Virat Kohli's Indian team has the attitude of the legendary Australian side of the late 90s, opines Michael Clarke
What's the story?
In what is enormous praise, former Baggy Green skipper Michael Clarke has likened the attitude of Virat Kohli's Indian team to that of the iconic Australian side which dominated world cricket from the late 90s until the 2000s. Even though he did not want to jump the gun by making premature comparisons, the 36-year-old equated the intent shown by the current Indian troops to the fearsome nature of his erstwhile outfit.
In a candid chat with India Today, Clarke claimed, "The current India team has the attitude of the old Australian team. They are not scared of failing. They are going (at) 100 miles an hour and look to dominate every single team. I don't think it will be fair to compare this Indian team with the great Australian team because I don't want to disrespect either team. They are two very different teams, two very different bunch of players. I think India's intent is what Australia used to have. They put that fear in other teams' minds. If anyone is on the back foot (now), it's Australia."
In the past...
Embarking on an astonishing 29-match unbeaten streak, Australia won three consecutive World Cups between 1999 and 2007. In 2003, they went on a remarkable run of 21 successive victories in ODIs. During 1999-2001 and 2005-2008, the Aussies also managed to stitch together sequences of 16 straight Test victories.
While their rousing record stands as a testament to their overall prowess, their ability to instil fear and awe in opposition camps made them a force to be reckoned with.
The heart of the matter
Kohli's Indian team are currently on a nine-game winning streak in ODIs. The sequence, which began with their 8-wicket triumph against West Indies in Kingston, includes a 5-0 hammering of Sri Lanka in the island nation as well as the 3-0 series lead in the ongoing 5-match rubber against the visiting Australian side.
Meanwhile, in Tests, India have managed to stay unbeaten in each of their last nine Test series. As a consequence of their commendable consistency in Tests, as well as ODIs, Kohli's troops presently occupy the number one spot in both formats.
Even though they have already sealed the series, the prospect of extending their ODI winning streak to 10 matches and creating national history will keep the Indians motivated when they take the field in the fourth game against Australia at Bengaluru on Thursday.
Clarke's high praise stands as a vindication of India's current dominant form in both Tests and ODIs. Although their aggressive intent and attacking nature may evince similarities with the great Australian team of the past, the 'Men in Blue' have a long way to go before even putting themselves into contention for the comparison with the iconic Aussie side.