Melbourne: Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc, now nursing an injury back home, on Wednesday said India are afraid of defeat at the hands of Australia after the first Test debacle in Pune.
India and Australia have won a match each in the four-match series, with one to go in Dharamsala, scheduled to begin on Saturday. The series has not only witnessed some terrific performances but also some controversies.
However, Australia have won over many fans and critics alike by performing way above the expectations.
"It's probably come a lot more from their side than ours. There's been a lot made of it before the series, there was so much hype before the series, and I think we've gone about the cricket as we have done for a long time now. As a young group, we're probably still finding our way. We're still learning about each other's games and how we're going as a team probably since the Hobart Test match (last year)," Starc was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
"It's probably showed in how the guys have been playing their cricket, especially the way they batted (in the third Test Ranchi ). A couple of young guys performed outstandingly well, (like) Peter Handscomb. It shows who we are as a group and things have come hard, and it's almost a defensive mechanism for them that we won the first Test match, we're here for the challenge.
"They were scared of us, beating them in India the way they've been playing as well. So it was almost a defensive mechanism for them and obviously they come out in the second Test match, performed really well and got back into it."
Starc revealed details about 20-year old Matt Renshaw who is in India for the first time, saying he talks like a 35-year old and loves his batting.
"The more time he spends out in the middle the less time we have to listen to him. He's different but he's a lovely kid. Loves his cricket, just loves batting - so I think that's obviously shown in how he's gone about his cricket in India," Starc said.
"His first trip there, he's learning -- he's probably not eating the right things, being sick all the time -- but he's performing quite well. He says some strange things, he comes up with some strange theories. He talks a load about (Don) Bradman and whether he scored those runs. He keeps talking about bats these days. He talks like he's 35."
On his foot fracture that he suffered during the second Test, Starc said it was not serious.
"The foot is okay. It's not snapped in half like the one 18 months go. It's the same foot, so I did the third metatarsal the last time, this is the fourth. Nice fracture. It's not displaced though," he said.
"I don't need a boot fortunately. I'm still in the gym getting myself ready for when I do come back whenever that might be. I see the specialist on Thursday and hopefully get a clearer picture then. But the Champions Trophy is clearly not out of the picture."
On the Dharamsala Test, which is the final frontier for both teams after the series is locked 1-1, Starc said the visitors can win.
"I think we can win. We've showed throughout the series that we're definitely up for the challenge," he said.
"We're in the fight -- we have been for three Test matches. We can knuckle down when we need to but we can attack when we want to and we can."