Aussies’ IPL knowl­edge won’t mat­ter, says Robin

Sport360 - - Rugby Rugby Championship - By Den­zil Pinto @denz_360 den­

For­mer In­dia all-rounder Robin Singh has dis­missed Michael Clarke’s claims that the IPL ex­pe­ri­ence will give Aus­tralia the edge and is con­fi­dent that In­dia will “walk away with the ODI se­ries”.

Last week, for­mer Aus­tralia skip­per Clarke backed the tourists to up­set the 1983 and 2011 World Cup cham­pi­ons, say­ing their time dur­ing the IPL will play a key role.

A ma­jor­ity of Aus­tralia’s 14-man squad, in­clud­ing cap­tain Steven Smith and David Warner, played in the IPL this year. How­ever, Singh, who played 136 ODIs, in­sists that will have no bear­ing on the fi­nal re­sult.

“It cer­tainly gives them hope but if you look at it the other way round, then a lot of In­dian crick­eters played with them be­fore,” Singh, 54, told Sport360°.

“That be­ing said, In­dia know ex­actly what they are ca­pa­ble of do­ing. But to beat In­dia in In­dia is very tough. Aus­tralia have strug­gled against most teams in the past.

“It won’t be a one-sided se­ries and Aus­tralia cer­tainly won’t be go­ing there to lose. But I think In­dia will walk away with the se­ries and I can’t see Aus­tralia beat­ing In­dia.”

Prior to the 5-0 se­ries white­wash in Sri Lanka last month, Kohli spoke on the im­por­tance of ex­per­i­ment­ing with an eye on the 2019 World Cup in Eng­land. The BCCI kept faith with the ma­jor­ity of the play­ers with pac­ers Mo­hammed Shami and Umesh Ya­dav re­called in the 16-man squad.

“It’s the per­fect time to ex­per­i­ment,” said Singh, who will take charge of Bloem City Blaz­ers in the South African T20 Global League later this year as coach.

“There’s still a long way to go. They have been a pretty suc­cess­ful team and I wouldn’t say they are us­ing the se­ries just as an ex­per­i­ment. I think it’s about us­ing it as an op­por­tu­nity for crick­eters.”

One man who has seen it all with the In­dian team is MS Dhoni. The 36-year-old looks cer­tain to add to his 301 ODI caps to­day but ques­tions are be­ing asked whether he will last un­til 2019, when he will be 38.

Head coach Ravi Shas­tri re­it­er­ated that Dhoni will be on the plane to Eng­land in 2019 and Singh be­lieves it’s un­fair that a player who cap­tained the team to 2011 World Cup, 2007 World Twenty20 and 2013 Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy glory is fac­ing such ques­tions.

“You know peo­ple have been say­ing this for years,” said Singh, who will open his RS Sports Academy in Dubai later this month.

“If you’ve played the game long enough and if you still have the ap­petite, the mind­set and the willpower then it’s very dif­fi­cult to tell your­self when you should stop. He is still a per­former. That can only be his call. If some­body starts say­ing that he should go then it’s un­fair.”

Fa­mil­iar foes: Aus­tralian play­ers have a wealth of IPL ex­pe­ri­ence.

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