‘They’re talking a good game’: Waugh’s dig at India
Test legend Steve Waugh says Australian cricket fans should be confident of a series win over India this summer, despite the doomsayers predicting an Aussie disaster Down Under.
With captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner currently unable to take part in the summer action due to Cricket Australia suspensions, things are looking grim for the home side ahead of its four-Test series beginning in Adelaide on December 6.
An ODI series loss to South Africa followed a disastrous tour of the UAE. It's been a horror eight months since the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
But Waugh says things aren't as bad as they seem.
India has never won a Test series in Australia, and the cricketing legend says it won't be happening any time soon.
"I think Australia might surprise actually," Waugh said.
"India, they're talking up a good game but they've come off a pretty disappointing series in England ... their away form is pretty ordinary over the past five or 10 years.
"They have got a very good side. They will see this as their best opportunity to win in Australia for a long time.
"(India captain Virat) Kohli is a great leader and a great batsman. If a couple of others follow him in and start scoring runs they are a chance.
"I think if Australia can score 350 runs in our first innings we'll win the Test match.
"Our bowlers are world class and particularly in our conditions we'll take 20 wickets. As long as we can score runs, if we get 350 in the first innings, we'll win the series."
Waugh is backing in Australia's star bowling quartet of Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins to roll the Indians on home soil.
But the big question surrounding the Australian side is the batting, with Smith, Warner, and young top-order Cameron Bancroft all unavailable, and several other batsmen out of form.
And that's the reason not everyone is as confident as Waugh.
Fellow Test great Shane Warne labelled the Indians favourites to win the series.
"For the first that I can remember India come to Australia in the Test matches as favourites," Warne said on Fox Cricket.
"I think (Australia's) batting is in disarray in all forms of the game. They need to do something about it pretty quickly.
"India, they smell blood and they don't fear Australia."
Bookmakers are sitting on the fence when it comes to the Australia v India series. Bet 365 has both sides at $2.40 to win, while the draw is $4.
Australia will get its first look at India in the first Twenty20 on Wednesday night.