Bengaluru: Australia Test captain Tim Paine has sent out a warning to India ahead of their four-Test series later this year. Paine said the hosts are a “better team” than last time when the Virat Kohli-led side won 2-1. “No doubt that we're a better team than we were last time,” Paine was quoted as saying in the Australian media on Wednesday (April 1).
India are to tour Australia later this year to play four Tests for Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In 2018-19, India claimed the trophy. The hosts were without Steve Smith and David Warner, who were serving bans for ball tampering.
“You put in 14 or 15,000 Test runs with Steve Smith and David Warner, and Marnus Labuschange has come on in leaps and bounds and is now in the top three or four batsmen in the world himself. You put that amount of runs in a cricket side that last time we didn't have (is helpful). This time we'll be a different kettle of fish,” Paine said, with Australia boosted by Smith, Warner returns.
“We've got three of the best batsmen in the world in our top six, we've got Matthew Wade firing and he adds some real toughness, Travis (Head) has improved a lot since he played here last time,” he added. Paine is banking on Marnus Labuschagne (pictured) who has had a prolific run in Test cricket.
Paine feels the series will be decided by the batsmen with both teams possessing good pace attacks. “We know how good India's bowling attack is, we just weren't quite good enough - if we're totally honest - against that attack," Paine recalled about 2018-19 rubber.
“I think it's going to be an exciting series … it's going to be exciting for fans. I think it's going to be about who handles whose attack (better). We know the conditions are going to offer the quicks a bit. I can't wait to play them,” said the 35-year-old Paine. Australia have world no. 1 Test bowler Pat Cummins (pictured, left).
Kohli received the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from former Australian captain Allan Border in Sydney in January 2019. This was the first time ever in 71 years that India had won a Test series in Australia.
Indian players celebrated like this after winning the four-Test series against Australia 2-1 in Sydney in January 2019.
Kohli celebrated Australia series win with his wife Anushka Sharma.
Kohli thanked the crowd after India won the Test series against Australia 2-1 in Sydney in January 2019.
Kohli and Paine shake hands after the completion of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in Sydney in January 2019.