Michael Clarke backed Australia to upstage India in the upcoming One-Day International series thanks to their stints in the Indian Premier League.
The Steven Smith-led side, which lost the Test series 2-1 to India earlier this year, will play five ODIs, with the first in Chennai on Sunday.
Smith captained Rising Pune Supergiant in the last edition of the IPL. Players like David Warner, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins have had successful IPL stints and Clarke said the team should have no excuses in the shorter format keeping that in mind.
“It’s not just the wicket you are batting on or the ground you are playing, it’s the heat, the food you eat, the hotel you are staying at. These players now being involved in the IPL, India is like a second home because you spend so much time here,” offered Clarke at a promotional event in New Delhi on Tuesday (September 12).
Laxman expects acrimony-free series
“They (Smith and Kohli) are not only two modern-day captains but two modern-day greats. In such a short span of time the impact these two players have had on international cricket is just amazing. And I think when you are playing international cricket it’s not necessary to be friendly on field … I am sure both will go all out and be aggressive and win the matches for their team. They are both trendsetters according to me.”
“Yes, it’s a shame we don’t have Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood available unfortunately due to injury. Those two will be missed. But this Australian team has no excuses. They know the conditions really well … and this is a massive series for us.”
Clarke saw a “carrot right there” for the Australians, who will topple South Africa from the top spot in the International Cricket Council ODI team rankings if they beat India 4-1, but predicted a 3-2 win for the Australians.
He also praised Virat Kohli’s fearless captaincy that has helped India dominate with their aggressive approach. India not only regained their No. 1 Test spot under Kohli last year but recently blanked Sri Lanka 9-0 across all formats on tour.
“I think this team has certainly got that aggression in them … they are led by an aggressive captain. Seems to me that Virat is not scared to lose and that’s a great advantage,” said Clarke.