Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes the return of Steve Smith and David Warner will put forward a different challenge for Virat Kohli and his troops when the two teams lock horns in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy later this year.
The four Tests of the much-anticipated series are currently scheduled to be played at The Gabba, Adelaide Oval, MCG and the SCG respectively starting December 3.
The last time India toured Down Under, they beat Australia 2-1 on their home soil for the first time ever in the history of the longest format. But according to Gambhir, the return of Smith and Warner will pose a different challenge for India this time around.
The duo weren’t part of the series in 2018/19 as they were serving their respective bans for their part in the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket.
“Whether it was his (Kohli’s) first tour, whether it was second tour, this time around, obviously, he would be gearing up for it because it’s going to be a different challenge with David Warner and Steve Smith coming back into the Australian Test line-up because India has got the bowling attack to rattle the Australian batting line-up even with David Warner and Steve Smith, but yeah, it’s going to be a different challenge than what it was last time around, so you would want Virat Kohli to fire, plus the bowlers as well because it’s the bowlers that will win you the Test matches,” Gambhir said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
The reason why Gambhir is pinning hopes on Indian fast-bowlers is because the last time they were in Australia, they performed exceptionally well and put the hosts under pressure from word go.
Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah ended the series with 21 wickets, Mohammed Shami scalped 16 wickets while Ishant Sharma also did well with 11 scalps. Their consistency was one of the main reasons why India ended their Australia drought last time around.