Aussies’ IPL knowledge won’t matter, says Robin
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.