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INDvsAUS: Kohli will not be taking sledging lying down for sure: Ganguly

By Rashmi Nanda -

The Border-Gavaskar series between Indian and Australia has already got a kick start at Pune.

There are some cricket pundits, who are predicting the Virat Kohli-led Team India to whitewash the Steve Smith and Co. in the four-match Test series, on the other hand, some believe that the Aussies might avoid to a 0-4 loss. India are favorites to win the series but we can find out by the end of the first Test as to how good are Australia's chances in the series.

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is not sure that this Australian side will stand against the high flying and unbeatable Virat Kohli's team. He also said that home side will whitewash the series against the Steve Smith and Co. and finish their home season with 12 wins from 13 Tests.

The former Indian skipper feels that the Australian team will be unable to control the series if  they lose the first Test in Pune.

In an exclusive chat with India Today, Ganguly said, "The challenge for Australia will not be to survive in this Test match because we are absolutely sure that the pitch is going to turn big as the match progresses. For them, the challenge will be how to control that slide after they lose that first Test match. You saw against England, they played well in the first match lost the second and since then it was a one-way traffic. They got big runs on the board because there were good pitches but Day 4-5 they didn't know how to resist."

Former skipper lauded the Australian side saying  "We respect Australia, we respect the way they have played cricket over the years. They've had some champion teams like the ones we played against during our era, probably was the best team I've seen in the last 30-40 years. But how does this Australian team beat India or compete against India on these turning pitches, I'm not sure."

Ganguly also said that the Aussie Captain Steve Smith is an excellent and probably the visitor's best batsman but not sure  if David Warner can cope with the turn and bounce when the ball turns at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium. 

"Steven Smith very very good when the ball turns, he's probably Australia's best batsman. Warner, I'm still not sure whether he can still survive playing that much positively on pitches which turn square. It requires a lot more than just hitting the ball and that's Warner's way of playing Test match cricket.”

Ganguly further added, "It's different from IPL, to be honest. Flat pitches in IPL, small grounds and the white ball you can just whack it. But when it spins across the bat with Ashwin turning square bringing the ball back into the left-hander it's a different kettle of fish. As I said, it's not a secret anymore that it's going to turn from Day 2 of this Test match and good luck to Australia."

The former Indian skipper, who was famed for his aggressive brand of cricket, said that if the Australians sledge Virat Kohli and Co then the skipper Kohli definitely will not be taking it lying down.

Ganguly said, "Virat Kohli will not be taking it (sledging) lying down for sure. Australia will come hard at Kohli there's no doubt about it but it has to be backed with performances. We've spoken about sledging or whatever you call it from the days of Glenn McGrath, Steve Waugh, and Shane Warne. But sledging doesn't win you cricket matches, it's the ability of those three (McGrath, Waugh, and Warne) which won Australia cricket matches, or Matthew Hayden you know, they were just outstanding players.” 

He concluded, “Australia have some outstanding players like Starc, Hazlewood, Smith, Shaun Marsh, and Warner. But to make the sledging effective they'll have to put runs on the board and pick wickets. You sledge when you put pressure on the opposition, you don't sledge when you're always coming back from behind.”