Former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly backed Rohit Sharma to bat at number 6 ahead of Hanuma Virahi in the Test series against Australia. However, the four-match Test series will start from December 6 (Thursday).
Moreover, in the last seventy years of India-Australia cricket, India never won a Test series Down Under. India buried the Aussies under mammoth runs (705/5 declared) in the series decider in Sydney.
Ganguly feels that India’s pace attack has improved a lot in recent times. They had picked up maximum wickets in the tour to South Africa and later in England.
“If our batsmen put runs on the board, I am confident that our bowlers will do the rest. With the kind of form our batsmen are in, there is every likelihood that India will register their maiden Test series victory Down Under this time,” Sourav Ganguly said on the sidelines of a promotional event on Wednesday.
Moreover, Sourav Ganguly expects a lot from Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav.
“I expect three of them to figure in the playing XI. They are all quick and skilful enough to trouble any batsman. They must, however, quickly adjust their lengths to become more effective on the hard and bouncy Australian pitches.” Ganguly added.
Meanwhile, Australia will miss their two key players – Steven Smith and David Warner.
They are currently serving a one year ban imposed by Cricket Australia after their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. The former Indian skipper also compared Smith and Warner with Indian veteran, Virat Kohli
and Rohit Sharma.
“If the duo doesn’t play the series, it would be similar to Australia playing against an Indian team without Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. However, even without Smith and Warner, the Aussies will be a handful in home conditions. Their lethal pace attack will test India’s strong batting line-up.” Sourav Ganguly further added.
The 46-year old feels that Rohit Sharma is in form and his technique perfect for Australian pitches and he should be given a chance to play there.
“If you ask me, I would bat Rohit at No. 6 and go in with three pacers and one spinner. The simple logic is that Rohit is batting at his best and you don’t leave out a batsman of his calibre when he is in such good nick. Moreover, Rohit is very strong square of the wicket which is a prerequisite for success on Australian pitches,” Sourav added.
India will tour to Australia for three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs commencing from November 21.