Pakistan cricket legend Wasim Akram feels Australia will be under pressure when they face world no.1 ranked India in the upcoming four-match Test series, starting in Adelaide on December 6.
The 52-year-old, widely regarded as the world's best left-arm fast bowler of all time, said Virat Kohli and his men are favourites to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against a "new-look" Australia. The hosts will be without former captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner, who are yet to come out of their 12-month ball-tampering bans.
"India are favourites to win in my opinion cause Australia isn't the team like they've had in the past 30 years. It's a new team, they're young and they will be under pressure against India," Akram told IndiaTV from Dubai.
Akram, however, refused to predict the outcome of the much-anticipated series.
"I can't predict the outcome of the series. It's happening in Australia, it's different, they're playing with the Kookaburra which the Indians aren't used to, they play with the SG, which has plenty of swing. It's an important series for India, for their batsmen and their bowlers as well," Akram added.
Considered as one of the greatest exponents of swing bowling, Akram also had a word of advice for the much-fancied visitors.
Akram opined that it will be tough for the Indian fast bowlers in Australia unless they get used to the Kookaburra ball.
"You got to practice with it (Kookaburra balls), use it in the nets, with the new and old ball and get to play with it in the side matches which I hope there should be because it's quite tough to go directly into a Test match without playing a practice match. They can understand the bounce and can understand the adjustment.
"The pitches have sand which will put pressure on the lower back, hamstring and groin.
"If the bowlers are not used to it, you'll risk getting injured. With the Kookaburra, after 15 to 20 overs, you come to know the skills of a bowler because it won't have any reverse swing which the Australians will take advantage of," he said.
"The bowlers get excited when they go there, they tend to throw a few short pitched deliveries which is what the Australian batsmen want. You got to keep the length and line normal, when they play the first and second Test, they'll get a hang of it."
Speaking on Kohli, the former Pakistan captain said he enjoys watching him bat and also likes the way he carries himself on the pitch as a leader.
"Virat Kohli is the superstar of cricket. He is very consistent. It's enjoyable to watch him not only in India, but on any pitch in the world, it's fun to watch him and his attitude. He's confident about scoring against any opposition and it shows as he works extremely hard. I think he got the idea about 8 years ago that he has to be physically fit to be mentally fit," he said.
(With Inputs From IndiaTV Sports Correspondent Vaibhav Bhola)