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Australia can recreate magic of 2004 Test series win in India, believes Gilchrist

Former Australia skipper Adam Gilchrist is confident the Pat Cummins-led side will be able to win the Border-Gavaskar series in India after 19 years if they go in with three seamers to partner spinner Nathan Lyon.

Australia can recreate magic of 2004 Test series win in India, believes Adam Gilchrist snt
First Published Jan 17, 2023, 4:06 PM IST

The Border-Gavaskar series will be won in India after 19 years, according to former Australia captain Adam Gilchrist, if the team enters with three seamers to join Nathan Lyon.

The former wicketkeeper-batter, who served as Australia's interim captain during their sole series victory since 1969 in 2004, also said that Cummins shouldn't try using a new spinner in sub-continental conditions since it has never been successful.

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"I think they'll do it (win the series). I really do. I think they've got a squad and final XI that will have a lot of similarities to the team we rolled with in 2004," Gilchrist was quoted as saying by Fox Sports on Tuesday. 

"So often teams go to India hoping to unveil some new spinner that's going to come in and adapt and bedazzle in India -- it doesn't really happen," added Gilchrist. 

He asserted that Australia should simply trust their top four bowlers to complete the task, noting that the seasoned seamers shouldn't have any issue reverse swinging the ball.

"Pick your best four bowlers, run with them -- and if that is three seamers who can all get really nice reverse swing and Nathan Lyon, who's outstanding and clearly the best off-spinner we've ever had, can play his role -- that's my gut feeling. You do that, you go with it," he added.

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With their most seasoned seamer, 32-year-old Mitchell Starc, nursing a finger injury to his bowling arm and possibly missing the first Test at Nagpur, Australia is currently in a difficult situation.

Cameron Green, a tall all-rounder who also fractured a finger, underwent surgery, although he is anticipated to fully recover before the start of the first Test on February 9.

The fast-bowling all-rounder Green's return, according to the former cricketer, may allow Cricket Australia to select an additional spinner. He also emphasised the need for patience in challenging conditions.

Reminiscing the 2004 series win and the lessons it has for the current squad, Gilchrist said, "What we tried to change with our mentality back then -- and I'd be interested to see if the Australians do it this time -- is don't go searching and just rolling spinners out there." 

"Attack the stumps right from ball one. Swallow your pride a bit, be defensive to be aggressive... Start with one slip, start with a catching mid-wicket, put fielders out on the boundary to nullify the boundary option, but keep a couple of catchers in place -- either at short cover or short mid-wicket and just be patient," Gilchrist signed off.

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(With inputs from PTI)

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