NEW DELHI: Terming series victory in India bigger than winning the Ashes is certainly a big statement coming straight from the Australian players few days before the start of the high-profile four-match Test series, starting in Nagpur on February 9, for the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Australia have not won a Test series on Indian soil since 2004. India, on the other hand, would look to maintain their dominance having emerged victorious on their previous two tours to the country.
In a video uploaded by cricket.com.au, the members of the current Australian team spoke their heart out about the challenges of playing in India.
Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc, who will miss the first Test due to injury, said a series win in India has always been a crown jewel for the visiting Australian teams.
"Winning a series in India will be really special for our group. I think it has always been a crown jewel for Australian touring teams. It's one of, if not the hardest place to play away under such foreign conditions and how strong the Indian team are as well.
"On one side you got all this history of the Ashes and then you have this tour of India which has been for many Australian teams out of reach."
"If we could win an away India tour and an away Ashes that would be a unique opportunity to do this year," Starc said.
Star Aussie player Steve Smith reckons victory in India is bigger than an Ashes series.
"It's a difficult place to win a Test match let alone a series. So, if we are able to do that, it would be huge. I think if you win in India it is bigger than an Ashes series," Smith said.
Opener Warner said he is looking forward to playing against the best spinners in the world.
"Being a part of the last Ashes was fantastic but to go to India and beat India in India is the toughest challenge in Test cricket for us.
"I'm looking forward to the tour, it's always a hard graft. One thing that I'm looking forward to is applying myself against the best spinners in the world," Warner added.
"Probably the last thing to tick off is to win a series in India and in England. It has been long since Australia won there or less frequently they have won. In world cricket that's everyone's goal - to try and win in India," Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood said
Australian skipper Pat Cummins is looking forward to the opportunity to win the series in India.
"Winning a series in India is like an Ashes away series but even more rare. It will be a career highlight, era defining series if we win out there," Cummins said.