The four-match Test series between India and Australia starting February 22.
New Delhi: Sparks fly whenever India and Australia clash on the cricket field but Adam Gilchrist does not see the need to curb the aggression as he feels "heated confrontations" are actually a mark of respect to the rival.
"(It's) a great rivalry and I think when it gets so aggressive in the sporting arena, it's a sign of respect. You feel threatened by an opponent so you play harder and it might lead to heated confrontation," Gilchrist said while talking about the four-match Test series starting February 22.
"...that's a sign of ultimate respect...but I have learnt that what might be acceptable in one culture might be frowned upon in another," he added. Gilchrist said India's recent poor Test run, including the recent home debacle against England, can be seen as an opening for the Australians, who are also enduring a transition phase. All top two-three teams in the world are evenly matched. They can beat anyone on any given day. England have challenged India here so there is an opening here for Australia. I am sure it would be a terrific series ," Gilchrist said.
"India has always been a difficult place to tour for any cricket nation," added the 41-year-old, who was here for the launch of an app-based magazine that celebrates trade and cultural relations between the two countries. Gilchrist said over the years, the visiting Australian sides have focussed primarily on fast-bowling even though spinners hold the key in Indian conditions.
"Spin component is always important in India. Back in 2004, Shane Warne played a huge part but we had an attack more focussed on pace bowling and utilising the condition. It will be interesting to see what Australian team is selected and how they cope in these very trying conditions," he said.
On old Australian nemesis Sachin Tendulkar, who is in the twilight of international career, Gilchrist said the Indian great's retirement would be a significant moment not only for his fans here but also Down Under.
"The respect and admiration for him is unchallenged in world cricket. The order of merit for him late last year signifies the manner in which he is held in Australia. If indeed it turns out to be his last series or whenever the time come he finishes, there will be a great deal of respect paid to him from Australia," he said.
Speaking about the the app Australia unlimited, Gilchrist said, "It's a wonderful magazine promoting strong relationship being forged and collaborative research and development efforts between companies and institutes moving into the future."