A day after Virat Kohli and company departed for the tour of Australia, former Australian batsman Dean Jones believes that the visitors are firm favourites to clinch the series Down Under.

The former opening batsman also said that he expects Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to have a great series and that there is no reason why Kohli and brigade should not have a great time in Australia.

"I'm expecting Ashwin to have a ripper of a series. He had a good series last time India were here, and had he played in that first Test in Adelaide, India might have won the series," Jones told CricketCountry.

"How Australia play Ashwin and Kuldeep is going to be decisive"

R Ashwin
R AshwinNathan Stirk/Getty Images

'"India have a good chance, they've never won a Test series over here, and if they don't I would be surprised," he added.

Jones also said that a lot will depend on how Australia counter the threat of Indian spinners, especially Kuldeep Yadav and R Ashwin. He also advocated for the inclusion of Aaron Finch and Peter Handscomb in the playing XI as they are the best players of spin in the country.

"How Australia play Ashwin and Kuldeep is going to decisive, and that's why I think we have to have Handscomb and Finch, who are our best players of spin, available so they can counter them," Jones said. 

"Finch opened the innings, but he will bat at No 5 at home when India come over. We should have Marcus Harris into the side by then, he's scored the most runs in the last three Sheffield Shield seasons, which is phenomenal. Matt Renshaw will play and I think Usman [Khawaja] will bat at 3," he added.

As far as the Indian team is concerned, they appear to be favourites, more so in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner and the Indian captain has asked the batsmen to step up and be counted. 

Kohli wanted his batting group to perform as a unit and assist the bowlers who have been fantastic in the two series this year.