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India stand a good chance of upstaging Aussies in Test series: Dav Whatmore

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Former Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning coach Dav Whatmore said on Thursday that India stands a very good chance of upstaging the Australians in the Test series that starts from December 6.

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Australians would take on India without the services of Steve Smith and David Warner, both of whom are facing bans after their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal earlier this year.

“India has got a very good chance, particularly with Smith and Warner not around,” said Whatmore, after his Kerala side defeated Bengal at the Eden Gardens by nine wickets in the Ranji Trophy.

“I agree with one or two articles that I read on the subject which said that India can be victorious in Australia this time,” he added.

Earlier this year, India went into the tours of South Africa and England hoping to better their overseas records but were humbled 1-2 and 1-4 respectively.

Also Read: Australia vs India: Rain plays spoilsport with visitors retaining 1-0 series lead

Whatmore said that the Indians might have a better preparation this time around, having learnt from their away defeats to England and South Africa.

“Look, I won’t be telling (head coach) Ravi Shastri or (captain) Kohli how to do the job. But maybe, they will be better prepared this time. The experience of the previous two overseas tours will certainly help. They will be feeling good,” he opined.

Picking Virat Kohli to be the cricketer around whom the team would revolve, the Sri Lankan-born Australian said that the team would rub off the positivity from the captain.

The Virat Kohli factor is very much there, he is the batsman around whom the team revolves. He is very positive and that rubs off,” he added.

Bengal began as outright favourites to win their Group B match against Kerala but were left stunned at their very own Eden Gardens inside three days, by a margin of nine wickets.

To be very honest I didn’t think this kind of result before the game. But as the game went along I thought there was a chance.

“The way they batted in the morning I think it was going to go deep into the fourth day. But then cricket is a really funny game. Five-six wickets in the middle session ensured a three-day match,” he said, lauding his team.

For Kerala, Jalaj Saxena was the star performer with a stellar 143 in the first innings. Labelling him as ‘wonderful competitor’ Whatmore said, “I can tell you he’s a wonderful competitor. He’s hugely responsible for a number of wins for Kerala. We are trying to create a healthy environment for performance.”

He nonetheless backed Bengal to make the play-offs despite this result, which leaves them a lot to do in the upcoming matches.

“They still are a good team. I’m expecting them to still make the playoffs,” he said.

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