The India-Australia encounters have the most intense rivalry in world cricket and as top stars reach the climax of their careers, it will only get tougher. It would also be a mouthwatering prospect to see some young guns fall straight into the firing line. Here are the top 10 players to look forward to in the series Down Under.
If words haven't fallen short already, here's a brief view of what the Master Blaster carries to the Australia Test series; 184 Test matches, 15183 runs and 51 hundreds. But as it has been the case with every match after the World Cup, the more significant number will be 99; the number of international centuries that the Master Blaster has scored.
'A tiger is at its most dangerous when wounded'; Ricky Ponting's contention for the Australian side is being doubted for the first time in over a decade but the right-handed batsman may prove be the most dangerous for the Indians Down Under. Punter, who has over 12,000 runs in Test cricket, has already scored 6 hundreds in the 25 matches he has played against India with a highest score of 257.
Off the field he demands respect; on the field, he just acquires it. From dazzling the world in Adelaide in 2003/04 to filling up as an opener in 2007/08, Rahul Dravid has seen the best and worst of India Down Under and remains to be the most trusted batsman in the glorious line-up.
Michael Clarke was one of the few youngsters who could endure the rotation policy during Australia's tenure at the top of world cricket and how he has made it count. 'The pup' has outgrown his nickname to become the very heart of the Australian batting line-up.
Four years ago he was a surprise selection, today he is the most obvious choice. If Virender Sehwag can score 219 in a 50-over game, the destruction he can cause in Test cricket stretches beyond imagination.
Known to be an explosive batsman, David Warner was always suppressed under the impression of a batsman made for the limited overs version. All changed for him in the second Test against New Zealand which saw him carrying his bat to score a battling century which almost took the hosts to a series win.
There's a reason why VVS Laxman is so highly rated in the Australian cricket community; 'Very very special' Laxman averages over 54 in Test matches played in Australia and has been at the centre of attraction, not just for the runs but also for his flamboyant style.
There are some players who just get stuck in the task and take the game away even before the opposition sees them as a threat; Michael Hussey is one of them. It doesn't take much for things to fall in place for Mr. cricket and more often than not, they do at the most crucial occasions.
Returning from injury, Zaheer Khan did not show the deadly accuracy he is associated with in the practice matches. But with his reputation, the Australians can be sure that they will not have an easy time on the pitch with the new ball in the hand of the canny left arm bowler.
Fourteen wickets in two Test matches is quite a convincing number for the 21-year old who has made the most of a gaping hole in the Australian bowling line-up. Pattinson averages just 14.00 and his stint in first class cricket under local conditions could prove to be a surprise package for the Indians.
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