Our batting depth without Warner will be tested: Smith

Adelaide: India’s nemesis Steve Smith feels that Australian team’s batting depth would be hugely tested in absence of injured opener David Warner in the first Test in Adelaide, starting December 17.
The hosts will likely have a new look opening combination in Joe Burns and Marcus Harris following injuries to Warner (groin) and in-form young gun Will Pucovski (concussion).
“Our depth is obviously going to be tested with Davey (Warner) out and few potentially new players coming in. It will test us out no doubt against a good Indian outfit,” Smith said here in a virtual news conference.
“They beat us out here last time and they’re a very good side. It’s gonna be a great series and whoever’s up there and whoever’s in the team hopefully we will do our job and can have a successful summer.”
Smith rated the Indian bowling attack highly even though he felt that it’s not the “strongest” without senior pro Ishan Sharma, who has been ruled out of the four-match Test series because of a side strain he sustained during the IPL.
“They are a good (bowling) line-up. They’re pretty experienced now… Mohd Shami has played a lot of cricket, Jasprit Bumrah has played a reasonable amount of cricket and a quality bowler.
“In the spin department, whichever spinner they use be it Ashwin, Jadeja or Kuldeep, they’ve all played a fair bit of cricket now.
“The quicks perhaps haven’t played quite as much, whoever they go with them but they’re all good bowlers. We’re gonna have to be at our best as a batting group this summer, if we’re gonna beat them.”
On Ishant’s absence, he said: “Ishant Sharma is probably a big loss for them at the start, if he’s not available… He’s obviously played a lot of cricket. Maybe without him, it may not be the strongest. I’m sure they would like him to play.” The series will see Smith’s face-off with Indian pace spearhead Bumrah for the first time in longer formats and he said the key against his awkward action is to be watchful all the time.
—PTI

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