Mohammad Azharuddin recently talked about India’s chances of winning the Border-Gavaskar trophy. The Indian cricket veteran believes that Steve Smith is Australia's biggest threat. Smith is currently the highest-ranked Test batsman as per the ICC Test Rankings.
Mohammad Azharuddin feels that if India dismisses Smith early, they have a good chance of turning the tides in their favor. Containing Smith will be one of India’s biggest challenges. In 73 Test matches played, Smith has amassed a total of 7227 runs in total. He has a record of 26 hundreds in his Test career.
According to Azharuddin, India will also need to show solid performances across all 3 departments if they want to stand a chance. The visitors received heavy criticism for their poor fielding display in the limited-overs series against Australia.
If you go 1-0 up, you can be very hard to beat from there - Ian Chappell
Virat Kohli will only be available for the 1st Test match. He will leave to attend the birth of his first child. With India’s main batsman out for the remaining 3 encounters, it's important for India to start the test with a win.
Former Australian coach Ian Chappell believes that India could have an upper hand in the 1st Test. There are 2 reasons behind this. Firstly, India will have the likes of Kohli in the batting line-up. Secondly, Australia is without David Warner for the 1st Test. Warner is ruled out with an injury and might make a comeback in the later stage of the series. Warner has been the backbone of Australia’s batting lineup in all 3 formats.
Chappell feels that if India goes 1-0 up, it is very likely for them to win the trophy. Furthermore, with Sharma’s return in the latter part of the series, Australia might find it difficult to make a comeback. Both the teams would be itching to win the 1st test to get in the driver’s seat ahead of the remaining Tests.
The first Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy will start December 17.