Ganguly confirms India’s tour of Australia, expects team to win series
New Delhi: BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that Indian cricket team will tour Australia in December for the much anticipated series but hoped for a shorter quarantine period for the players.
Australia has checked the spread of the COVID-19 except in the city of Melbourne, which has witnessed a recent surge in cases.
At present, a 14-day quarantine period is being mooted similar to the one the West Indies players, who are currently involved in a three-day Test series against England,
Notably, West Indies players had spent 14 days in quarantine upon their arrival in the United Kingdom. The Pakistan contingent are also under quarantine currently since arriving in England ahead of the commencement of their Test series from August 5.
“We have confirmed that tour. In December we will be coming. We just hope the number of quarantine days get reduced a bit because we don’t want the players to go all that far and sit in hotel rooms for two weeks. It is very, very depressing and disappointing,” Ganguly told India Today.
“And, as I said, Australia and New Zealand have been in good positions except Melbourne. So from that point of view we will be going there and hopefully the quarantine days will be less and we can get back to cricket,” he added.
India are scheduled to play three ODIs, four Tests and three T20Is in Australia in December-January.
While India’s previous tour of Australia in 2018-19 saw Kohli’s team win the Test series Down Under for the first time in their history, Ganguly expects a tougher challenge for the side but believes that Team India still stand a chance because of how good they have been over the past few years.
“It is going to be a tough series. It is not going to be what it was two years back. It is going to be a strong Australia but our team is as good. We have the batting, we have the bowling. We just need to bat better,” former India captain said.
”You know the best team overseas bat well. When we were so successful in England, in Australia, in Pakistan we were getting 400-500-600 in Test matches. I said that to Virat as well,” he added.
Notably, the likes of David Warner and Steve Smith missed the previous series due to their suspensions and are expected to play central roles for the hosts in the upcoming series, with the batting unit further strengthened by the addition of Marnus Labuschagne.
Ganguly believes it will be a ‘milestone’ in Kohli’s captaincy tenure, if India can repeat the feat of 2018/19 series.
“Because you are Virat Kohli, your standards are high. When you walk out to play, when you walk out with your team, I, watching on TV, don’t expect you to just play well against Australia. I expect you to win. So you have to live up to the standards. For his captaincy tenure this will be a milestone series – more than the World Cup,” he said.