In the last Australian summer, India registered its first-ever Test series win in Australia and they will be touring to Down Under for another four-match Test series in December 2020. Tim Paine, Australia’s Test captain, believes that the series will be an “awesome” contest between two very strong sides, noting especially that India’s pace attack is as lethal as that of Australia.
After whitewashing New Zealand in a three-match series, Paine said however that India will face a different side on their next tour as compared to the one that the Virat Kohli-led team defeated in 2018-19.
During the post-series press conference, Paine said, ” If we go to Bangladesh and play well and get some wins over there and you come back to Australia to play India, it’s a pretty mouth-watering series I think for both players and for fans, so it’s hard not to look at that. We’re certainly a different side than what they played against here last year and there’s more at stake. There are World Test Championship points at stake and both teams are eyeing off that final so every point’s going to be critical.”
He further added, “If we can continue the upward trend that we have shown in the last 12 months, I think you’re potentially looking at the top couple of sides or two of the top 3-4 teams, so it’s going to be an awesome series. Even being in Australia, the showed that they have a pace battery that is every bit as threatening as ours, so it’s going to be one to watch.”
India’s improved pace battery- comprising mainly of spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma and backed up by the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav – has been the focal point of their consistent Test performances over the last few years.
In fact, in the day-night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the pacers shared 19 wickets between them, with one batsman retiring hurt. In the last India-Australia series, India won the first match in Adelaide before Australia making a strong comeback, winning the Boxing Day Test in Perth.
India went back on top with a win in Melbourne and were on track to win the Sydney Test as well, only for rain to play spoilsport. Cheteshwar Pujara was the key man for India, with three centuries.