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Young Bites. Dated: 12/6/2018 12:03:15 PM

India today begins its quest to win a first ever Test series against Australia in Australia. India has lost four of the past five series it has played in Australia. The aggregate in those past five series stands at 2-12.In 2003-04, led by Sourav Ganguly, a team that was India’s best Test side of the modern era, drew 1-1, narrowly missing out on a historic win. This is a tremendous opportunity for the current side, arguably the most hyped India Test team of the modern era. In its past eight Tests outside Asia, this team has won two Tests (one of them a dead rubber) and lost six. Redemption is needed. And Australia is the best place to seek it. The circumstances are different this time around. No touring side in recent memory has had a better sniff at winning a series in Australia. This is not the rampant Australia of Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, the teams that swept aside all before them, and were terrors to play against on their home soil. The current Australia team has lost three of the last five Test series it has played. It has drawn one, and won just one. It has lost the last two series it has played, one of them against Pakistan, hardly a powerhouse of the current game. Australia is enfeebled by the absence of their two best batsmen, Steve Smith and David Warner, both serving suspensions. The game itself is at a crossroads in Australia, with feverish introspection and hand wringing about the manner in which the national team plays the game, the aggression it displays on the field, the lack of respect it shows rivals, and the way in which it ignores the means to achieve the sole, coveted end of winning. Australian cricket has seldom been at such a low ebb. Now is the best time to beat them in their backyard. Put another way, if India cannot beat Australia in Australia in this series, it will show that the hype around this team is simply that: hype. But then, India had a similar chance to redeem itself in England in the summer. It was the weakest England team of recent times. India lost that series 1-4.


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