Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Saturday predicted that the visiting Australian side could face a 0-4 humiliation against India.
“It’s hard to beat India in India. There couldn’t have been a much stronger team which came to India than the 2001 Australian side. And they couldn’t win it,” Ganguly said. “The likes of Waugh, Warne, McGrath, Gillespie… You can name one after the other and they couldn’t win it. You see the number of times India have lost a series at home… Can’t remember! Australia will find it very hard. I had predicted before England that it’ll be 5-0 but it was 4-0. Australia could go the 4-0 way as well.”
Ganguly, who was in town for a promotional event in south Mumbai, further went on to add that just the sheer aggressiveness of the Australian side won’t be enough to stop Team India’s winning streak. “You get runs and get wickets. That Australian team (2001) was the best Australian team I’ve seen in 50 years. They were not just aggressive but they put runs on the board and… you look at the numbers… McGrath 500 wickets, Warne 700 wickets… So, it’s the quality of the side as well,” he added.
The former India skipper showered praises on captain Virat Kohli’s exemplary form with the bat and said the swashbuckling batsman was also the driving force behind stands filling up.
“You see the stands... India played the One-day series against England, they played the T20 (series) and despite everything that’s going on in Indian cricket, not one seat is empty. We (Cricket Association of Bengal) hosted the India-England game on the 22nd of January (third ODI) and being the president of the association, I couldn’t keep up with the demand for tickets. That’s what people like Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni do to the people of the country. It’s remarkable.
After leading the side in Tests for nearly two years, Kohli took over reins from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the limited-overs format earlier this year. On Friday, he also surpassed Sir Don Bradman and Rahul Dravid’s feat by scoring double hundreds in four consecutive series.
“He’s (Virat) hit a purple patch. Players go through these phases,” Ganguly said, before adding, “I’ve said this before that when I see Virat Kohli playing, you get up from your work and go watch him play. That’s what he does to the game. His intensity and passion is unbelievable. He’s succeeded somebody very, very good, Dhoni. So he’s got the responsibility to take this cricket forward.”