Australia’s limited-overs specialist Marcus Stoinis hopes the current squad can help them reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy in the four-Test series, starting next month. However, the all-rounder admitted that it will be an uphill battle to defeat India in their own backyard.
Australia have not held the Border-Gavaskar Trophy since they brought it back after the 2014-15 series on home soil. Since then, the Baggy Greens have lost twice Down Under and once in India in 2017.
Speaking to ANI, Stoinis believes that Australia will do their best to bring back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“This time we don’t want to lose the trophy even though our team never wants to lose it because it could be the third time but we don’t want to give up this year. Our team is too strong and facing India at their home soil is a bit difficult because we have to play there tracks,” he said.
Stoinis added that India pose a big threat on the decks, especially with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in their ranks.
“India have some specialist bowlers like Ashwin and Jadeja. They can bowl really well but we are also coming with some specialist bowlers, so you can expect a good competition this time,” he said.
Australia have picked four spinners in their 18-man squad in a bid to see off India, with Nathan Lyon the off-spinner leading the pack. Lyon had an unforgettable time on the 2016-17 tour of India. and they hope to repeat it.
“I would like him to recover quickly and get back on the field” – Marcus Stoinis on Rishabh Pant
The 33-year-old predicts Virat Kohli will pose a significant threat to the tourists’ chances and claims he is among the best Test batsmen. However, Stoinis admits that Rishabh Pant will be a big miss for India, wishing him a speedy recovery.
“Kohli is a world-class batsman and he is back in form and is one of the best Test batsmen, so he could be the biggest threat for us again. But one player who will be sorely missed this season is Rishabh Pant. He is unfortunately not with the team. I want him to recover quickly and get back on the field,” Stoinis said.
Pant, who was involved in a car accident on December 30, is likely to miss most of the competitive cricket matches in 2023.