Kolkata:Former New Zealand all-rounder Craig McMillan feels Australia no more have the same aura of invincibility and says India will be the firm favourites in the upcoming four-Test series beginning in Bangalore on October 9.
The captain of Indian Cricket League (ICL) Kolkata Tigers team, McMillan, said Australia were yet to fill up the big void left by Shane Warne and in the absence of a good spin attack it will be a tough series from the tourists point of view.
"The Australians have come with a big weakness. In home conditions, I feel it will be tough for them to bowl out the Indians. With the inexperienced spinners, there is a big question mark over them to take 20 wickets. India are the favourites," the 32-year-old said.
Aussies' weak link in the spin department was exposed in the four-day practice match against Board President's XI when debutant off-spinner Jason Krejza finished with an economy rate of six-plus in the first innings and almost seven in the second essay.
In absence of McGain, part-time left-arm spinner Michael Clarke was no better conceding 84 runs from 17 overs and both the tweakers went wicketless.
"The team does not have the same aura. Other teams are getting closer to them. Indians have a very good bowling attack in their spin duo of (Anil) Kumble and Harbhajan (Singh)," McMillan said.
But the New Zealander here in India for the second ICL season hoped that Australian captain Ricky Ponting do some amend to his skewed record in the Indian sub-continent.
"He is a very determined batsman... and I won't be surprised to see him notch up one or two centuries in the series to make up for his poor record here," McMillan said.
The Australian captain's batting average in India matches that of a tail-ender with 12.28 from eight Tests. Having made his first appearance in the country in 1996 with Mark Taylor's team, Ponting has failed to spin with just 172 runs with one half-century in 14 Test innings on Indian soil.
Rubbishing talk of the retirement theory for the ageing Team India batsmen, McMillan said, "Age is not a factor for performance. It's all rubbish that the senior batsmen should pave the way for the youngsters. You need experience for Test batsmen. In Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, they have a depth in batting."