Nasser Hussain, former England captain, has reckoned that Kolkata Test in 2001 and the Indian Premier League, are the major reasons behind India-Australia coming such a ‘watchable rivalry’ in the past two decades.
India scripted a miraculous heist when they defeated Australia despite being forced to follow-on during the 2001 Eden Gardens Test.
Since then, both these sides have been involved in keenly contested encounters, making it one of the most intensely fought rivalries in the modern era.
The two sides will be at it again when India travels Down Under for a four-match Test series and Hussain, like others, feels that it will be an incredibly watchable series.
“Probably since the Kolkata follow-on Test (at Eden Gardens in 2001) all these years ago, India-Australia has become an iconic series. Also because of IPL, and the sides knowing each other so well, and the clashes between them it’s become a real watchable series,” Nasser Hussain said on Sony Ten Pit Shop.
“Australia have gone on to No 1 in the Test rankings after the sandpaper gate scandal. I think it will be an incredibly watchable series.” he added.
“I think India need to select well”- Nasser Hussain
One of India’s biggest Achilles heel during their last overseas cycle was their inconsistent selection. Hussain, while alluding to the 2018 Edgbaston Test when India dropped Cheteshwar Pujara and eventually went on to lose the Test by 31 runs, feels Virat Kohli-led think-tank will have to be consistent in their team-selection.
“I think India need to select well because they have so many great batsmen so it’s very easy that when Rohit doesn’t do anything for two games, Prithvi Shaw will get in, and when he doesn’t do well, someone else will get in…” Nasser Hussain cautioned.
“Select, stick by them and give them a long run. They are very fine players and eventually if you don’t get runs in Australia then you’ve got a problem because like I say it is a good place to bat you will find out who your Test match players in Australia.” Hussain added.