Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly confirmed India's big tour to Australia later this year. Virat Kohli and Co. are scheduled to play four Test matches in Australia in December-January. The Aussies will take on India with the opener on December 3 at the Gabba, a venue where the hosts have won 31 consecutive games dating back to 1988, the longest active unbeaten streak in Tests at a particular venue.
Ganguly, however, said that he hopes the quarantine period for the Indian team when they arrive in Australia for their scheduled tour later in the year is reduced.
"We have confirmed that tour. In December we will be coming. We just hope the number of quarantine days get reduced a bit because we don't want the players to go all that far and sit in hotel rooms for two weeks. It is very, very depressing and disappointing," Ganguly told India Today.
"And, as I said, Australia and New Zealand have been in good positions except Melbourne. So from that point of view, we will be going there and hopefully, the quarantine days will be less and we can get back to cricket."
West Indies, who are currently involved in a three-day Test series against England, had spent 14 days in quarantine upon their arrival in the United Kingdom. Pakistan, who are England's next opponents in the summer, also spent 14 days in quarantine after arriving in the country.
Team India registered its first-ever Test series win in Australia the last time they toured the country in 2018/19. However, the Australian side was still reeling from the aftermath of the 2018 ball-tampering scandal and were without star batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner. The pair have made their comeback since then and while Smith scored a mind-numbing 774 runs in the 2019 Ashes, Warner came back to form in Test cricket by scoring 335 off 418 balls against Pakistan later in the year.
Ganguly felt that India will be facing a different Australian side but believes that they still stand a chance because of how good they have been over the past few years.
"It is going to be a tough series. It is not going to be what it was two years back. It is going to be a strong Australia but our team is as good," he said.
"We have the batting, we have the bowling. We just need to bat better. The best teams overseas bat well.
"When we were so successful in England, in Australia, in Pakistan we were getting 400-500-600 in Test matches. I said that to Virat as well."
Ganguly said that the series will be more important to Kohli's tenure as captain of the side than the World Cup.
"Because you are Virat Kohli your standards are high. When you walk out to play, when you walk out with your team, I, watching on TV, don't expect you to just play well against Australia. I expect you to win. So you have to live up to the standards. For his captaincy tenure this will be a milestone series - more than the World Cup," said the former India captain.
(With IANS Inputs)