New Delhi : Former Australia wicketkeeper-batter Ian Healy has predicted a 2-1 series win for India in the four-Test series against Australia starting from Nagpur on February 9. Healy added that his prediction can come true if the hosts aren’t preparing “unreasonable wickets”.
India and Australia will play four Tests in Nagpur, New Delhi, Dharamsala and Ahmedabad to decide the winner of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The series is of extreme importance for India, as a spot in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC), to be held in June 2023, is at stake.
“They’ve got a good team but I’m not too scared of their spinners unless they produce unreasonable wickets. If they produce unreasonable wickets like they did half the series last time (we won’t win), two wickets were just terrible, unfair, spinners jumping over your head on day one.”
“So that type of thing they will play better on than we will, but if they get flat wickets that India used to put out, nice flat batting wickets and bowlers have to work really hard, I think we can do it.
But (my prediction is) 2-1 India, if Starc’s unavailable in the first Test,” said Healy on SEN radio show. Starc will be joining the Australian team from the second Test due to a finger injury to his bowling hand, which he sustained during the second Test against South Africa at the MCG in December 2022.
“Guess what Lyon needs, he needs Mitch Starc, Mitch Starc to run through and create rough for him outside of right-hander’s off stump.” “Starc mightn’t be available first Test, and if you’re not available first Test, you’re not going to be great second Test… it’s soon after, there’s no other games.”‘
“My worry for him not playing the first Test is that you don’t have a lot of time to get the bowling in that you’re going to need in the second, third and fourth Test,” added Healy. Australia’s next overseas Test assignment is the Ashes against England in June-July.
Healy predicted that Australia should win 3-1 over England, who have been on a high in the format thanks to “Bazball” strategy of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, provided the Pat Cummins-led side don’t have any injury concerns.
“Now Ashes, if we haven’t got any injuries in that bowling attack and we can play our top team, then 3-1 Australia. We’re going to really attack Bazball and put Bazball under pressure. We’ll see how much courage and bravery they can retain in that top order with England and their bowlers.”
“I think for once we’ll cope the best against Anderson and Broad, Anderson is 40 years of age, we’ve got to really get some pressure back on him. Our best players for mine, Pat Cummins and Steve Smith will be our stars,” he concluded.
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