Border Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19: Stern test awaits India

Border Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19: Stern test awaits India

The next month would see a battle of attrition between both teams. The team that bats better would most likely lift the Border Gavaskar Trophy.

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

When India tour Australia down under in under a week’s time it will be the team that bats better that could clinch the series. Both India and Australia seem to have fragile batting units across formats. While India is top heavy in the one-day format, Australia have a brittle line-up in the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith.

Cricket Australia along with Australia Cricketers’ Association are seriously considering revoking the bans of Smith and Warner. Both players were banned for a year after the ball tampering incident during the second Test against South Africa. It would be a huge shot in the arm for Australia if both the experienced match winners get into the side. The home team is currently struggling with their batting resources.

Potent bowling attack

The current Australian team boasts of a quality fast bowling line-up. Mitchel Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile would be the key to the success of the home team. All the four pacers with their height and bounce can be a handful on those pitches. Nathan Lyon as the lone spinner with more than 300 Test wickets will pose a definite threat, if the ball starts turning, on the fourth or the fifth day.

Australian batting line-up have been shown in poor light in South Africa and Pakistan this year. The lack of experience at the Test level along with poor application against both pace and spin have cost them the Test series against both teams. Not coming to terms with quality bowling lineups has been the bane of Australian cricket for quite some time now.

Tim Paine
Tim Paine. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Leadership issues

Australia have had amazing leaders in the past three decades. Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke along with Steve Smith have led the side admirably. At the present moment wicketkeeper and captain, Tim Paine looks out of depth as the leader with his own form not up to scratch. Justin Langer who has taken over as the coach from Darren Lehman has a task at hand to get the team back on track.

India have their own issues

One of the main reason for India’s loss in the Test series against South Africa and England is surprisingly similar to Australia. India have their own issues with adjusting to conditions abroad. Not playing enough practice games on both tours cost India dearly. The batting unit apart from Virat Kohli has failed to fire. This has created serious problems for the team management. Runs on the board are a must to win a series abroad.

India currently have the best pace attack in years. Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma will once again hold the key. The fast bowlers would like to repeat their performance in England and South Africa but would be desperate for the batsman to put match-winning runs on the board.

Batsman hold the key

Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara would need to adapt quickly to the conditions down under. With not enough practice games they would need to find methods to counter the formidable Aussie pacers. The four experienced batsmen along with Virat Kohli will have to turn the tables on Australia as the home team is also struggling with their batting.

The next month would see a battle of attrition between both teams. The team that bats better would most likely lift the Border Gavaskar Trophy.

~ Written by Rajeev Viswanathan