Michael Hussey, former Australian Cricketer, feels that the return of David Warner and Steven Smith in the Australian batting lineup, and the world class bowling attack make Australia a much tougher side to beat for India than two Australian summers ago, when they scripted a historic maiden Test series win in Australian soil.
Adding the fact that the then inexperienced Australian batting lineup have had quite a few matches under their belt since then, Hussey said, “Obviously, bringing back Smith and Warner into the team is huge, but the guys that were exposed and perhaps probably weren’t quite ready at the time from two years ago, have now managed to get a number of Test matches under their belt….India are going to be up for a stiff challenge in Australia this summer. Put that with a world class bowling attack in Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and (James) Pattinson as well with Nathan Lyon, I think the team looks extremely strong, they are playing some excellent Test cricket. We know India are a world class team, but they have to be at their best to beat the Australian team on home soil.”
Hussey, who has played 79 Tests for Australia, scoring 6,235 runs at an average of 51.52, also talked about the hardships that the team has had to endure since the bans on the duo of Smith and Warner, and Cameron Bancroft due to the ball tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018. He said, “The team copped up a lot of stick, lost a lot of respect in the cricket community here in Australia and all around the world. They’ve worked extremely hard over the last couple of years to gain the respect back from the cricket community, by the way they play and the way they conduct themselves and I think Tim Paine’s led that really well.”
Hussey also feels that Rohit Sharma, who has had a purple patch in Test Cricket over the last few months, will be able to adapt to the tougher conditions Down Under, compared to the sub continental pitches, and excel.
Citing his performance at the top of the order in One Day International Cricket as well, Hussey, fondly nicknamed ‘Mr. Cricket’, said, “It’s going to test any batsman in the world, but I think because he’s (Rohit) played a lot of One Day cricket batting at the top of the order, and now he’s been having some success with the red ball game as well, that’ll give him confidence coming in. I have no doubt in my mind that he’s got the ability and the skill and the temperament, to be able to handle it. I think he would adapt. No worries at all of his batting at the top of the order. It will be challenging in Australian conditions against the top quality bowling attack with pace and bounce.”