Melbourne:India's incoming coach Gary Kirsten has predicted his batsmen will look to exploit the uncertainty surrounding Australia's spinning position during the four-Test series this summer.
Speaking to Australian daily The Age, Kirsten said the uncertainty surrounding Stuart MacGill's availability, coupled with the relative Test-match inexperience of his would-be replacement Brad Hogg, could prove a boost for the tourists.
"They've obviously had Shane Warne there for many years, and he was able to fill a lot of jobs for them, most notably his ability to strike and take wickets in all conditions and situations," Kirsten said.
"Now there is a possibility that Australia may play an inexperienced spinner, and I'm sure the Indian batsmen will look to put pressure on whoever that turns out to be.
"If India can do that successfully, Australia could play into the visitors' hands. They have got a good record against Australia, and I think the guys are feeling pretty confident heading into the series,"
Kirsten, though, was wary of making any boastful predictions against the world champions, whom he played against on 18 occasions in the Test arena, losing 10 of those matches.
"I'm always very wary of an Australian team that seems to have a few holes in it," he said.
"They have plenty of depth, and in a lot of cases have the players to replace those who have left. Someone like Hogg is a good example, having played a lot of one-day cricket, and he could do a good job. Still, there seems to be uncertainty there, so you have to look at it."