Australia batsman Steve Smith on Thursday said that the batting depth of the side will be tested in the first Test of the four-match series against India in the absence of David Warner.
Warner was ruled out of the first Test against India on Wednesday. The left-handed batsman had injured his adductor muscle in the second ODI against India, and as a result, he missed out on the third ODI and the T20I series.
"I think our depth is obviously going to be tested with Davey out and a few potential new players coming in. It will test us out no doubt against a good Indian outfit. We know how good they are at Test cricket. They beat us out here last time and they're a very good side so it is going to be a great series," Smith said during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
"I love Test cricket, it is my favourite format of the game, it challenges you in so many different ways, excited to play the longest format of the game, it has been almost a year that we last played a Test match. Boys are really keen to go out there and play as well," he added.
When asked whether he will be open to bat at number three in the first Test against India, Smith replied: "That doesn't bother to me, I have batted at number three in the past as well, I am happy to bat at number three or four. When you bat at number three you are sometimes in the second ball of the game or the first over of the game, that's the reality of batting there so, someone at three could certainly go up the top, whether that's spoken about, I am not sure."
When asked whether he would like to be Australia's captain once again, Smith replied: "There's a process that needs to be followed, I am happy to do whatever is best for the team, that's the same going forward, right now, Paine and Finchy are doing a good job in both the formats, I am comfortable with where I am at, but I am happy to do whatever is best for the team."
When India had last toured Australia in 2018, the visitors had managed to win their first Test series Down Under. The Kohli-led side had defeated Australia 2-1 in the four-match series.
During that particular series, Steve Smith and David Warner were not a part of the Australia squad as they were then serving their one-year ban for the involvement in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa.
Talking about the 2018-19 series, Smith said: "I watched bits and pieces. It was difficult with sitting on the sidelines and not being able to go out there and make a difference, that was the toughest thing to me knowing I probably could make a difference if I was out there. That was hard, but it's an exciting series coming up."
India and Australia will now be seen in action in the upcoming four-match Test series. The series will be telecasted on Sony Ten 3, and Sony six channels. The first Test of the series will be a pink-ball contest, beginning December 17 at Adelaide.
Australia had won the ODI series, while the Men in Blue walked away with the T20I series win.