New Delhi: Australia is all set to face India in a 4 match Test series starting on 23rd February and the stakes are high for both teams. While Australia will look to turn their fortunes around in sub-continental conditions, the verbal volleys have already started before the Australian XI prepares to get ready for the warm-up game on Friday.Former Captain Sourav Ganguly has recently said that India would go on to beat Australia by a 4-0 margin and the visitors will struggle to cope with the Indian conditions.Former Aussie captain Steve Waugh was not far behind and responded to Sourav’s claim by saying that it would be foolish to write off a side with a dead defensive bat.
"It's foolish to write a side off like that. I think anything can happen. India hasn't seen a lot of our players. I believe (Mitchell) Starc is the best quick bowler in the world and (Josh) Hazlewood is right up there. The spinners - jury's out a bit there but Lyon is a very good competitor," Steve, one of Laureus ambassadors, told the Indian media in Monaco on Tuesday."Sourav is a bit optimistic and I'll challenge him on the quote that Australia is going to be beaten 4-0," he added.The former Australian captain though was quick to admit that this is one of the strongest Indian side in many years led by sensational off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.The Tamil Nadu spinner was the quickest to 250 wickets in Test cricket and reached this landmark against Bangladesh in the last match."Ashwin is like the (Don) Bradman of bowling at the moment. His record is equivalent to what Bradman did with batting and he's a pretty handy batsman as well. He's the player I think we have to overcome if we can do that we have a chance," the 51-year-old from New South Wales said.Steve waugh believes Australia can't win the series without being positive. "You go to India and you have to be positive, England should have won that first Test and from then the momentum totally changed. If things start going against you it's really hard to change the tide, you got to stay calm under pressure," Steve, who scored 10,927 Test runs at an average of over 51, said.Steve, who played for Australia in 168 Tests, is one of the few batsman who averaged more in away Test - 55.85 - than at home (47.58). That's why it surprises him that teams are struggling to perform in overseas Tests."Everyone's form away from home has been dismal and I don't know why that is. Everyone plays a lot around the world, we have neutral umpires, no excuses not to play well away from home. I always used to enjoy playing overseas and felt there was less pressure, away from all the expectations of friends and family as well, you can tend to relax when you are playing away from home," he said about playing overseas.Waugh feels the one player who will probably give a headache or two to Virat Kohli is none other than David Warner who has been in an unreal form off late."Warner is an amazing player. He's changing the way opening batting is looked at and he's really defining the role. But he's going to be facing Ashwin in the first or second over every time and I don't think there is going to be two opening pace bowlers coming against him. Indian crowds are in for a treat because he is an amazing player to watch," Waugh felt.Waugh who led Australia in 57 Tests also feels that the team is now thriving under the able leadership of Virat Kohli."In Indian conditions they are very hard to beat. Kohli's leadership is contagious and players rally around him. Virat feels like they can do anything. He's a big like a warrior and feels like he can do anything. This new Team India can achieve anything," Waugh said.