Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke believes that it will be difficult for Australia to beat India in the upcoming series as the hosts are full of confidence and have been playing well. India are set to welcome the Aussies for five ODI’s and three T20I’s in September and October this year.
Now, ahead of Australia returning for a limited overs series against the Men in Blue in September this year, Clarke has acknowledged that Virat Kohli and his team start the upcoming series as favorites.
"The Indian team right now is full of confidence and the upcoming tour for Australia is going to be tough. This tour will be a great challenge for Australia as India, at the moment, are playing very well. Obviously, the Australian supporters expect their team to be best in the world. But, India
“Beating India will be tough as they not only want to win but they have learned to lose too. They are going full steam ahead and will be a wonderful experience to beat the hosts.”
As commendable as India’s achievements have been in the recent past, they are yet to travel outside the sub continent since touring to the Caribbean in 2015. But they will have a chance to prove themselves on the road over the next two years with tours to South Africa in January 2018, followed by Australia, and then England in 2019. Clarke refused to accept that India
"If India can beat South Africa, Australia, and England at away conditions, there will be no doubt that India is the number one team in the world," the 36-year-old explained.
While Virat Kohli has always been appreciated for leading the by example, Clarke believes that it was former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly who first brought an aggressive approach to the Indian team. He further added that it's commendable that Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Anil Kumble continued to lead in the same way. Australia will be coming into series against India having recently resolved the pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricket Association and Clarke lauded the way current skipper Steve Smith dealt with the situation, saying, "Steve Smith handled himself really well during the pay dispute as he did not indulge much and stayed away."
He also praised the fact that Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association compromised and came to an agreement as it was important for Australia to play the upcoming series against Bangladesh to build the momentum it needs for upcoming series.
"I have never played under Virat so cannot compare them. However, Virat would not want to be compared to anybody. He has his own style."