Bhuvneshwar Kumar has said that the forthcoming Australia tour will be a stern challenge for Team India even though the hosts would be lacking the services of their star batsman, Steve Smith and David Warner.
India’s tour of Australia will kick-off from November 21. Virat Kohli and company will play 3 T20Is, 4 Tests and 3 ODIs in their tour Down Under.
"It (the Australian tour) will be challenging, no tour is easy. But Australia will be challenging because when you play outside your home (country), you need to adapt to certain conditions. It won't be easy for bowlers as there is hardly any movement these days," Bhuvneshwar quoted as saying by PTI.
Aussies are in desperate need of Smith, Warner and Bancroft – the trio who are currently serving their bans for being involved in the ball-tampering plot against South Africa at Newlands in March. Cricket Australia had imposed a one-year ban on Smith and his deputy Warner for their roles in the disgraceful ball-tampering scandal while rookie opener Cameron Bancroft, who exploited sandpaper in a bid to alter the conditions of the ball, was barred from international cricket for a period of 9-month.
When asked how the absence of Smith and Warner will affect Australia, Bhuvneshwar said: "I cannot say that we will overcome them. They don't have the two batsmen (Smith and Warner), who have done well over the years. (But) there are other batsmen in their place and it is not that they aren't good. It's their home conditions. For us, if the two (Smith and Warner) were there, it is a challenge, now they are not there, it will still be a challenge."
"If it would have been easy, we would have always won the series (in the past). It won't be easy. Our preparation in the practise matches there will matter," he explained.
After the Asia Cup 2018, Bhuvneshwar was given rest for the two-Test series against the West Indies and he hasn’t been picked for the two ODIs against the same opponent either. The right-arm fast bowler, who has played 92 ODIs and 21 Tests thus far, hailed the rotation policy of the team management.
"The way fast bowlers are managed, the rotation policy is in a way good, as we get a break and others get a chance and the body remains fresh," he said. He also stressed on the need to have breaks. "Breaks are needed after you play a long tour. You are mentally tired, like Jasprit (Bumrah) said when you return you are fresh and are rearing to go. Hence breaks are needed, as your body gets tired," Bhuvneshwar concluded.
(With PTI inputs)