Aussies face tough test in India: Gilchrist

Published: Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 18:04 [IST]
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GilchristMumbai: Former Australia vice captain Adam Gilchrist today said the upcoming four-Test series against India would prove to be a tough test for the Aussies.

''This is the most inexperienced (Australian) side to tour India,'' the former captain said, of the upcoming series, here on the sidelines of a promotional event for the University of Wollongong.

''And for all that they will be taking on probably the most experienced team in world cricket'', he remarked.

Gilchrist, who recently retired from the game, however, was quick to add that the ''The Australian players are new in international cricket, but it does not mean they have not played in these conditions before. The cricket board has over the years sent them to the sub-continent to educate our players of the conditions here and the team will draw that experience.'' Gilchrist, who led the team in the first three Tests on the 2004 tour, due to the absence of Ricky Ponting, said the Aussies will again have to rely on their fast-bowling firepower to unsettle the Indian batsman.

''I don't think the perceived lack of a spinner is a big deal.

Even in 2004 the fast bowlers did a fantastic job and were ably supported by Shane Warne,'' he said.

''Brett Lee is our bowling spearhead and we will expect him to get some wickets. But Mitchell Johnson is also going to be a crucial player, especially when the ball is old and starts reversing. A lot will depend on Ponting and his determinaton also.'' he added.

The former wicketkeeper said, ''Shane Watson will prove to be just the sort of batting all-rounder we were looking for. He had a great IPL (Indian Premier League), and when you have done so well in these conditions it automatically gives you confidence.'' While saying that the India-Australia series will be ''hard-fought'', Gilchrist added that he doesn't expect any more acrimony among the players.

''I don't think the events in Sydney during the last series or after that did any permanent damage to the relations between the two countries. The IPL came at the right time, and mended any differences that might have cropped up. I don't expect any more fireworks in this series, than any other,'' he said.

Gilchrist said that though for Australians, historically the Ashes have been the most important, but the India-Australia series has also grown and gained an iconic status.


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