Gone are the days when the Aussie juggernaut rolled on with no one to challenge their might. "We are pretty comfortable with what we want to do".
The ability to combat spin is the single most important skill for a visiting batsman in India and one which many Australian players have lacked during the team's recent Test floggings against Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. "Australia can not win if Kohli dominates them, because if he does, he will not dominate alone", wrote Knox.
But then again you are talking about a team which is resilient and would refuse to budge an inch without putting up a fight. He has been perennially underrated, and has routinely proved his detractors wrong; since his debut, he has appeared in 63 of the 66 Tests that Australia played. Ed Cowan, who faced the second-highest number of deliveries for Australia on its last tour to India, tells of the complete technical overhaul he, and most, require to survive an Asian tour.
Hence it all boils down to the battle David Warner and Smith can wage against the Indian bowlers. He has scored two big hundreds in his last five Test innings and would be itching to score big against the Indians. Looking like a tired uncle concocting his own dismissal in the backyard, Usman Khawaja stood prone in Galle, with all but his eyes seemingly paralysed as a straight Dilruwan Perera delivery cannoned into his stumps.
Just like the top-order, India's middle-order also wears a settled look.
Next in the batting line-up is the captain Steve Smith.
India's balance has helped produce results too. There was one that brought the New Zealand quicks into the game.
Australia clearly believe spin will play a crucial part; they have picked four spinners for the team.
These dogs are a favourite with the Indian team whenever they are at the stadium. While elder brother Shaun is nearly certain of a place in the playing XI, Mitchell is likely to be selected ahead of Glenn Maxwell.
Syria's Envoy to UN Jaafari Extends Condolences Over Russia's Churkin's Death
Churkin served as Russia's ambassador to the United Nations since 2006 and was the longest-serving member of the Security Council. Along with his role with the U.N., Churkin was also the Russian ambassador to Canada, a position he held from 1998 to 2003.
"There will be some tough moments in this series and I am sure, you know, the squad that we have, we are capable of, you know, coming up with solutions on the field", he added.
Speaking to reporters here, Smith also asserted that his side are not "the weakest Australian team to tour to India" as predicted by Harbhajan Singh. The least that fans would expect them to do is to play in the same fashion, never mind the intensity of a big series. Jayant, who missed out on the Bangladesh Test, is all set to return for the first Test. Once it gets softer, it's not going to carry. And above all is the Mitchell Starc factor.
But, Starc has often been overlooked on dry and low tracks with the attention being stolen by the spinners. Definitely we are a lot more prepared this time around and we have done everything we have to do leading to this first Test.
The fact that he'll be playing on pitches tailor-made for spin bowling is why I'd be so keen to be him.
Reverse swing comes into play a lot sooner in India. "So if the bowler is able to bowl seam-up deliveries, they will definitely get swing", explained former Maharashtra Ranji skipper Surendra Bhave.
Steve Smith's Australian team has been written off by nearly anyone who is looking forward to the Border-Gavaskar series which starts with the first Test in Pune on Thursday. 7 and 8, it can not get any better for them.
These decks will turn and it is up to Lyon to get the most out of them. As Kumble said, they have kept finding solutions to all the situations that have come up. India would hope he continues with his rich vein of form against Australia as well.
"They have all achieved quite a bit and someone like Ashwin is the fastest to reach 250 wickets in Test history, that's something which is awesome", he said. But in current circumstances, on the testing tour to India, he will be expected to step up and take the vital No. 3 spot. I am looking at this as a chance to pass knowledge to some, especially the younger spinners who have not toured here before. Most of the senior players were injured but Taylor was in no mood to give up that easily.