New Delhi: Ahead of the India’s opening One-Day International against Australia on September 17, former Aussie skipper Michael Clarke gave his views on important aspects of the series. When it came about naming the most important Indian batsmen from the visitors’ point of view, Clarke was of the opnion on that the scalps of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli will be crucial in determining what sort of result Steve Smith & Co. can drive.
In an interview with the Hindustan Times, Clarke did a thourough preview of the upcoming India-Australia series.
When asked whether Virat Kohli’s Team India is more prepared to win overseason, Clarke refused to compare the present team with that of Sourav Ganguly’s.
It’s not fair to compare. I think that was a wonderful team. Ganguly, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kumble, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Javagal when I first started…it would be disrespectful to compare. It was an amazing team. I believe Sourav played a big part in really changing the style of Indian cricket. I think that aggressive approach Sourav took, you see a lot of that in Virat’s captaincy as well.
The recurrent questions of Sachin vs Virat also came across but the ex-Aussie great said this is not the right time to compare the two.
You can tell Sachin that! Virat’s still a young player. His statistics in one-day cricket are unbelievable. Thirty one-day hundreds is absolutely crazy. But again it’s not fair to compare Sachin and Virat right now. It’s something everybody can compare at the end of Virat’s career. I don’t think Virat is thinking about that. And I don’t think Sachin will be bothered about that either. Sachin was an absolute legend, Brian Lara an absolute legend and Virat is making his own destiny.
When asked about who would be the top three batsmen for each teams, Clarke was quick to name his choices.
I reckon the top three of both teams. (Aaron) Finch, (David) Warner, (Steve) Smith for Australia and then Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli for India. That’s six very good batsmen. For Australia they need to find a way to get those three batsmen out ASAP, because if you allow them to bat for a long time, they just score so freely. I’m sure Virat will be saying the same to his bowlers.
Earlier Clarke had also compared Virat Kohli with Australian captain Steve Smith, saying Kohli is a better ODI batsman but Smith is better in the longer format.