December 28, 2011

NEW DELHI: It has been declared India’s best ever chance to upstage Australia in their backyard but former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels the task is easier said than done and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men would struggle to avoid conceding a decisive early lead to the hosts.

“Any team will struggle in Australia, especially in the first two Tests. It takes a lot of time for visiting teams to get into the groove of playing under those conditions. Be it New Zealand, Pakistan or India, you are bound to find it hard to play there.

“I toured Australia 10 times and we found it very tough for the first two games. So, India will also struggle and better be careful, they do not want to be 2-0 down straight away,” Akram said.

“India really have to work hard to do well and compete in the series, forget winning it for now. As I said earlier, the first two Tests they need to be very careful. It is extremely difficult to say which way the series will pan out but as of now it hardly looks like India will win,” he said from Karachi.

The former left-arm pacer said he wants to see Virat Kohli taking the number six position considering his fine hundred in the tour match against Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI.

“My theory is whoever has hit a hundred under those conditions must be picked. Kohli is a good fielder and so is Rohit, but the former has peaked at the right time under Australian conditions,” Akram said.

“Kohli’s timely ton in practice game means his form is right up there and has the confidence that he can score on these bouncy tracks in Australia.”

Akram said the conditions in Melbourne, where the opening Test would be played from tomorrow, will be tailor-made for the Australian fast bowlers to thrive.

“It is a given fact that those tracks will be bouncy and the tall and strong Australian quickies will definitely use that to their advantage. I do feel the surfaces will also have some amount of grass which will aid the pacers,” he said.

Courtesy: TIMES OF INDIA



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