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Oliver Caffrey

Australia can end drought in India: Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist believes Pat Cummins' team is better placed than any Australia side since 2004 to secure the Border-Gavaskar trophy in India.

The legendary wicketkeeper famously led that Australia team, in the absence of injured captain Ricky Ponting, to a Test series win in India for the first time in 35 years.

This tour is Australia's fifth to India in the last 19 years but they have won just one Test match there since - in 2017.

However, Australia head into the first Test as the world's No.1 ranked team after losing just one match since Cummins became red-ball captain in November 2021.

India will be without injured quick Jasprit Bumrah and matchwinning wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who was seriously hurt in a car accident in December.

Gilchrist believes Australia can emulate the 'golden generation' team and breach what Steve Waugh often referred to as the 'final frontier'.

"There's not going to be anything easy and it's not going to be a walk in the park, but it is their best chance and I expect them to do really, really well," the Fox Cricket talent and commentator told AAP.

"The balance of their squad and how experienced the team is now is important."

Gilchrist pointed to similarities between this team and the 2004 squad having recent experiences playing in Asia.

Australia claimed a tense 1-0 victory in Pakistan last March and drew 1-1 against Sri Lanka across two Tests in Galle in July.

"They've had a number of tours to subcontinental countries to gain and learn from and that was what held us up in 2004," Gilchrist said.

"We were very well planned and prepared due to the experiences we had, both positive and negative, previously in the subcontinent.

"This group of players has built up that bank of knowledge and the skills that they have, so they have a very good chance of winning."

The series will begin on Thursday in Nagpur, the city where Australia wrapped up the 2004 series when Damien Martyn and Jason Gillespie played starring roles in a commanding 342-run win.

Coach Andrew McDonald and the selection panel have several selection headaches to contend with as experienced quicks Mitchell Starc (finger) and Josh Hazlewood (achilles) have already been ruled out with injury.

Allrounder Cameron Green remains a chance to play but will almost certainly not bowl until at least the second Test in Delhi after breaking his finger during the Boxing Day Test.

The injuries could pave the way for uncapped Victoria spinner Todd Murphy to partner Nathan Lyon, or Mitchell Swepson to play his first Test since July.

In 2004, Australia backed in their best bowlers to conquer India, relying on Shane Warne as their only frontline spinner.

"We completely changed our tactics, particularly at the start of our bowling innings, going away from the typically aggressive fields," Gilchrist said.

"We decided to start with one slip, maybe a catching midwicket, but with a deep backward square field and just attack the stumps, attack the pads and wait for the ball to start to go reverse.

"Shane became pretty much a holding bowler, where he just had to hold an end for us and not let the pressure ease and he did that brilliantly.

"It was a real step away from what traditionally Australian cricket teams did, to the point where we went on the defence to create an offence."

In a win for the many cricket-loving Indian fans based in Australia, a dedicated Hindi feed will be available for every match of the series through Kayo Sports.

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