India and Australia have had numerous confrontations in the past
Former Australia wicketkeeper batsman Adam Gilchrist believes the intense “heated confrontations” that occur in nearly every series between India and Australia are actually “a sign of ultimate respect”.
Gilchrist added that it was due to these confrontations and disputes that the rivalry between the two sides had grown in ferocity over the years.
“(It’s) a great rivalry and I think when it gets so aggressive in the sporting arena, it’s a sign of respect,” Gilchrist said. “You feel threatened by an opponent so you play harder and it might lead to heated confrontation.
“That’s a sign of ultimate respect…but I have learnt that what might be acceptable in one culture might be frowned upon in another.”
Gilchrist stated that he wasn’t surprised about this being a highly-anticipated series, especially given the fact that both India and Australia have not been at their best as of late and are also currently experiencing a tough transition phase.
“All top two-three teams in the world are evenly matched,” Gilchrist added. “They can beat anyone on any given day. England have challenged India here so there is an opening here for Australia. I am sure it would be a terrific series.
“India has always been a difficult place to tour for any cricket nation.”
While India’s pitches are well known across the world as being a spinner’s paradise, Gilchrist pointed out that Australia have relied on their pace bowlers to get the job done with reverse swing over the past number of years.
“Spin component is always important in India,” Gilchrist said. “Back in 2004, Shane Warne played a huge part but we had an attack more focussed on pace bowling and utilising the condition. It will be interesting to see what Australian team is selected and how they cope in these very trying conditions.”
Gilchrist noted that Australia’s oldest nemesis, India veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar, would be a crucial part of the series and added that his retirement would be a huge moment for both Indian and Australian fans.
“The respect and admiration for him is unchallenged in world cricket,” Gilchrist said. “The order of merit for him late last year signifies the manner in which he is held in Australia. If indeed it turns out to be his last series or whenever the time come he finishes, there will be a great deal of respect paid to him from Australia.”