Australia’s limited-overs specialist Marcus Stoinis hopes the current squad can help them regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in the four-Test series, starting next month. However, the all-rounder admitted it will be an uphill battle to defeat India in their own backyard.
Australia haven’t held the Border-Gavaskar Trophy since regaining it after the 2014-15 series on home soil. Since then, the Baggy Greens have lost twice Down Under and once in India in 2017.
Speaking to ANI, Stoinis believes Australia will give their everything to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“We don’t want to lose our trophy this time even though our team never wants to lose it as it could be the third time but we don’t want to give up this year. Our squad is too strong and facing India on their soil is a bit difficult as we have to play on spin tracks over there,” he said.
Stoinis added that India pose a heavy threat on the spinning decks, especially with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in their ranks.
“India have some specialist bowlers like Ashwin and Jadeja. Those can really bowl well but we are also coming with some specialist spinners, so you can expect a good competition this time,” he said.
Australia have selected four spinners in their 18-man squad in a bid to upstage India, with off-spinner Nathan Lyon leading the pack. Lyon had a memorable time in the 2016-17 India tour and will hope to replicate it again.
“I wish he recovers soon and comes back to the field” – Marcus Stoinis on Rishabh Pant
The 33-year-old predicts Virat Kohli to be a significant threat to the tourists’ chances and claimed he is amongst the best Test batters going around. However, Stoinis admits Rishabh Pant will be a big miss for India, wishing him a speedy recovery.
“Kohli is a world-class batsman and has returned to form and he is one of the best Test batters, so he could be the biggest threat once again for us. But one player who will be missed this season badly is Rishabh Pant. He is unfortunately not with the team. I wish he recovers soon and comes back to the field,” Stoinis said.
Pant, who had a car accident on December 30th, is likely to miss most of the competitive cricket matches in 2023.