Indian veteran pacer Zaheer Khan feels that the return of David Warner and Steven Smith will mean stiffer competition for India Down Under. He also added that the bowlers will decide the fate of the of the series be it ODIs, T20Is or Tests as the pitches will offer assistance to them.
When India won last time in Australia in the Test series 2-1 in 2018/19, undoubtedly it was a great achievement unlocked by Virat Kohli and co. as it was India's first Test series win Down Under but there was a school of thought that India's litmus test will be when they tour Australia again with David Warner and Steven Smith both back in the side. Now, it will be Virat Kohli missing for India, the best batsman of the side after the first Test that too at a time when Australia have returned back to their full strength side.
However, former Indian pacer turned cricket expert Zaheer Khan reckons the Aussie pitches have lot of help for bowlers and it will be the best bowing unit that will help the team win the series between Australia and India.
“The Australian pitches have always had good bounce and pace, so I think the area which will decide the ODIs, T20Is and Tests will be the bowlers and how well the team bowls as a unit to restrict the opponent to a lower total on the scoreboard,” Zaheer said in a release issued by Sony Pictures Sports Network, reported Sportstar.
“When someone talks about the top line bowlers in the world right now, the names of the players that come to our mind will all be on the pitch in this series,” he added.
One of the chief architects of India's 2011 World Cup win, Zaheer Khan also stated that the return of David Warner and Steven Smith, Australia's best two Test batters, will mean that India have their task cut out and it would be tougher than last time for them.
“Now with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner to the Australian side, the Indian team is definitely going to face a stiffer competition than their previous tour Down Under.”
He also added that it will be an exciting series with no clear cut favorites.
“There are no favourites going into the series as both the sides have quality batting and bowling line-up in their squad and that is what will make the upcoming tour interesting and exciting to watch.”
The limited-overs leg of the series begins from November 27 in Sydney with three ODIs that will be followed by as many T20Is and four Tests. The Border-Gavaskar trophy will start from December 17 in Adelaide.