‘Take no prisoners’: India’s warning for Australia
India warn they will take no prisoners against a battling Australia this summer as they attempt to end more than 70 years of frustration down under.
Fronting the media in Brisbane, coach Ravi Shastri insisted he didn't believe Australia had lost their aura in the fallout over the ball-tampering scandal, at least not when playing at home.
But he said his team would show no mercy as they strive to silence critics of their overseas form and claim a first Test series win in Australia. India begin their tour with a three-match T20 international series against Australia starting at the Gabba on Wednesday.
But they already have one eye on the four-Test series starting in Adelaide on December 6.
India appear to have their best chance to clinch a historic Test series win in Australia, a feat that has eluded them since they first clashed down under in 1947.
In fact, India have won just five of their 44 Tests played in Australia. Asked if Australia had lost their aura, Shastri said on Sunday: "I don't think so.
"I always believe no team is weak at home.
"We might have three or four players not playing when a team comes to India but God forbid if anyone says it is a weak Indian team because you will be surprised.
"We will be taking no prisoners but are focusing on our game rather than what is happening outside."
India have found it tough to win overseas, a trend that continued with recent Test series losses away to South Africa (2-1) and England (4-1). But Shastri bristled when their away form was questioned, saying no team had consistently won away from home in recent years.
Asked if it was a "make or break" away series for India, Shastri said: "Not really.
"The endeavour is to get better when you go overseas but there aren't too many sides over the last five or six years who have travelled well.
"Why pick on India?" Shastri insisted they had learned from their series losses away this year. "It's about seizing the moment. If you look at those Test matches (overseas), the scoreline doesn't really tell you the whole story," he said.
"There were some very tight Test matches and we lost some big moments badly which cost us the series.
"It could have been just an hour in a session over four days which made all the difference - you have to learn from that."