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Great opportunity to beat depleted Australia in their backyard: Sachin Tendulkar

India, who play four Tests from December 6, have never won a series in Australia, with the best being the drawn efforts on the 1980-81, 1985-86 and 2003-04 tours.

cricket Updated: Nov 01, 2018 18:43 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
sachin Tendulkar,Virat Kohli,India vs Australia
Indian batsman Virat Kohli and former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar before the 4th ODI cricket match between India and West Indies at Brabourne Stadium. (AP)

Sachin Tendulkar feels India have a good chance of winning their first Test series in Australia with the hosts missing ace batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner.

India, who play four Tests from December 6, have never won a series in Australia, with the best being the drawn efforts on the 1980-81, 1985-86 and 2003-04 tours.

“I think we have a huge opportunity. Australian team does not look the same Australian team that it used to be and with Smith and Warner not there, this is a great opportunity to go out and do something special,” he said. “Both (Smith and Warner) are world class players.”

On previous tours, lack of quality pace bowling options had hurt India. Though the country has produced capable pace bowlers like Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan; they often acted as lone warriors on foreign tours without much support from the other end.

However, India’s fast bowling arsenal has grown leaps and bounds in recent years. During the tours of South Africa and England this year, Indian pacers were outstanding with only below-par batting performances leading to defeats.

While in Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav, they have two bowlers capable of extracting bounce; Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami can swing the ball prodigiously. Experienced Ishant Sharma is still doing well and the emergence of left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed adds a new dimension.

Tendulkar feels the riches in fast bowling will lead to a healthy competition.

“Good for us if the competition (among pacers) is heating up. Healthy competition is always welcome, that means we have got good fast bowlers. When bench strength is strong, in case there are some injuries at the last moment, you know that someone sitting out is fully geared up and ready to go out and deliver and I think we are in that position at this stage,” the 45-year-old said after imparting coaching lesson to kids during the first India camp of the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy that got underway at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.

COMPARISON WITH VIRAT

Tendulkar, whose record of 49 centuries in ODIs is likely to be toppled by Virat Kohli, dubbed the current India captain one of the leading players of all time. He, though, chose not to draw any comparisons between him and the 29-year-old.

“He (Virat) has developed immensely. I always saw that spark in him and felt that he is going to be one of the leading players of all time.

“It (comparisons) is about opinions. I don’t want to get into that. There were different bowlers who played in 60s, 70s, 80s, and possibly in my time and what they are playing today. So I wouldn’t want to get into that,” Tendulkar said.

First Published: Nov 01, 2018 18:43 IST