Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Australia opener Simon Katich believes that India will be favourites to win when they travel Down Under later this year.
India have never won a Test series in Australia, but Katich feels that this is their opportunity to end that trend as Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will miss the series due to the bans they were given by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.
Smith and Warner were both banned for 12 months, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
“India deserve to be favourites given the cricket they have played, the quality in their Test team at the moment and the way Virat Kohli is leading them,” Katich, who is currently serving as the Kolkata Knight Riders’ assistant coach in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
With Smith, Warner and Bancroft out of the picture for the series, Katich admitted that it will provide a perfect opportunity for other batsmen to make a name for themselves.
“It would also give some Australian batsmen to make their mark in Australian conditions,” he said.
While the aforementioned trio will not feature in the series, Katich pointed out that it will still be a tough series to win since Australia are extremely difficult to beat on home soil.
“Certainly, it won’t be the best Australian team because then you would have had those three but we would still have good bowling attack and that the series is being played at home is a positive,” he said. “I don’t think it will be a walkover for India because if the wickets suits Australian quicks and Nathan Lyon to an extent, then Australia will have a pretty good advantage in the series.”
When asked if the Australian public will back the Baggy Greens, given the damage that has been done to their reputation and image following the ball tampering scandal, Katich said: “Well, the Australian public is mindful of the fact that such behaviour is not on and I think Cricket Australia has sent the right message, mainly to the kids.
“But almost definitely they will back the team because the Australian public also loves the underdog and if it is their team, they will get right behind it. I look forward to a really good series.”