Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey believes that Virat Kohli’s Indian team will have to be at their best to beat Australia when they tour Down Under. Hussey feels the return of Steve Smith and David Warner will make life difficult for the Indians in the upcoming series.
India are slated to tour Australia for a grueling four-Test match series, set to begin at the Gabba in Brisbane from December 3. The second Test will be a Day and Night affair, to be hosted by the Adelaide Oval.
Smith and Warner missed India’s historic away Test series win over Australia in 2018 because of their one-year bans for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering episode in South Africa.
In the absence of the duo, India recorded their first Test series win Down Under in 2018-19.
“Obviously, bringing back Smith and Warner into the team is huge, but the guys that were exposed and perhaps probably weren’t quite ready at the time from two years ago, have now managed to get a number of Test matches under their belt… India are going to be up for a stiff challenge in Australia this summer,” Hussey said in a chat show on Sony Ten’s Pit Stop.
“Put that with a world-class bowling attack in Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and (James) Pattinson as well with Nathan Lyon…I think the team looks extremely strong, they are playing some excellent Test cricket. We know India are a world-class team, but they have to be at their best to beat the Australian team on home soil.”
Hussey also said India opener Rohit Sharma has the skills to excel at the top of the order during India’s tour Down Under later this year.
“It’s going to test any batsman in the world, but I think because he’s (Rohit) played a lot of One-Day cricket batting at the top of the order, and now he’s been having some success with the red ball game as well, that’ll give him confidence coming in,” Hussey said.
“I have no doubt in my mind that he’s got the ability and the skill and the temperament, to be able to handle it.”
Hussey, who is currently the batting coach of CSK, hailed MS Dhoni, saying he should be allowed to take a call on his career.
“He’s been an incredible person and player for CSK for so long, and India for that matter, and we hope he keeps playing for another 10 years but I’m not sure we’re going to be able to see that so hopefully he can play for as long as he can.”
Dhoni has been on a sabbatical since India’s World Cup semifinal exit in 2019 and speculation surrounding his career have been rife since then.