‘Will be a different ball game’: Rohit Sharma identifies big reason why Australia series will be challenging for India

India taking on Australia is always an intriguing matchup for the cricketing universe. The fierce rivalry between the two nations always brings about intense matches with top players fighting it out on the field for supremacy. Historically, Australia was the more dominant side in the rivalry but recently India has taken the initiative. Led by Virat Kohli, India have won most of the recently played series against Australia and even won their first-ever Test series Down Under.

Now India is again set to take on Australia in another series Down Under but this time with the addition of two stalwarts- David Warner and Steve Smith. When India won the series 2-1, Warner and Smith were missing due to a ball-tampering ban. But this time they will be back.

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India opener and limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma believes the presence of Warner and Smith will make the tour of Australia later this year a “different ball game” for his side, which is also at its best right now.

“I was looking forward to the New Zealand series but unfortunately, injury (calf muscle) happened at the wrong time,” Rohit told ‘India Today’ on Wednesday.

“I can’t wait to go to Australia and play the Test matches there. Australia in Australia with those two guys will be a different ball game,” India’s white-ball vice-captain said.

For him, opening is a challenge that he has relished and a testimony to that was his stupendous start against South Africa at home. However, he has been ready for the job since the 2018 Australia tour when the team management gave him enough hints.

“I was told you might be opening in Tests as well. It was two years ago. I was preparing myself from then onwards,” he said.

For him, watching the game from the dressing room is no fun.

“You wanted opportunity, everybody wants to be out there in the middle. I wanted to play and not watch the game.

“When the chance came along, I was ready. There were some technical aspects, I needed to be aware of,” he said.

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Rohit said the Australia series will be an exciting one as this Indian team is currently playing its best cricket.

“As a team, we are playing best cricket right now, everybody wants to take the game back to the opposition. If it happens (amid the COVID-19 pandemic), it will be a great series to be part of,” he said.

The tour is planned between October and January but there is speculation on whether it can be conducted smoothly amid the global health crisis which hasn’t shown any signs of being under control as of now.

(With PTI inputs)

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