MELBOURNE: Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has predicted that India will completely dominate the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, adding that the best the visitors can hope is for a draw in one of the games.
Predicting a resounding victory for India, Harbhajan said, “If Australia play well, India will win 3-0. That is if Australia play well.”
“Otherwise, 4-0,” news.com.au quoted him as saying.
Australia are touring India for a full Test series for the first time since they were whitewashed 0-4 by the hosts in the 2012-13 season. The Aussies later defeated India 2-0 in a four-Test rubber played Down Under in the 2014-15 season.
Australia have never won a Test match in India since 2004 and their last series win in Asia came against Sri Lanka in 2011.
They have since suffered nine straight Test losses in the subcontinent.
The veteran off-spinner, who is also a long-time antagonist of Australia, believes the lack of batting experience of the Steve Smith-led side in Asia as their biggest downfall.
“I don’t think the wickets are going to be that easy for them,” said Harbhajan, who has 417 Test wickets to his name…If the ball starts spinning from the first ball, I don’t think they will survive for long,” he said.
He said apart from David Warner and Smith, the other Australian batters won’t be able to play the game as they play in Australian conditions.
“That Australian team in the past had so much will and belief. I don’t think this team has the belief to win in these conditions,” he said.
The 36-year-old is also off the view that frontline spinning options for the visitors like Nathan Lyon, Steve O’Keefe, Ashton Agar and Mitchell Swepson will struggle to adjust to Indian conditions.
“I don’t think they have the quality to do so. It is different bowling here and bowling there (in Australia),” he said.
The first Test in Pune (February 23-27) would be followed by games in Bengaluru (March 4-8), Ranchi (March 16-20) and Dharamsala (March 25-29).