The last time India toured Australia in 2018-19, they registered a historic 2-1 Test series win Down Under.
India pacer Jasprit Bumrah was one of the key architects of that series win. He scalped 21 wickets and was the joint-highest wicket-taker along with spinner Nathon Lyon in the series.
With a splendid performance in IPL 2020, where he scalped 27 wickets and was the second highest wicket-taker after Delhi Capitals pacer Kagiso Rabada, the expectations from Bumrah are even higher this time around.
Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood, who was part of that series where his side were beaten by India, also admitted that Bumrah would be the player to watch-out for.
“Bumrah is probably the standout. He is unique with his action. He maintains pace very well throughout the day, and the whole series. He is probably the key. He can take wickets upfront or with the old ball. I guess it’s about getting lot of overs into him, try to tire him out in the first couple of games. That will be the key,” Hazlewood said.
The Australian pacer, who took 13 wickets in the last series against India, also admitted that over the last couple of years Indian pacers have improved drastically.
“They out-bowled us the last time they came. That went a long way for them in winning the series. They have most bases covered with their quicks. If Ishant Sharma gets here at some point it will add to their strength.
“They are all a little bit different. For the last 10-15 years, Indian pacers have kept improving. Our batters will have to be on their toes to counter that.”
Hazlewood also equated the India-Australia rivalry to that of the Ashes.
“Australia-India rivalry is up there with the Ashes. India have probably added to it, the last time when they came here and won. That was some tight series.”
“We don’t lose too many series in Australia. That certainly hurt at the time. We know the guys who were in that time. I will remember that. It gives motivation this time around,” the pacer said.