Mumbai:It may not have the aura of an Ashes but an India-Australia cricket series is no less compelling, feels retired Aussie wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.
Gilchrist said if the Ashes has the long history of a famous rivalry, the competition between Australia and India has evolved into its own special status.
"It has been a fantastic series in the past 10 to 12 years whenever the two teams have locked horns. It has lived up to the tag of an iconic series. As far as history goes the Ashes are important but this (India vs Australia) has its own status," he said.
Gilchrist predicted the upcoming India-Australia Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy would be a hard fought one though the visiting side is "relatively inexperienced".
"The (Australian) team this time is relatively inexperienced but it does not mean they don't know the conditions here. They should do well," said Gilchrist who was in the city as a brand ambassador for the Australian Wollongong University.
"Cricket Australia has been sending A teams and other teams to India over the years purely to allow cricketers gain experience about conditions here.
"India though would be a tough opponent since they are one of the most experienced teams in world cricket with an exciting fast bowling attack and an experienced batting line-up," said Gilchrist who retired early this year after playing 96 Tests.
When asked about the alleged racism incident during the Sydney Test in India's tour of Australia affecting the upcoming series, Gilchrist said, "I don't think relations between India and Australia were damaged permanently due to the incident."
"I think the IPL came at the right time to ensure that relationships were mended," he said.
Speaking about Australian players to watch out for in the upcoming series, Gilchrist said captain Ricky Ponting was one of them since he had not performed to his potential in India.
"Shane Watson is also brimming with confidence after his stint in the IPL and fast bowlers Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson are also expected to do well," he said.
"Despite personal problems, Lee is a committed player and would do a good job. Johnson if he gets some reverse swing could also play a major role.
"New face Bryce McGain was also a good choice for the series. But don't compare him with Shane Warne. I have played once against him (McGain) and he got me out in both innings. I was very impressed with his control and discipline," Gilchrist said.