Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar feels that apart from taking 20 wickets in each Test, India will also need to score a lot of runs in Australia if they want to repeat their series win from 2018-19.
India, under Virat Kohli, had clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia for the first time during their previous visit.
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Asked by Ponting what India will have to do to win the upcoming Test series in Australia, Sunil Gavaskar replied:
“First and foremost, they will have to score lot of runs, which is what they did two years ago. We all talk about the fact that you need to take 20 wickets to win matches. But, unless you also score runs along with it, you don’t win matches.”
Detailing further why scoring heavily is as important as taking wickets, Sunil Gavaskar gave examples of India’s series losses in South Africa and England despite the bowlers doing commendably well.
“India took 60 wickets in the three Test matches against South Africa, but they still lost 2-1. They also took 95 or 97 wickets out of 100 wickets in England and they still lost. They didn’t score enough runs. In Australia, they won because they took those wickets. But, at the same time, they scored lots of runs. So, I think India will need to score lots of runs to win the series again,” the legend further added.
Admitting that India’s number three Cheteshwar Pujara will again have to play the key role in the batting department, Sunil Gavaskar stated that it would help Pujara if the openers get off to a good start.
“India will be looking to get off to a good start. If they get off to a good start then it eases things for Pujara at No. 3 and the others who are following at numbers 4, 5 and 6,” he said.
“Pujara just batted on and on (in 2018-19). I remember Nathan Lyon walking back to his bowling mark and asking him at the non-striker’s end – aren’t you getting bored batting out there?
“My experience in Australia has been that once you get past the new ball, then these pitches are the best pitches to bat on because the ball comes on to the bat so nicely. There is even bounce,” Sunil Gavaskar further added.
Having clinched the T20I series, India will look to make a mark in the four-match Test series that will kick-off with the first Test at Adelaide on December 17.