PUNE (DNA): Darren Lehmann, the Australian coach, believes his team has to play flawlessly to defeat India in the upcoming four-Test series starting on February 23 in Pune.
Australia has a nightmarish record in the subcontinent having not won a Test in India since famously winning 2-1 in 2004, a series Lehmann was part of.
Compounding the difficulty, India has only lost one Test series since then, a 2-1 defeat to England in 2012.
Lehmann said Australia would have to play near perfect cricket to achieve a major upset. “Everything’s going to have to go right, that’s a simple fact of life,” he said on Tuesday (February 7). “You’ve got to be really methodical, well prepared.
Which they will be. We have to hold every catch, we fielded unbelievably (in 2004).
“And we batted big, that’s the key … you got to put pressure on them,” he added.
Lehmann has publically stated that Australia needs to bat 150 overs in order to be competitive, a task he believed would be the most challenging.
“We’re not fearing getting the 20 wickets, we’ve just got to put enough scoreboard pressure on them,” he said.
“We’re going to have to pick up certain areas … playing a world-class side like India is going to be tough.
“You’ve got to bat well …that’s going to be the challenge,” he added.
Lehmann said the Australian team has been studying video analysis of India’s players as part of their preparation ahead of the arduous tour.
“They’ve been doing that for a while. The lads are pretty good with that sort of stuff now, they’ve had that on file now for probably two or three months,” he said.
“We just have to play pressure cricket for five days. Any away tour is really tough … for us, subcontinent tours are the frontier if you like.
“It (winning) would mean a hell of a lot to a young group,” he added.
At the core of Australia’s success in 2004 was a stunning performance from batsman Damien Martyn, who scored two centuries in the four-Test series. It followed Matthew Hayden’s astounding career breakthrough in 2001, where he plundered 549 runs at 110 in Australia’s narrow 2-1 series loss.
Lehmann believed Australia needed a batsman to have a similar type of heroic series. “We hope we have a Martyn or Hayden type series from someone,” he said. “If we do that, we’ll make enough runs.”
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