced side.”
With Steve Smith and David Warner – two of the top Test batsmen in not just Australia but the world – serving bans over the ball-tampering scandal that broke out during Australia’s tour of South Africa in March, their batting looks a tad vulnerable.
Tendulkar feels that the side is regrouping since that loss, but feels India have the resources to upstage them nevertheless.
Longstaff Review fallout – David Peever resigns as Cricket Australia chairman, Earl Eddings appointed in interim capacity.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 1, 2018
“They are kind of getting back together and forming a solid unit. But Australians are known for being competitive and I won’t be surprised if they put up a competitive fight. To go out there and challenge them is also not going to be easy but we have the ammunition to go out there and challenge them,” said Tendulkar.
“We have good fast bowlers, quality spinners. We have good batters. You win Test matches when you score a lot of runs on the board.”
Another reason for Tendulkar’s optimism is the unbelievable form of Kohli, who is averaging over 73 in the last couple of years. Moreover, the last time he toured Australia, he raked up a whopping 692 runs at an average of 86.50. His more recent form has been exceptional too – on the England tour he was the highest run-getter from either side scoring 593 runs from 10 innings, and followed that with 139 and 45 against the West Indies at home.
“I think it is his hunger … his temperament, the ability to assess the situation. Because there is no set formula to that,” said Tendulkar. “Every day you are going to have some different challenges and you have got to have that adaptability and flexibility in your mind to go out and assess and he does that rather well.
“And one good thing is he is hungry forever, that’s how a batsman should be.”