Cricket-Australia still favourites, says India's Rahane
Many pundits have tipped India to end their 70-year wait for a first test series triumph in Australia after their top batsmen Smith and Warner were banned for a year in the aftermath of March's ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Rahane, however, was keen to throw the pressure of expectation back on the hosts when the much-anticipated series gets underway in Adelaide on Thursday, and scoffed when he was asked whether Australia would be ripe for the picking.
"Not really," the India vice-captain told reporters at Adelaide Oval.
"We are not going to take them lightly at all. Yes, they (will) miss Steve Smith and David Warner but I don't think they are vulnerable.
"You see their bowling attack, they've got a really good bowling attack, and I think to win test matches, you need to have a really good bowling attack. So I feel that Australia are really still the favourites."
India still lost the series 2-0, however, and the 30-year-old suggested the players had learned the importance of contributing to the team effort on that trip.
"When you do well as a team, you feel really good," he added.
"This is a team sport ... and it is the job of each and every bat to contribute for the team. And I think it's important that we get those long partnerships together, in Australia that will really help us a lot."
Rahane and Kohli did that in the Boxing Day test on the last tour, putting together a fourth-wicket stand of 262 in India's first innings with scores of 147 and 169 respectively while illustrating their different approaches to the game.
"Last time here, we really enjoyed batting together a lot, especially at the MCG," Rahane recalled.
"I was able to focus on my game, I still attacked but I was completely the opposite to Virat."
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, Editing by Peter Rutherford)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)