They maybe a far cry from the talented bunch they once used to be but the current Australian side touring India for the upcoming limited-overs series cannot be taken lightly considering their Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions League T20 experience, feels star batsman Rohit Sharma.
Rohit's belief stemmed from the Australian cricketers' familiarity with Indian conditions and players due to the IPL and Champions League and cautioned the hosts to guard against complacency while taking on the visitors in the lone Twenty20 and seven-match ODI rubber.
"They are a very competitive side with most of their players having featured in the IPL and Champions League. They know the Indian conditions well. We can't get complacent against them. Australia on any given day are a very dangerous side," Rohit told PTI in an interview.
The series starts with a one-off Twenty20 International on Thursday in Rajkot.
Rohit differed from the view that Australia have arrived in India with the least experienced squad and rated their batsmen as "match winners".
"They are still a very competitive side. Their batters are match winners. We have to be at our best against them." Australia would be playing without their regular skipper Michael Clarke, who has opted out of the series due to a low back injury, and Rohit said the visitors would definitely "miss his experience".
Rohit also rubbished former Australian captain Ian Chappell's views that the upcoming ODI series has been "badly-timed" and will dent the team's morale by exposing its "glaring" batting frailties on spin-friendly tracks.
"I don't agree with his views. For me, every series is important whenever it is played. India-Australia series is always important for cricketers from both sides. The last thing a player, a sports person wants is to sit back at home and not playing the game," he said.
With each fielding team given two new balls to be used in alternate overs, one at each end, Sharma said it would make the job of openers a lot more responsible.
"You need to be cautious with the new ball upfront. You have to plan your strategy accordingly. The shot selection becomes important for you as an opener, like what shots you have to play, which areas you have to go after. The new rules are more helpful to bowlers," he said.