It is fair to say that Australia is one of the toughest places for any side to visit. And, if you are a side from the subcontinent, the arduousness of the prospect of competing (let alone, winning) against the Kangaroos get accentuated to the hilt. And, it is not just the conditions that teams find difficult to get accustomed to.
It is said that when you are travelling Down Under, you are not only competing against the eleven cricketers on the field, you are also competing against the Australian media, their tabloids, commentators and hostile fans, who leave no opportunity to remind you about your fallacies.
As a result, visiting sides’ are beaten in their minds even before they step onto the field. The latest example of it is the home teams’ stonewalling of a hapless Pakistan touring party in the just-concluded Test series. The Australians- courtesy their ruthless batsmanship and the relentlessness of their bowling attack- notched up two back-to-back innings win and in-process gained 120 championship points.
Australia is on a five-match winning streak at home and with their batting and bowling in peak form, it is looking extremely difficult as to how their winning run will be halted at home. So, who can possibly challenge and beat the Aussies at home? According to former English captain Michael Vaughan, it is only Virat Kohli-led No.1 Test side in the world who can challenge as well as beat the Aussies on their home turf.
“This Australian Team in these conditions are going to take some beating … Only @BCCI #India have the tools to do so at this stage imo … #AUSvPAK
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 2, 2019
India have halted Australia’s charge at home in the past
Barring the 2011-12 tour where India was comprehensively beaten 0-4, the Men in Blue have always been the side that has challenged Australia on their home turf- even in their prime. The Men in Blue had halted Australia’s run of consecutive wins at home twice when they defeated the former world champions at the Adelaide Oval in 2003 and at the W.A.C.A in Perth. But, the barrier wasn’t breached. They came close in 2003-04 (1-1) but were denied by Steve Waugh’s innings on the final day at the SCG.
The barrier was finally breached in the 2018-19 summer when Virat Kohli-led Indian team became the first Asian side to beat (2-1) Australia on their home turf. With Smith and Warner back in the side, can India do an encore of their 2018 heist when they travel to Australia for a four-match series next summer? We’ll have to wait and see.
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