Adam Gilchrist retired from Test cricket after Australia defeated India 2-1 in the controversial series in 2007/08. As the teams gear up for another high-profile clash, the champion wicketkeeper expects the series to be ‘another hard-fought contest’.
Gilchrist is happy to leave predicting the exact result to former teammate Glenn McGrath, who was famous for forecasting the rout of opponents.
“I do not know if this is India’s best chance (to win a series in Australia). Both teams have a few challenges to face. It’s a time of change for Australian cricket and the Indian bowlers are relatively inexperienced. But yes, it’ll be a balanced series,” said Gilchrist.
A repeat of India’s disastrous tour of England is unlikely. In fact, Gilchrist expects India to meet ‘fire with fire’. “There were some tired cricketers in England. And once they were put on the back foot, it was very difficult. But now the Indians are refreshed and should do well in Australia.”
Gilchrist believes Zaheer Khan’s inclusion in the Indian team will be a shot in the arm for the tourists. “Zaheer is the leader of the pack, and if he is fit, his experience and firepower could make the difference.”
After all, he believes that the fate of the series will lie in the hands of the bowling line-ups. “You need to take 20 wickets to win. So, whichever team’s bowling line-up stands up that team should take the title. Obviously both the batting line-ups should do well,” said Gilchrist.
Ashwin good enough
The 40-year old did not see Harbhajan’s absence hurting the visitors. “Harbhajan is or has been an integral part of the Indian team, but Ashwin and Ojha have been doing incredibly well. Ashwin will extract good bounce on the Australian tracks as well.”
Gilchrist did not agree that the pressure of getting to hundred international centuries was affecting Sachin Tendulkar. “Through his career, he has learnt to deal with people’s expectations and I’ll be surprised if the century is playing on his mind. Not that he is failing in pursuit of the ton. He nearly got there about a week ago (when he scored 94 against WI in the Mumbai Test).”