Attacking opener David Warner believes that the current Australian team is better equipped and conditioned than the 2017 squad and it will hold the Aussies in a good state in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, here on Thursday.
India is currently placed second on the World Test Championship (WTC) table and will need to win the series to qualify for the final.
In an exclusive interaction with host broadcaster Star Sports, Warner talked about the fierce India-Australia rivalry, who will win the trophy and more.
Q. Is India the fiercest and toughest in world cricket for Australia?
A. It’s the fact that both teams have won in both countries. We haven’t won here for a long time. India beat us in Australia. There is that sense of will to win, and both teams think they’ve got the team that is gonna win the series. So, I think that’s where the great rivalry you always think about.
I think we’ve got the team, I wanna say better than 2017, better equipped, we’re better conditioned. We had a game in Sri Lanka where we all backed ourselves and trusted our instincts and, and our game plans. And I think that will hold us in a good state coming into the series.
Q. The fact that India beat Australia the last two times they traveled down under. Is it fair to say that adds a fair bit of spice to this?
A. Yeah, it can. I think we let a lot of things slip in those games. Obviously, 2018, myself and Steve weren’t there and the last time I think India just got better of us. The first two tests were a challenge as well. At The MCG wicket, the ball was turning from day one, which is very rare but India played well. Rishabh took down Nathan. You look at the way that the Indian batters batted, they batted along. the bowl bowled. Fantastic. And there were key moments in the games, which we lost.
Q. Where do you think this India team is most destructive?
A. Both teams are well-experienced too. There’s a lot of plays in their thirties and there’s, and there’s some good youth in both teams as well. I think the experience of having guys like Ashwin, Axar, and Jadeja, they’re, you know, their three quality spinners and Kuldeep is out there as well.
I think that’s their core. They’re gonna have to bat long periods of time as well, which they’ve done in the past. The last time we toured here, I think our average first innings total was more than India. So, it just shows you that, probably both teams are relying on the spinners.
You’re gonna get spinning conditions. So, I always find that whoever can outlast the longest when it comes to bat and whoever has obviously the best line and length control with the spin, will win the series.
Q. Is it a cliche to say that this tour will be a trial by spin and it will dictate the eventual winner of the BGT?
A. It always seems to be like that, but I also think you can’t rub out the fact that both teams are at quality bowling, fast bowling as well in these conditions. Reverse swing, new ball, new ball when the ball is hard it seams, and can swing. So, as bad as we have to negate that and we have to identify periods of the game where that reverse swing comes.
It’s not that freedom. Once the spinner comes off, you can start scoring. It actually knuckles down another end, and you have to try and look at the score and push the scoreboard forward. So, it’s gonna be a challenge. And I think you can’t discredit the fast-bowling lineups.
Q. Do you have a border Gavaskar moment that you personally cherish?
A. I think the last series was so close, we lost two key moments, in Bangalore were two one-hour sessions that cost us the series. I think all in all, the way that we fight out there, the determination that we all have. I don’t really have a significant moment. I think it’s just the way that we always come out with our chest out. Both teams always do, and that’s the competitive nature of both teams. So, that’s probably what I look forward to most as well, about the BGT.