India have good chance of beating Australia: Ramiz Raja

With pitches not expected to be venomous, India have good chance of beating Australia: Ramiz Raja

Former Test opener says that Australia will want Tests that run full five days against India for viewership figures

Former Pakistan captain Pakistan Ramiz Raja believes that India have a "very good chance" of beating Australia again in the upcoming Test series as the hosts are unlikely to prepare venomous pitches for the high-profile series.

The series begins with a Day-Night Test in Adelaide from Dec. 17. "The pitches in Australia are no longer what they used to be some years back. I mean there is less bounce, sideways movement and they are less venomous," said Ramiz on the Cricket Baaz channel.

"And I think Australia will want to have full five-day Tests against India for viewership figures given their requirements."

Cricket Australia is banking heavily on the India series after incurring a huge financial loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Test opener pointed out that Cricket Australia needed to get an advantage from the India series and they know how important viewership and gate money is for them. "They are already complaints in Australia about the absence of Virat Kohli after the first test in Adelaide."

Ramiz said that Cricket Australia would want to see Test matches last five days and they will have pitches accordingly. "I think India has the batting line-up to tame Australia and plus, the Indian bowling has improved a lot and they have a very good attack now and Australia will have this in mind."

Ramiz said that India will obviously miss Rohit Sharma in the white-ball series as he is the "biggest" limited-overs batsman in the world now. Rohit, who is nursing a hamstring injury, will be available only for the Test series.

"Rohit is a match-winner and teams are scared of him. When teams huddle together before a batsman like Sharma arrives at the crease, it says a lot. Rohit’s absence is a big loss to India."

He also felt that while Pakistan had a 50-50 chance of winning the T20 series in New Zealand, the two Test matches would be tough challenge to get through.

Ramiz also backed the appointment of Babar Azam as Test captain, which makes the batsman the Pakistan captain across all three formats.