Steve Smith and David Warner will not be part of the Australian cricket team for the upcoming four-Test series against India starting on December 6 in Adelaide. The duo has been banned for a year due to the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town and cannot play international or domestic cricket until the end of March 2019. However, that has not prevented Smith and Warner from helping the Australian cricket team prepare for the Test series. They are both playing an active part in helping Australia’s bowlers in keeping India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli quiet for the four-Tests. In the nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Warner faced Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in a tough nets session as they geared up for the Tests.
Kohli sounded out a warning to Australia ahead of the Tests after he blasted 61* to help India level the three-match Twenty20 International series with a six-wicket in Sydney. In the 2014/15 series, the dashing right hander was in fine form, smashing four centuries and amassing 692 runs at an average of 86. Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc said it was great to have their services.
“There's talking to bowling coaches then there's talking to the guys you're bowling to. That's a great opportunity to have him face us. It'll be great to bowl to him (Smith) in the nets. He's one of the best in the world, to even get his thoughts on how we're tracking will always be good for us,” Starc said.
According to the Australian Newspaper, Smith was invited to the Australian dressing room ahead of the Sydney Twenty20 International. Both Smith and Warner have been training with their New South Wales team while playing club cricket as they work to maintain form and fitness.
Australia to miss Smith’s services
Smith was the key factor in the last series played between these two sides in 2014/15. The right-hander smashed 769 runs at an average of 128 to help Australia win the series 2-0.
Last week, Cricket Australia decided against reducing the punishment given to Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft, meaning the disgraced trio will serve the full term of their bans. While Bancroft can return to competitive cricket in January, Smith and Warner will be aiming to return for the ODIs against Pakistan beginning in March-April 2019. Both batsmen will be aiming to be part of the Australian cricket team for the 2019 World Cup.