Farokh Engineer backs India to do well Down Under; dubs Australia as 'ordinary side'
In the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, India must grab the opportunity to win their maiden Test series against an “ordinary” Australia, former stumper Farokh Engineer said on Tuesday.
After drawing the Twenty20 series 1-1, India and Australia will be locked in a four-Test series, beginning in Adelaide on December 6.
“Australia have got two big names missing (Steve) Smith and (David) Warner. When you take two big names out of an (playing) XI, the team is weakened considerably,” Engineer.
“India will never have a better chance of beating Australia. Australia are a pretty ordinary team at the moment, without these two people (Smith and Warner) and we should make the best of this opportunity,” 80-year-old Engineer told reporters here at the Parsee Gymkhana.
Smith and Warner are facing a year-long ban after their involvement in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.
Stressing that India have an all-round side, Engineer said the team was playing good cricket and they should defeat the hosts.
“India are playing very good cricket, we have a great captain in Virat Kohli, he is doing superbly well. We have got a good all-round side, good pace bowlers, good spinners, so let’s take advantage of that and beat Australia in Australia, which we should be doing and we will be doing, God willing,” added Engineer, who played 46 Test matches for India.
Engineer was speaking after announcing that the second edition of ‘1886 Trophy’ — a match between Surrey and an all-Parsee team — that will be held here on December 1.
India are touring Australia with experienced Parthiv Patel and rookie Rishbah Pant as their two-wicket keepers in the squad and Engineer backed the Gujarat player to play in Test matches.
Asked who is better among the two, Engineer said, “Well I would go for a youngster. Rishabh Pant has shown lot of promise in batting. Parthiv is still fit. I think the best keeper should play Test match, ODI cricket a better batsman (can play). Rishabh is certainly my choice for ODIs but for a Test someone like Parthiv will be better, although he is 35”.