Veteran Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson predicts that the visitors will win the series decider as well win the Border–Gavaskar Trophy 2017 against India as the Dharamshala track favors the tourists and the pace bowlers more than the hosts.
Mitchell also advised the Aussie skipper to should include Jackson Bird alongside fellow quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins into the squad at the expense of spinner Steve O'Keefe for the final Test of the four-match Test series against India, which will start from 25 March at Dharamshala.
Johnson told Fox Sports, “I think we're going to lose a spinner out of this Test match. The spinners have been great throughout the series. There's been a lot of pressure on the spinners to go out there and perform and I think they've had some good patches and some bad patches. But that's the game.”
He further added, “It's a tough one because they've both had their moments in this series, but I think you've got to go with experience. I think Nathan Lyon will get a lot more bounce and he has been turning the ball quite nicely. But then again, you've got to look at left- and right-hand combinations. If it's more of an Australian kind of wicket, I think you'll see Nathan Lyon bowl and Bird come in as the third quick.”
Former Aussie pace super-head said that the tourists will be certainly confident while the hosts will be a little bit nervous because Dharamshala has always produced a green top wicket that suits the Australians.
He further said, “Dharamshala is an amazing ground and ... the only times I have seen it are with grass on (the pitch). So I think that's why the Australians will probably be confident ... and India will be a little bit nervous. I think they've been overconfident in this series and I think the scoreline shows that.”
Johnson also said Australia's defiant draw in Ranchi should give Steve Smith’s man confidence that they can win their first Test series in India since 2004.
He added, “(The result in Ranchi) gives Australia a huge advantage I think. For them to know that it's not about Steve Smith and David Warner, other guys in the team can perform and can play out for a draw. They dug in and played exceptional cricket, that's why I think Smith said what he did.”
Johnson is confident that Steve Smith-led Australia team will win the Test series in India. He said, “They will be pumped after that. Even though it was only a draw, to them it will feel very good and very positive. Because they have collapsed a lot in the past. That's why I'm confident Australia will win.”