Melbourne:It is something Ricky Ponting and his teammates would not admit but one of their selectors, Jamie Cox, does not have any qualms in declaring that a Test tour of India is the only competition where the Australians start as underdogs.
The first of the four-match Test series begins in Bangalore tomorrow and Cox feels the Australians face a daunting task to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy which they won last summer.
"It's the only tour we still go into as underdogs," he said.
Cox said it would be absolutely remarkable if Australia could win the series, simply because the conditions were so different to the ones Down Under.
"Regardless of how well we're travelling, it still will be a remarkable performance for us to go over there and win because of the conditions there.
"It's very, very tough for us to go there and turn up and be competitive after just one game," Cox was quoted as saying by the 'Australian Associated Press'.
Cox also welcomed the aggression and passion that is generated when the teams clash, but hoped it would remain within permissible limits.
"That adds to the flavour, that actually gets people excited about the cricket," he said.
"I hope it is a really keenly contested series and I'm sure it will be, with just that little bit of aggro, little bit of niggle ... I think that adds to the contest.
"So long as it sticks within the boundaries, and it generally does, it just adds to everything."