Cricket

Australia will be favourite down under, says Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh.

Steve Waugh.  

The former Australian captain also impressed with Marnus Labuschagne’s rise

When Sachin Tendulkar points out someone as the cricketer who reminds him of himself, there is bound to be a lot of interest on the player. But former Australian captain Steve Waugh does not think Marnus Labuschagne could turn out to be someone like Tendulkar though he is very impressed with 25-year-old.

“Maybe he’s trying to put him off by saying so. I don't think so but look, Sachin has got every right to say that.

“Maybe he saw something, in my opinion, his temperament or the way he goes about his batting,” said Waugh on the sidelines of the 20th Laureus World Sports Awards celebrations here.

“He has appetite for runs and tries exceptionally hard. I was really impressed with him when he stood out at the Ashes. He wanted to make a difference, he wanted to be the next player to do well.

“He came a long way from the back of the pack... 12 months ago he was just in the top 26 players in Australia, now he is the fourth-ranked Test batsman in the world. So, it's been an incredible transformation.”

Was he trying to brush away the pressure on Labuschgne?

With Tendulkar's praise, the spotlight will be on Labuschagne, who recently won Australia’s Player-of-the-Year award, as India travels down under towards the end of the year for a four-match Test series.

India had beaten Australia 2-1 for its first-ever Test series win down under early last year, but Waugh felt the Aussies would start favourites this time.

Knowledge of pitches

“Australia will be the favourite I think because we are playing in Australia and we know the pitches well and the day-night Test is something reasonably new. “

“I like the way Virat Kohli is taking that challenge. If you want be the best side in the world, you have to win away from home as much as you can,” he said.

“As you said they won the series last time... you can’t take anything away from India but the fact is, we did not have two of our best batsmen last time and now Labuschagne has come out of nowhere.

“Our bowling attack is settled and there are no weaknesses in the Australian side. India does not have weaknesses too; so it's going to be potentially a great series.”

The coming series could be one where fast bowlers could be the big difference. How does Waugh compare India and Australia in that department?

“India has the best fast bowling attack in India. When they are playing in India they are best attack in the world. When cricket is played in Australia, I think Australia is the best fast bowling attack in the world,” he said.

Slight edge

“So, when they come to Australia, I think we will have a slight edge. And if we go to India, India will have a slight edge.

“Hence, it's touch and go, both captains will be very happy with their personnel and they know they can take 20 wickets. And that's what is needed to win Test matches.”

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 12:31:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/australia-will-be-favourite-down-under-says-steve-waugh/article30845276.ece

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