Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said that India’s upcoming tour of Australia will be a “different challenge” for incumbent skipper Virat Kohli, with David Warner and Steve Smith now part of the Australian line-up.
Under Kohli’s captaincy, India scripted their first-ever Test series win on Australian soil in 2018/19, winning the four-match series 2-1. That Australian side, led by Tim Paine, did not have Warner or Smith in their line-up, both of whom were serving their one-year suspension after the Sandpaper scandal in March 2018.
Both batsmen have, since, made roaring comebacks to international cricket; while Warner scored 648 runs at 71.88 in the 2019 World Cup, just one short of chart-topper Rohit Sharma’s tally, Smith was in bumper form in the Ashes that followed, totalling 774 runs at 110.57.
The two will now bolster the batting line-up of Australia, who are set to host India for four Tests, three ODIs and as many T20Is, with the Test series currently scheduled to start from December 3.
“Whether it was his first tour, whether it was second tour, this time around, obviously, he would be gearing up for it,” Gautam Gambhir said on the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, “because it’s going to be a different challenge with David Warner and Steve Smith coming back into the Australian Test line-up.”
“They were too scared to sledge Kohli or the other Indian players because they had to play with them in April.”https://t.co/HrViT8xa4f
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 7, 2020
Despite the expected full-strength line-up, Gambhir feels India’s bowling has enough firepower to run through the side at home, backing the Indian captain to lead from the front as they look to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
“India has got the bowling attack to rattle the Australia batting line-up even with David Warner and Steve Smith,” he said, “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.”