A series victory in India is bigger than winning the Ashes, say Australian star players, including Steve Smith and David Warner, who are gearing up for their “toughest challenge in Test cricket”.
India and Australia are up against each other in a high-profile four-match Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting here on Thursday.
In a video uploaded by cricket.com.au.on Monday, the Australian team spoke about the challenges of playing in India.
“It’s a difficult place to win a Test match, let alone a series. So, if we are able to do that, it would be huge. I think if you win in India it is bigger than an Ashes series,” Smith said.
Star opener Warner said he is looking forward to playing against the best spinners in the world.
“Being a part of the last Ashes was fantastic but to go to India and beat India in India is the toughest challenge in Test cricket for us. I’m looking forward to the tour, it’s always a hard graft. One thing that I’m looking forward to is applying myself against the best spinners in the world,” Warner added.
Pacer Josh Hazlewood said, “Probabaly been long since Australia won there or less frequently they have won. In world cricket that’s everyone’s goal - to try and win in India.”
Pace ace Mitchell Starc, who will miss the first Test due to a finger injury, said a series win in India “has always been a crown jewel for Australian touring teams”.
“Winning a series in India will be really special for our group. I think it has always been a crown jewel for Australian touring teams. It’s one of, if not the hardest place to play away.... such foreign conditions and how strong the Indian team are as well.
“On one side you get all this history of the Ashes and then you have this tour of India which has been for many Australian teams out of reach.”
Starc and his captain and fellow quick Pat Cummins are looking forward for the opportunity to win the series in India and the Ashes in England later this year.
“If we could win an away India tour and an away Ashes that would be a unique opportunity to do this year,” Starc said.
“Winning a series in India is like an Ashes away series but even more rare. It will be a career highlight, era defining series if we win out there,” Cummins added.