Mike Hussey believes the hostile Australian conditions are bound to test any batsmen in the world, but the former cricketer has no doubts about the "ability and temperament" of Rohit Sharma, who according to him has the skills to excel at the top of the order during India's tour Down Under later this year.
India are all set to tour Australia for a four-match Test series, starting December 3 at Gabba, Brisbane followed by a pink-ball Test in Adelaide and the Boxing Day and New Year's Test in MCG and Sydney, respectively.
During the series, all eyes would be on Rohit, who had scored three hundreds including a double ton against South Africa at home in his debut series as Test opener last October. He, however, missed two games in New Zealand due to a calf injury.
"It's going to test any batsman in the world, but I think because he's (Rohit) played a lot of One-Day cricket batting at the top of the order, and now he's been having some success with the red ball game as well, that'll give him confidence coming in," Hussey said in a chat show on Sony Ten's Pit Stop.
He was, in fact, part of the 2018/19 Test series Down Under, but had batted at No.6 in Adelaide opener and then in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, scoring 37 and 1, and 63* and 5, respectively.
"I have no doubt in my mind that he's got the ability and the skill and the temperament, to be able to handle it."
The former Australia left-handed batsman said the key for Rohit would be adaptability to the Australian conditions.
"I think he would adapt. No, worries at all of his batting at the top of the order. It will be challenging in Australian conditions against the top quality bowling attack with pace and bounce," Hussey said.
With India looking to end their long-standing opening conundrum, the management tested Rohit at the top of the order given his success at the position in limited-overs cricket while also keeping the Virender Sehwag strategy in mind. And the results were impressive. In his debut appearance as an opener, he scored 176 and 127 against South Africa in Vishakhapatnam before pulling off a record-scripting 212 in Rachi against Faf du Plessis' men. Overall, he has scored 556 runs in six innings with three centuries one of which is a double ton while averaging 92.66.
(with PTI inputs)