New Delhi: BCCI president Sourav Ganguly feels beating Australia on their home soil will be a bigger challenge for India next year compared to the one in 2018-19 when Steve Smith and David Warner were not present in the opposition ranks.
Smith and Warner were serving ball-tampering bans when India won their first series in Australia, ending a 71-year wait. “I think that’s going to be bigger challenge for them (2020 Test series) and I am sure (with) the standards Virat sets for himself and his team, he’ll know at the back of his mind that the 2018 Australian team was not the best Australian team of his generation,” Ganguly said on India Today’s special programme ‘Inspiration’, with obvious reference to Smith and Warner’s ban due to ball-tampering charges.
India’s tour of Australia next year will be preceded by the T20 World Cup, to be held Down Under from 18 October to 15 November . “And what he’s (Kohli) going to face next year in October, which is not far away, it’s going to be a different, full strength and strong Australia. They (India) have the team to beat them, they just have to believe and get everything right to beat them. So that’s what I am looking for, you know when I became captain that was one of my aims, to compete with the best and I remember 2003 in Australia against that Australia, we were outstanding and this team has the potential to do it,” he said.
Under Ganguly, India drew the four-Test series 1-1 but Australia were without their best bowlers Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Ganguly asserted that India have the resources to beat Australia in their own backyard. “They have fast bowlers, they have spinners, they have a champion in Virat Kohli, as a batsman it’s a new Ajinkya Rahane, which we have seen in the last three, four months and now Rohit Sharma (as opener). I am looking forward to his performance, and if India gets the order right and the openers because the opening is the most important thing in overseas cricket… so if they can get that right they will be able to beat this Australian team,” he added.
India have lost Test series in South Africa and England in 2018 but Ganguly expects them to win the team tours next time. “I still expect them to win in England and South Africa in Test matches which they need to do to be a good side. They beat Australia in last year (2018) but I still expect them to win in South Africa and England and they are going back to Australia next year,” Ganguly said.