Legendary Sri Lanka batter Mahela Jayawardene feels Australia have a chance of defeating India in the upcoming four-match Border Gavaskar Trophy series which begins on Thursday in Nagpur. Australia and India, currently ranked No.1 and 2 respectively in both the ICC Men’s Test Team Rankings and the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2023 cycle, will meet in a four-match Test series in India.
India are the current holder of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having won the series held in Australia in 2020-21.
While Australia hasn’t won a Test series in India since 2004, Jayawardena believes Pat Cummins-led Australia will break their duck during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which begins on February 9 in Nagpur.
“I think it’s always going to be a great series. I think Indian conditions and how the Australian batsmen tackle that, they do have a really good bowling unit and how do the Indian batsmen tackle that … it depends on how each team starts the series and who’s got that momentum. But it will be fascinating,” Mahela Jayawardene said in the latest edition of the ICC Review.
“It’s difficult to predict, but being a Sri Lankan, I’m hoping that Australia can go all the way. Probably a 2-1 win for Australia, but it’s going to be a tough one,” he added.
The astonishing recent run of batsman Shubman Gill has boosted India’s chances of successfully battling that powerful Australian bowling outfit.
The youngster’s spectacular form in white-ball cricket has given India a significant boost in the shorter formats, and Jayawardene believes he has what it takes to make a similar impression in red-ball cricket.
“He’s been very good, he’s technically very sound and he’s a good player of pace. That’ll keep him in good stead against that Australian attack, but it’s always going to be tough and it will be a very good series,” the Sri Lankan said of Gill.
“He is in great form at the moment and if he converts that into red-ball cricket and have that tempo, maturity, and understanding of the situations and conditions, he’d be a great asset at the top of the line-up for India. He does give them those good starts at a good tempo to put opposition bowling attacks under pressure,” he added.
Australia’s four-match Test tour of India begins on Thursday, with the fourth and final Test scheduled to begin on 9 March.
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