Ahead of his side’s much anticipated series against India, Australia’s batting talisman Steve Smith looks ready and raring to go. He answered a whole host of questions regarding the full fledged tour which begins from November 27.
During a virtual press conference, he was asked about Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s absence from the final three Tests and how big an impact that will create.
“Virat is of obviously of high quality, and we know how good he has been in all forms for a long period of times, so it is certainly going to leave a hole but I still do believe that they have got some quality batters waiting in the wings to fill that void,” replied Smith.
Kohli had been granted a paternity leave by the BCCI – for the birth of his first child with actress wife Anushka Sharma. Thus, he would return home after the first Test.
While Smith acknowledged Kohli’s influence, he was quick to inform the reporters that there were a lot of other quality batsmen that India have at their disposal.
Smith took the names of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul – who both left him really impressed in the recently concluded IPL 2020. Smith, who captained Rajasthan Royals, was left in awe of the Kings XI Punjab opening duo.
“You can look at someone like Mayank Agarwal in the IPL, just smashed, KL Rahul in the top order as well. There are plenty of options there for them so, look you leave a hole no doubt, but quality players there to back him up,” Smith opined.
Earlier in the day, it was announced that two of India’s senior players – Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma will both be missing the first two Tests after failing to recover in time. Thus, India has some big shoes to fill for the Test series amidst Kohli, Rohit and Ishant’s absence.
India is slated to play three ODI’s, three T20I’s and four Tests down under and would look to repeat their heroics from their last tour. The tour begins with the ODI series, commencing on November 27. The first Test is scheduled for Adelaide from December 17.
India had defeated Australia 2-1 in the Test series during their previous tour in 2018-19 but it must be noted that their star players Smith and David Warner, were not playing that series – serving an year-long ban for the infamous ball tampering incident.