Australia face a daunting task when they come to India for a four-Test series starting from February 2017. They have not won a Test match in India since 2004 and in their last 10 Tests, they have lost eight, including a 4-0 whitewash in the 2013 series. To compound their matters even further, they have lost nine consecutive Tests in Asia, including a 2-0 loss to Pakistan in UAE in 2014 and a recent 3-0 whitewash by Sri Lanka in 2016.
To make matters worse even for Steven Smith’s team, they will have to reckon with an Indian team on top of their game and Virat Kohli, who has been in magnificent form. In 2016, Kohli blasted three double centuries and scored 1215 runs at an average of 75.93. Against Australia, Kohli has smashed 1276 runs, including six centuries at an average of 60.76.
However, Smith has suggested that Australia will have to play on Kohli’s patience if they have to dismiss him cheaply. Speaking to ABC Grandstand, Smith said the Aussies will be aiming to get under Kohli’s skin in the series
“He is a very emotional character out on the field. I guess for us as a team it’s trying to get him out of the strong emotional state and try and make him, I guess, a little bit angry and ruffle his feathers,” the Australian skipper said.
India have been undefeated in their last 18 Tests at home, with their last loss coming four years ago against England in Kolkata 2012. Smith has acknowledged that the upcoming tour will be an incredibly difficult one for the team.
“Going to India always is. It’s a great opportunity for this team, where we are going to be the underdogs going there,” Smith said.
Australia’s last assignment to India in 2013 was an absolute nightmare. They were beaten by big margins in Chennai, Hyderabad, Mohali and Delhi as they suffered only their second 4-0 whitewash in Test history, the first being against South Africa in 1969/70. The problems on the field were marred by problems off the field, with four players being dismissed for not doing their ‘Homework’ during the Mohali Test.