SYDNEY: Australia captain Pat Cummins believes his side have as good a chance of winning a Test series in India as they will ever have when they play four matches on the sub-continent in February-March.
Cummins was brimming with confidence after winning four out of five Tests in a dominant home summer, which concluded with a draw in the rain-disrupted third Test against South Africa on Sunday.
“I think we’ve given ourselves the best chance, it was another fantastic summer,” the pace bowler told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground at the conclusion of the match.
“I feel like we’re adapting really well. Having the experience in Sri Lanka and Pakistan last year has put us in really good stead for India, no one’s going over there blind.
“We’ll use the next few weeks to perhaps reflect on the last 12 months, and then get over there really refreshed and eager.
“I think we’re as good a chance as we’re ever going to be.”
Australia have won only four Test series in India in three quarters of a century of touring the country, the last coming in 2004.
Cummins said the Australia squad would offer plenty of bowling options for the matches in Nagpur, New Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad.
Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc, who missed the Sydney Test with a finger injury, would probably not be fit for the opening Test in early February, Cummins said.
“Each game in India we might need to chop it up slightly differently,” he said.
“Maybe one game it’s three quicks, maybe another it’s one quick. We’ll get over there and see.”
The loss of the best part of two days of the Sydney match to the weather prevented the pitch from deteriorating as it might have for spinners Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar.
Slow left-arm orthodox spinner Agar failed to take a wicket and conceded 58 runs in his first Test since 2017 but Cummins confirmed the left-armer would be in the squad when it is named next week.
The occasional spin bowling of batsmen Travis Head, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne might also come into the equation when it came to team selection, Cummins said.
“I think our squad will have basically all possibilities,” he said. “It’s a big series, so we want everything at our disposal.”
Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2023