Melbourne: Every team is strong and favourite in its own backyard, therefore, to judge which team is better between India and Australia, the two teams should play on neutral venue, former cricketer Dean Jones has suggested. The former Australian batsman said the bouncy and fast pitches will always suit Australian and India would be hard to defeat on rank turners in Asian countries, so a battle on a neutral and balanced track would spell out the correct judgement.
India are leading the on-going four-match series 2-0 after thrashing the visitors in Chennai and Hyderabad. Jones said two venues - Kensington Oval in Barbados and Auckland - are the best for the contest.
"If a match was to be played at Kensington Oval, Barbados, that would be a lot more interesting. This pitch favours the quicks early, but gets lower and spins from day three. This venue would be a ripper to decide on who is the better team," Jones wrote in his column for 'Sydney Morning Herald.'
"Australia's record here is four wins from 11 matches - commendable, considering most of the matches were played against the greatest sporting team of all time. While India have not won a Test match here, I feel their attack would worry the Aussies. India need to bat first here and bat well to win. I still feel the Australian attack would cause problems here, especially if the tide comes in when they bowl. The ball seems to go everywhere when that happens," he wrote.
Jones talks about a dozen other venues such as Lord's , Johannesburg, Harare, Dhaka and Colombo but said one or the other suits either Australia or India. So he spoke of Auckland as the other venue, which could help in deciding the better team.
"Playing in Auckland would also be an interesting Test. The Aussies have won four matches from seven Tests here, while India have won two from four. Again, batting well in the first innings should help India on this pitch as it will spin later in the match," he writes.
"The Australians, of late, have been struggling with the swinging ball and Zaheer Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could cause some headaches here. I still think Australia would win here, although it's India's best chance of a win outside the subcontinent," he added.
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