Former England skipper Michael Vaughan feels that the pink ball Test will be the key to the contest in the impending Border-Gavaskar series that kicks off from December 17 onwards at the Adelaide. Vaughan feels that if India manage to lose the opener in Adelaide, they might get whitewashed Down Under.
India had won the series in the 2018/19 tour becoming the first Asian country to win a Test series Down Under. Vaughan feels that a strong Indian bowling lineup and Cheteshwar Pujara had helped India to script history, although he further mentioned that the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith added to India’s luck.
But with the pair returning along with Marnus Labuschagne and a formidable bowling attack, Vaughan feels that it will be difficult for India to beat this Australian side.
“India two years ago were too strong for Australia in Australian conditions. They were terrific. The bowling attack of Bumrah, Shami, Ishant and Ashwin, the Wall Pujara, he was the rock in the Indian batting lineup and was too good for the Aussies. The main reason why I believe they were too good was that there was no Smith, no Warner, no Labuschagne. The Australians are now a better team. They held on to the Ashes in England. Tim Paine is improving as a Test-match captain,” he told Cricbuzz.
“India will have to see off that trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins, they have to nullify that the kookaburra new ball. If not Australia will prove to be too strong and powerful. The pink ball Test is the key to the series. If Australia, as they generally do in the Adelaide Day-Night Test, they have never been beaten with the pink ball. If Australia win that Test match and then India lose Virat Kohli for the next three, this could be 4-0 for Australia.”
India have played just one pink ball Test, comfortably beating Bangladesh at home. Australia have won all their seven pink ball Tests including four at Adelaide.
Vaughan feels that with Warner missing the opener and Australia’s opening combination still undecided, India stand a chance to win the opener.
“David Warner missing the first Test gives India a little bit of hope. There is a little bit of confusion about who will open the batting for Australia in Tests. Will Pucovski has been concussed. But that Smith-Labuschagne combination and Travis Head getting better. Also, I don’t see many batting units that will consistently get big scores in Australia against this Australian attack. That is why 4-0.”