Ganguly prepared for competitive Australia series

BCCI president Saurav Ganguly believes India’s upcoming tour to Australia will provide a stern challenge for Virat Kohli’s India team, although he is confident they can overcome every challenge they face.

Ganguly toured Australia as a player on three occasions, leading them to a 1-1 draw, which was India’s best result Down Under until Kohli lead the side to a 2-1 win there in 2018/19.

Australia boosted by returning duo

However, Australia were without their two best batsmen at the time – Steve Smith and David Warner, due to suspension – and Ganguly is well aware of the pair’s abilities.

“Australia in Australia is always tough. They will be a lot stronger with [Steve] Smith and [David] Warner back. Players like [Marnus] Labuschagne have become better,” Ganguly said in an interview as per Hindustantimes.

“It’s a 50-50 chance for both teams. Runs on the board will be important. Whoever bats well will win the series,” the former captain added.

Historically touring teams have struggled to cope with Australia’s pace attack, but Ganguly feels the visitors will be able to fight fire with fire this time around, since they too boast of a dangerous set of fast bowlers.

“India has the pace attack to match Australia. There is [Jasprit] Bumrah, [Mohammed] Shami, [Navdeep] Saini. The attack is as good as Australia’s,” he continued.

Whilst India have already named an 18-man touring squad, there could be further additions with Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma currently on the treatment table.

Ishant is undergoing treatment on an abdominal muscle tear, whilst Rohit is recovering from a hamstring injury to his left leg.

“We are monitoring Ishant and Rohit. Ishant is not completely out. He will become a part of the Test series,” he said.

“With Rohit, we want him fit for Australia. At some stage if he is fit, I am sure the selectors will rethink his position.

“They can be sent later. There are flights to Australia.”

Day-Night Tests the future

The first of the four Test matches will be played under lights in Adelaide, and Ganguly believes such Pink-Ball Tests are the future of the game.

“Pink-ball is the way forward in Test cricket. Australia will also allow crowds. So, it will be great. It will mark a return to some sort of normalcy in cricket,” he said.

“They played with it in India. They will be fine, don’t worry.

“Players got used to the white ball and ultimately they will be fine with the pink ball too. There will be a tough phase in the day [second session], but they will get used to it. The white ball is also not easy to sight during twilight, but players have got used to it, we will see that happen here too.

“India won in Adelaide in the last series, which was also the first Test. We won there in 2003 too. India has a history of winning at Adelaide. And India is going with a good bowling attack.”