Australia fret as Kohli’s India eye their chance

SYDNEY: With Australian cricket still reeling from the wrecking ball that was the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, India appear to have been handed a golden opportunity to secure a first Test series triumph Down Under over the next month.
Winning on Australia’s sun-baked tracks is still among the toughest propositions in cricket, however, so Virat Kohli’s team will have to be at their best with both bat and ball to forge the breakthrough even given the propitious circumstances.
Kohli leads a side bristling with brilliant batting talent, not least his own, but that has also been true of many of the 11 previous Indian touring parties that have left Australia empty-handed over the last 70 years.
That India have won just five of 44 Tests over those seven decades is indicative of the scale of the task Kohli faces if he is to inscribe his name in the honour roll marked “great Test captains”.
The man who would have been Kohli’s opposite number, and who the Indian recently replaced as the top-ranked batsman in the world, will not face so much as a single delivery during the series, which starts at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
Steve Smith remains sidelined from international cricket along with David Warner by the ban he received for his part in the infamous events in South Africa in March, when the ball-tampering scandal rocked the Australian game to its foundations.
The loss of two of the finest batsmen in the world would gut any batting order and Australia have indeed shown the brittleness that comes with inexperience and lack of confidence over their last few international outings. — Reuters