Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Hardik Pandya's absence will hurt, says Mike Hussey
India will miss fast bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya as his game is suited for Australian conditions, feels Mike Hussey
Mike Hussey, who has a fair idea about the current crop of India players, feels that all-rounder Hardik Pandya's absence will "hurt" the visitors in the upcoming Test series against Australia.
The series starts on December 6 in Adelaide. Pandya is undergoing rehabilitation after suffering a lower-back injury during the Asia Cup in Dubai last September.
"I think Hardik is a wonderful talent and his game would have been suited to the Australian conditions. Add to that, the balance he offers the team with his all-round abilities, I think his absence will hurt India," Hussey said.
India have a good chance of doing well against a depleted Australia but Mr Cricket is confident that the home team's seasoned bowling attack will test some of the younger batsmen in the visiting team.
India are being dubbed as favourites due to the absence of Steven Smith and David Warner. But India could face a different challenge with the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari set to face Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon for the first time.
"I do think India have a good chance as they have an excellent team with some very good fast bowlers. However, I think Australia's bowling attack is world class and will challenge the Indian team, particularly the younger players in Australian conditions. Australia always play well at home and hence will be very hard to beat." Virat Kohli remains the biggest threat to Australia having scored four hundreds during the 2014-15 series and Hussey reckoned that the home team bowlers need to be patient against the Indian skipper.
"The Australians will prepare well against Kohli, but it comes down to execution. In my view the Aussies need to be incredibly patient and disciplined for long periods of time against a world class player like Kohli," said Hussey, who has played 79 Tests and 185 ODIs for Australia. India's 1-4 series defeat against England will have no bearing on the Australia series said the former left-hander.
"It's a new series in completely different conditions. I think India played some brilliant cricket in England but unfortunately, the results didn't go their way," opined Hussey.
The ball-tampering saga is a thing of past and Hussey has faith in the current team's abilities. "I think the controversy is behind us and everyone involved can focus on the cricket. Australia will of course miss Warner, Smith and Bancroft."
Remember Irfan Pathan at Perth
When Michael Hussey says that India will miss the likes of Hardik Pandya, he is spot on with his judgment. During the third Test at Perth in the 2007-08 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, one of the prime reasons India managed to win the match by 72 runs was due to all-rounder Irfan Pathan.
His swing was tough to negotiate for the Australians as he claimed five wickets in the Test and scored 28 and 46 in the two innings respectively to bag the Man of the Match award.
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