India has a chance in Australia even with Smith, Warner back - Pujara

Both Warner and Smith were unavailable for Australia while serving 12-month ball-tampering bans as India won its first test series Down Under.

Steve Smith and David Warner

Steve Smith and David Warner during a practice session.   -  AP

India is capable of repeating its heroics from its successful 2018-19 test tour in Australia even though the host is stronger this time with the return of batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith, India's Cheteshwar Pujara has said.

Both Warner and Smith were unavailable for Australia while serving 12-month ball-tampering bans as India won its first test series Down Under, beating the host 2-1 in four matches.

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Warner and Smith have scored over 14,000 test runs between them but Pujara said India's bowlers are capable of taking quick wickets to give the side “every chance of winning” the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

“(Australia's batting lineup) will be a little stronger than what it was in 2018-19, but then victories don't come easy,” Pujara told PTI.

“No doubt Smith, Warner and Marnus Labuschagne are great players. But the good part about our current crop of bowlers is that most of them played in the same series and our bowling unit will also not be very different to what it was in 2018-19.

“They know how to be successful in Australia as they have enjoyed success there in the past. They have their gameplans in place and if we can execute them well, they are capable of getting Smith, Warner and Labuschagne out quickly.”

Pujara said they will however encounter a “different challenge” in the series opener in Adelaide when India plays its second day-night test with the pink ball, having played with it just once against Bangladesh on home soil.

“We will be playing with the pink Kookaburra in Australia, it will be slightly different,” Pujara, the series' leading run scorer on their last visit, added.

“One has to understand and accept and get used to it (pink ball and lights) as early as possible ... The twilight period is more challenging than other periods.”