India will kick off the long-awaited Border-Gavaskar test series with day night in Adelaide, starting on December 17, and Kumble feels the match will be the “biggest challenge” for the visitors. Skipper Kohli will return home after the opening test for the birth of her first child.
“If we can stay ahead in the first test match, then India has a great chance to repeat what they did on the last Australian tour,” said the spin legend during Mutual Funds ‘The Winners’ Circle annual conclave. ‘.
“Although with (Steven) Smith and (David) Warner coming back, and then Virat (Kohli) missing all three test matches, it will obviously be a big factor for India. But with that said, there is enough skill within the team, whether it’s hitting or play bowling “.
The Indians on tour don’t have enough experience to face the pink ball in top-notch cricket, having played just one such event against Bangladesh last year, winning by a wide margin of innings and 46 runs.
Australia, on the other hand, have played quite a few pink ball nights in recent years.
Kumble feels India’s fast bowling arsenal is on par with Australia, while the visitors are ahead of the hosts in batting, but it will all come down to the result of the first test.
“… if we can get ahead in the pink ball test match, which is obviously Australia’s strength – they have done very well in Adelaide every time they have played a pink ball test,” he said.
“So if India can get ahead against Australia in the first test, then I will support India. But if that doesn’t happen then it will be a tough question without Virat in the next three (Tests) as well.”
Rahul Dravid, also a former captain, said India will have to find someone who can rack up 500 races in the series as Cheteshwar Pujara did last time.
“Who is going to be our Pujara last time? I say this because Pujara scored over 500 runs last time, (so) you’re going to need one of your hitters (to repeat that).” said Dravid, who also attended the virtual conclave.
“Or it’s going to be Pujara himself – obviously it can’t be Kohli because he’s not going to be there for the whole (tour) – but you’re going to need one of your hitters at least in my opinion on the four test matches to get something like 500 runs. ”
Dravid, who was the best scorer for India in the 2003-04 Border-Gavaskar series with 619 runs, said India “has a bowling attack that can take 20 wickets in those conditions.”
“It will be challenging conditions: Australia will try to establish conditions that support the quality of fast pitchers. So will we be able to match that? I think we can get 20 wickets in five days.
“(But) are we going to get a hitter who gets more than 500 runs for us in the series (or not) could define it? If we can get that, then we give ourselves a great opportunity.
“If one of Smith and Warner, who missed the last series, gets that, they (Australia) will probably have the advantage.”
After Adelaide, the games will be played in Melbourne (December 26-30), Sydney and Brisbane in January.