Australia batsman Michael Hussey doffed his hat to in-form Gautam Gambhir and had no hesitation admitting that the visitors will be happy if the banned left-hander is not allowed to play the fourth and final Test, starting in Nagpur on Thursday.
Gambhir was handed a one-Test ban for elbowing Shane Watson but the India opening batsman decided to appeal against the punishment.
According to International Cricket Council regulations, Gambhir can play pending the hearing of his appeal, to be heard by Justice Albie Sach, but Hussey and his teammates are hoping that the left-hander will eventually miss the match.
"We're sort of hoping he'll miss the last Test but I think he'll still play pending his appeal," Hussey said.
"A process has been set in motion but if he is unable to play, it will certainly help us," he added.
Hussey likened Gambhir to Australia's retired opener Justin Langer and said the Delhi batsman hurt them most.
"He reminds me a lot of Justin Langer, small and punchy little character but knows his game very well, lets the ball come onto the bat, glides it through the offside well and works it off his pads. He's a very good player and probably someone who's exceeded our expectations about how well he's played," Hussey said of Gambhir, who is the leading run-scorer in the series so far.
Hussey, however, felt that Gambhir was itching to pick up a fight with any of the Australian players to get into a fighting mindset.
"He looks around for it (chat) to be honest. It hasn't been a plan of ours to go at him and talk or whatever. But he does go around the field looking to engage certain players and looking to get involved and that sort of thing," Hussey said.
"So maybe that is part of his character, looking for a clash to try to pump himself up a bit more. He's always looking to engage, not so much 'good day, how are you going', but an intense look and it's quite funny really," Hussey said.
The Australians, meanwhile, were upset after they could not train in the ground where the Test match will be played and Hussey did not hide his disappointment."I am someone who likes to get into the ground as early as possible, get gear set-up and all that sort of stuff, go out in the middle and have a look around because there are lots of distractions, every ground is different, so it's nice to become accustomed with those before you head out to play," he said.