‘India won last time but...’ - Steve Waugh reveals why Australia will be favourites in home Test series against India

Updated on Feb 17, 2020 08:53 AM IST

India led-by Virat Kohli won a Test series on Australian soil in 2019, but the victory came in the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith, who were serving 12-month bans for ball-tampering.

India captain Virat Kohli against Australia captain Tim Paine.(Reuters)
India captain Virat Kohli against Australia captain Tim Paine.(Reuters)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

India are scheduled to travel to Australia this year for a four-match Test series starting December 2020. Led by Virat Kohli, India scripted history in 2019 by winning their first Test series on Australian soil. But former Aussie captain Steve Waugh believes that Australia will start as favourites this time around. Speaking to news agency PTI, the former right-hander said that the return of David Warner and Steve Smith into the team, who were serving their 12-month bans for their role in ball-tampering scandal the last time India toured Australia, will give hosts the advantage.

“Australia will be the favourite I think. We know the pitches well and day night Test is gong to be something relatively new for India. I like the way Virat Kohli is taking that challenge. If you want be the best side in the world, you have to win away from home as much as possible,” the 54-year-old said.

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“You can’t take away from India winning last time but Australia did not have the best batsmen. Marnus Labuschagne has come out of nowhere, the bowling looks much settled now. India do not have weaknesses too, so it’s potentially to be a great series,” he added. Earlier, on Sunday, the BCCI sources reportedly told PTI that India will be playing in a day-night Test this time around in Australia.

Meanwhile, Waugh also opened up on Aussie skipper Tim Paine and said that the wicketkeeper is doing a good job leading the team and there is no need to make changes to the leadership. “Why we need to change the leadership, Tim Paine is doing a great job. We need to show him more respect. He has come in at a tough time. He is a captain for future, he is in his mid-30s but that does not mean he can’t captain for a few years. Asking this question means we are not paying respect to the current captain,” he said.

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“Smith will be in running when next captaincy role comes up but there are number of factors to be considered, like how many runs he is scoring, if he wants to be captain. There will be lot of questions asked when Tim Paine moves on,” he added.

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