Batting great Rahul Dravid feels with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner in the Australia squad, India will face a strong challenge in their Test tour of Australia later this year. The dashing duo didn’t feature India's historic away Test series win over Australia in 2018 because of their one-year bans from the international cricket for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering case in South Africa. India registered their first Test series win there in 2018-19 in their absence.
"Missing Smith and Warner was a huge thing for Australia because of the impact they have on that team. They are their (Australia's) top two batsman, they scored the most number of runs for them," Rahul Dravid said on Sony Ten Pit Stop.
"We have seen how a big impact someone like Smith had on the Ashes, even though Warner was out of form, he was able to carry that series along with (Marnus) Labuschagne on his own. But yes, these two guys (Smith and Warner) will make a huge impact in that team, so it will be a bigger and stiffer challenge for India this time around," added the former India captain.
India are all set to tour Australia for an entire series which included four-match Test series, beginning from 3rd December at Gabba, Brisbane. However, Dravid said that Australia will always look back on the last series and since Smith and Warner will be there this time, it will be tough for India but he also said that Virat Kohli and his team has the potential to give Australia a tough fight in the upcoming series as well.
The 47-year-old also referred to the series as a "marquee" one as both the teams are top-class. Last time Australia struggled in their batting, their batting just kept collapsing; they failed to give their bowlers enough runs to rely upon in the absence of Smith-Warner duo. But this time they will hope that doesn't happen since India have a fantastic bowling attack for the last few years. He hoped the series would be a great series of the year for the cricketing world.