India far tougher foes for Aussies than NZ or WI, warns ex pacer Geoff Lawson

Jan 11, 2016, 15:39 IST | PTI

Former Australia pace ace Geoff Lawson, who coached Pakistan from 2007 to 2009, believes MSD's India will give Australia a run for their money in limited overs series

Sydney: Not impressed by Australia's dominance in the summer of 2015 with Test wins against New Zealand and a lackluster West Indies, former pacer Geoff Lawson believes that India will make 'tougher opponents' in the upcoming ODI series starting tomorrow.

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Geoff Lawson
Geoff Lawson

Having led Australia's pace attack in the early 1980s, Lawson, who also coached the Pakistan national team between 2007-09, opines that Australia were not tested enough in the 2-0 win against the Kiwis and then beating a below-par West Indies side also did not add to their supremacy.

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Beware, hosts
"India will make a tougher contest of white-ball cricket than New Zealand or the West Indies made of the Tests," Lawson wrote in his column in the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

India's Virat Kohli during the T20 warm-up match against Western Australian XI in Perth on Friday. Pic/AFP
India's Virat Kohli during the T20 warm-up match against Western Australian XI in Perth on Friday. Pic/AFP

The Steven Smith-led side demolished the Caribbean side, which could hardly hold its own let alone give competition to the hosts in the three Tests.

"The West Indies were not close in any of the three contests and, as a result, Australian players had opportunities to pad their batting and bowling statistics rather than toughen up techniques and mindsets.

"As learning experiences go, it's hard to think of a less inspiring season," Lawson wrote.

Future in mind
With Australia blooding youngsters like rookie pacer Joel Paris in the absence of the retired Mitchell Johnson and the injured Mitchell Starc, Lawson feels the management should keep an eye on the 2019 50-over World Cup while fielding a squad in any series from now.

Joel Paris
Joel Paris

"There is the short-term goal of winning each match and series —  something Australian teams have always prided themselves on — and the long-term goal of having a match-hardened group of 16 to 20 players who can retain the 2019 World Cup," he said.

The 58-year-old cricketer-turned-analyst also criticised the omission of off-spinner Nathan Lyon from the five ODIs against India.

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