Most newspaper headlines and cricket-related magazines and online, print publications, one feels, are talking about this major story- Michael Vaughan on India: Only India can challenge the Australians in Australia.
For the simple reason that thus far, not many have even succeeded in making Australia break into some kind of a sweat playing Down Under, it ought to be said that the former English captain’s take on India makes a lot of sense.
Few things, therefore, seem as true and as fascinating other than Michael Vaughan on India. Recently, Pakistan, who went Down Under to challenge the strong side’s authority was left with cracks in their teeth, given the domineering form that the Australians exhibited against what looked a toothless Pakistan bowling attack.
It was a scenario where none beside Yasir Shah were able to make any headways on the testing, trying Aussie pitches.
While surely one cannot be blamed for thinking that in batsmen like David Warner and Steve Smith, there’s not a lot of scope for the bowlers out there to make any kind of a substantive statement, yet, one has got to back oneself and believe in the unit- something which Pakistan, one feels, haven’t quite been able to do.
Implicit in the observations made by Michael Vaughan on India was the former top-order batsman’s understanding of Team India’s strength in practically all departments of the game which have thus gone on to ensure India’s one-upmanship- as seen so far- in the World Test Championship. The stylish English batsmen highlighted the fact that only India have the tools to challenge Tim Paine’s Australia in Australia.
Here’s to make of Michael Vaughan on India:
“This Australian Team in these conditions are going to take some beating … Only @BCCI #India have the tools to do so at this stage imo … #AUSvPAK,” Vaughan wrote on Twitter.
India have been in an incredible knick, so far, as seen in their recent Test match form. They have, for the lack of a word, decimated whichever team has confronted them in a format where their skills have been, quite simply, too much for the rest to handle.
South Africa, under Faf du Plessis, came and found themselves whitewashed. Next up, India went to the Caribbean and simply, hammered the West Indians. While it could be argued that both teams didn’t exactly have the potent batting and bowling powers at their disposal- South Africa in a current makeshift zone (as former greats have retired and a new core unit has to be made) and the West Indies (ever struggling to find their feet in the longest format), the manner in which India struck its opponents was fantastic and hugely one-sided.
What’s more? At a time where, in Steve Smith, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine, Joe Burns there are proven, excellent stroke makers, Smith and Warner often competing with Kohli in the fight for ascendency, it seems Australia have just the kind of batting attack that can tackle an Indian line-up composed on Rohit, Mayank, Pujara, Rahane, and King Kohli himself.
Moreover, the two teams’ bowling attacks are also nearly identical in terms of sheer quality and diversity in spin and pace departments.
As seen recently, India running over a meek Bangladesi surrender inside three days of the first-ever Pink Ball Test for Virat’s team was indicative of the imperious form the team is having in the longest format.
In that regard, the thoughts shared by Michael Vaughan on India make absolute sense.