Michael Clarke believes India tour will be tough for Australia
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Former Australian captain Michael Clarke believes that beating India in their own backyard in the upcoming limited-over series will not be a walk in the park for Steve Smith's men. Furthering his point, he said that Virat Kohli's men have been ticking all the right boxes and are infused with confidence this season.
"The Indian team right now is full of confidence and the upcoming tour for Australia is going to be tough. This tour will be a great challenge for Australia as India, at the moment, are playing very well. Obviously, the Australian supporters expect their team to be best in the world. But, India are ticking all the right boxes under the captaincy of Virat Kohli," the 36-year-old said to NDTV.
India had an excellent Champions Trophy campaign right up to the last match of the tournament in June this year. Then, they failed to defend their trophy against arch-rivals Pakistan in an extremely one-sided final. The team then traveled to the Caribbean islands, where they won the ODI series 4-1. However, in the one match that they lost, they failed to chase a meager total of 190 runs in the 4th match of the series.
Clarke believes that these sporadic losses, coupled with consistent victories, will only add to India's strength and will work for them in the future.
“Beating India will be tough as they not only want to win but they have learned to lose too. They are going full steam ahead and will be a wonderful experience to beat the hosts," he added.
In case you didn't know...
Australia will tour India to play a five-match ODI series and a three-match T20 series against the hosts. The first match of the ODI series is scheduled for September 17.
James Faulkner has been recalled to the squad in place of pacer Mitchell Starc, who is rested for the series.
Australian batsman Michael Hussey compared Kohli's captaincy to two-time World Cup-winning skipper Ricky Ponting last week. When asked about the same, Clarke said that since he has not played under Kohli's captaincy, he cannot make a balanced comparison.
However, the 36-year-old was quick to praise Kohli's leadership skills and said that he need not be compared to anybody.
Clarke also spoke about the recently concluded pay-dispute between Cricket Australia and the players and applauded Smith's decision of staying as away as possible from the drama.
He stated that the way the Australian captain handled himself through the entire dispute was admirable.
Before coming to India, Australia will be traveling to Bangladesh for a two-match Test series. Meanwhile, Kohli's men will take on the Sri Lankans in a 5-match ODI series followed by a one-off T20I game.
Beating any opposition in their own backyard can never be easy for the touring side. Beating this Indian team in foreign conditions is even tougher. The Australians will need to bring their A game into the subcontinent if they wish to create an impact on the series.
However, most of these players are regulars in the Indian Premier League and thus have a fair understanding of the Indian pitches. If they can display some disciplined bowling and fielding through the series, they have a substantial chance of upsetting the hosts.