India’s usual boast of translating their home results into victories abroad have more often than not come to a naught.
All that confident talk of having the best team in the world in terms of skill and technique should be best avoided. Results are what matter and delivering them even more.
The England tour is a shining example of how a team broke apart in the middle. Barring Virat Kohli and the bowlers, the others did not do credit to their abilities.
This came after an excellent home season where India just swamped through all opposition. They are in a similar position now. They West Indies were thrashed in all forms of the game. India just sparkled in every department.
Now the Indian team is off to Australia for four Tests, three T20s and three one-dayers. And this tour may finally break the jinx of not winning a series in Australia.
There is every chance. Australia are still recouping after the loss of captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.
The damning report about the Australian cricketing culture and Cricket Australia’s attitude has sent shock waves among the cricketing fraternity and fans and added to their troubles.
All these setbacks have put Australia in a difficult situation. They have to cope without Smith and Warner and also watch their behaviour.
Sadly, they do not have a settled team and lost to Pakistan in the UAE. India will be a much bigger proposition. Yet never underestimate the fighting spirit of the Australians. They have a great bowling line-up which can destroy even the best team in the world.
The Australian wickets, though not as good as before, can still a give the bowlers the edge.
India probably have their best bowling line-up ever, with a good balance of pace and spin.
Captain Kohli is on top of his game and is scoring at will. But the others face a trial by fire and will need to work hard to put up scores.
Australia does not have a batsman of the calibre of Kohli at the moment. Their best bet to play a long innings will be Shaun Marsh, who found some form after a disastrous tour to the UAE.
The rest are still learning their trade at the top level. Quirky selections are also making it difficult for Australia to put up a proper side. Glenn Maxwell is a better player than what he is made out to be by the selectors.
Hence India have their best chance to register the first series win in Australia. They need to be quietly confident instead of boasting boisterously about their abilities and their No 1 team in the world.
What they need is the ability to fight it out. If their strokemakers have to graft, then let it be so.
Most of all, do not underestimate the Australians. They have the ability to fight it out even if they are weaker. This is going to be an interesting series.
India must remember that results count. “We played well but…” is just a consolation which won’t find many takers.
#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same.