Ahead of India's much-awaited tour of Australia, which kicks off on November 21, former Aussie great Adam Gilchrist has predicted that the contest between the two teams will not be a face-off between visiting skipper Virat Kohli and home team's star bowler Mitchell Starc.
The two teams will take on each other in three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs. Many have predicted this as the best chance for India to win a Test series 'Down Under', given the hosts' recent struggles.
In the absence of skipper Steven Smith and vice-captain David Warner, both serving ban for their role in the ball tampering scandal, a Kohli vs Starc battle has been billed as the one to watch out for. But Gilchrist feels the contest is much more than that.
"I don't see this as a Starc vs Virat challenge really. I think Pat Cummins is outstanding and Josh Hazlewood is almost McGrath like with his methodic, repetitious bowling. So there are three guys there and there are a couple in the wings. They are high quality fast bowlers," he told ESPNcrincinfo.
India head into the tour with mixed emotions. They have been unbeatable at home, and have rolled over teams in the past few years. But their away form in the recent series has been a source of concern.
Despite a promising display, the Indian team was beaten 2-1 in the Test series by South Africa earlier this year. It was then followed by a 4-1 defeat in the hands of England, which seriously dented the confidence of Kohli and co.
But the Indian skipper, and his coach, before heading for Australia, had stated that they were heading for a crucial tour with a lot of promise. Kohli, speaking at the press conference on the day when India were to leave for India, said,
"There were a lot of things we sat down and discussed after England, [about] what went wrong. To be honest, we all felt there was not much that went wrong. Whatever was not right was very extreme also. We played good cricket, but the mistakes were also very extreme, that's why we lost that many number of games rather than wining those moments and winning the games."