Former wicket-keeper batsman Farokh Engineer believes this is India’s best opportunity to win a Test series Down Under as the current Australian team is struggling without the services of their former skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.

The trio of Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft were given a lengthy ban by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in South Africa in March.

“Australia has got two big names missing… (Steven) Smith and (David) Warner. When you take out two big names, the team is weakened considerably. India will never have a better chance of beating Australia,” Engineer was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

Farokh Engineer further said “We should make the most of the opportunity. India is playing very good cricket. We have a got a great captain Virat Kohli, who is doing extremely well. We have got an all-round side. We have got good pace bowlers, good spinners. Let’s take advantage of that and beat Australia at home.”

Speaking about India’s choice of wicket-keeper between Parthiv Patel and  Rishabh Pant, Farokh Engineer said, “Unfortunately, we produce batsmen-keepers these days and not wicketkeeper-batsmen. In my time, you had to be a wicketkeeper first. You cannot let it slide down. Even if you score big runs, but drop catches, it will cost you 200 runs. You have to be a wicketkeeper first. I have seen one or two wicketkeepers. Pant was trying to play a reverse sweep even before he could get his eyes on the ball. He was out. Get your eyes in first. You don’t need to take chance.”

Farokh Engineer also said Parthiv Patel should keep wickets in Test while Pant should don the gloves in one-dayers.

“Pant has shown a lot of promise in batting. Parthiv is still fit. Rishabh will be my choice for one-dayers, for Tests it will be Parthiv, although he is 35.”