George Bailey says India will be desperate to beat Australia
The five-match ODI series between India and Australia is set to begin on January 12 at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground in Perth. It will be team India's first challenge of this calendar year. The India-Australia cricket series has witnessed some high-quality contests along with controversies in the recent past. The rivalry has gradually become one of the fiercest ones in world cricket. Former Australian captain George Bailey believes that India will be desperate to beat the Aussies in their own backyard.
India played Australia in three ODIs last year, with Australia winning two games, including the crucial 2015 ICC World Cup semifinals. One match at Sydney Cricket Ground was abandoned due to rain. India is currently ranked second in the ICC ODI rankings and must win one match against Australia to retain the position.
Under the captaincy of George Bailey the Aussies had travelled to India in 2013 for a seven-match ODI series, with the home team clinching the series 3-2. Two matches were abandoned due to rain during the series. Bailey is aware of the rivalry between the two countries in recent years.
“It is a big deal for them to try and beat us” said Bailey
George Bailey said, "We have got a rich history and a really strong rivalry with India. We have fought some fierce battles, both in India and here over the last few years. They have played some very strong, aggressive brand of cricket in much as the same way as we do.”
After winning the 2015 World Cup the Australia team have made some changes to their team set up. Michael Clarke was their captain then, retired from the game with Steve Smith taking over the responsibility. The present Australia squad which will face India, has some new faces in Joel Paris and Scott Boland.
The 33 year old said, "We have to be at our best, some young guys have come in after the change of guard post the World Cup but the rivalry will be as strong."
Australia is a tough team to beat at home but Madendra Singh Dhoni’s men will be eager to start the year on a bright note. Australia's record at home is impeccable as was witnessed in the last World Cup, where the Aussies did not lose a single game in home conditions en route to their fifth World Cup title.
The Tasmania born cricketer added, "It is a big deal for them to try and beat us and particularly away from home. We have got a great record in one-day cricket, including the World Cup. But there has been huge amount of changes to the side which played that World Cup final."