New Delhi: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar yesterday said the Indian team will have an advantage in the upcoming five-match ODI series against Australia as the home team's bowling attack looks thin in the absence of the 'Two Mitchells' -- Johnson and Starc.
Australia are blooding new pacers Joel Paris and Scot Boland against India and the legendary opener believes that MS Dhoni and his men should cash in on that opportunity.
"The two Mitchells -- Johnson and Starc, who have been such an intergral part of the team are not there, which makes Australia's new-ball attack inexperienced. If the Indian team can get off to a good start, they will not be easy to beat. The first two matches will be important as you need a good start," Gavaskar told NDTV yesterday.
Gavaskar also feels that the Australian batting line-up has also undergone change with Michael Clarke's retirement and Shane Watson not being picked. "This is not the same side that won the World Cup. There is no Michael Clarke, there is no Watson. But once Aussies get a sniff, they are a difficult team to beat."
The legendary opener, however, seemed hopeful that left-arm seamer Barinder Sran will get a look in. "The new man from Punjab has impressed in the two games
(warm-up). Also Bhuvneshwar Kumar has just arrived in Australia and would be feeling jet-lagged after a long flight.
Also the fact that Sran is a left-armer is an advantage as it helps to create an angle. If he could use the 'Freemantle Doctor' that blows during the afternoon in Perth, it is known to help swing bowlers," explained Gavaskar.
However, he was not ready to commit on who among Manish Pandey and Gurkeerat Singh Mann will get to play today. "I haven't seen much of Gurkeerat but he has been there
in the team before Pandey (in terms of SA series). But Pandey, despite being dubbed as a T20 specialist, has an outstanding record in one day cricket (List A). Also he is a brilliant fielder. So it will be a touch and go case between the two."
On a lighter note, Gavaskar played down the hype created by the Aussie media about the WACA strip being one of the bounciest. "In 2007-08 at Perth, we have heard them term Shaun Tait as someone who would blow the Indians away. But Rahul (Dravid) and Sehwag batted well and Tait, after that, never played Test match. So the Aussie media is an extension of their team and they always try to get under the skin of the visiting teams. They should not be taken seriously," said Gavaskar.