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Ind vs Aus 2020: Zaheer Khan believes Steve Smith and David Warner's return ensures India face a 'stiffer challenge' this year

Steve Smith and David Warner missed the previous home series against India
Steve Smith and David Warner missed the previous home series against India
Modified 20 Nov 2020, 15:16 IST

Former Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan has opined that Steve Smith and David Warner's presence in the Australian squad would guarantee a battle of equals when the Aussies lock horns with the Indian cricket team this time.

When Virat Kohli's men visited Australia two years ago, Steve Smith and David Warner missed the series because of their role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal. The visitors made history by winning the 4-Test series 2-1. The Men in Blue also won the subsequent ODI series.

Many cricket experts, including Zaheer Khan, feel that there would be a more intense competition between Australia and India this year because of the two stalwarts' return. Here's what the 2011 World Cup winner had to say in a Sony Pictures Sports Network release.

"Now with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner to the Australian side, the Indian team is definitely going to face a stiffer competition than their previous tour Down Under," said Zaheer Khan. 

The former Royal Challengers Bangalore star added that the two teams' world-class bowling unit would play a decisive role in the upcoming tour.

Steve Smith has an average of 84.06 in Test matches against the Indian cricket team

The reason why many feel that Steve Smith and David Warner's availability would help Australia is because of their supreme consistency versus the Indian team. The former Aussie Test captain has scored 1,429 runs, including seven centuries and three fifties, in ten Test matches against India.

Speaking of Steve Smith's ODI record against India, he has aggregated 907 runs at a brilliant average of 60.47. Meanwhile, David Warner has registered three hundreds and four half-centuries in 18 ODI innings against India.

The left-handed batsman has tormented India in the red-ball arena as well, scoring 1,081 runs in 16 Tests. Both Steve Smith and Warner will be keen to maintain their phenomenal record versus the 2-time World Cup winners.

Published 20 Nov 2020, 15:16 IST
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