For the first time in half a decade, the Test team will be without David Warner at the top of the order and arguably the world’s best batsman Steve Smith for the opening match of the Australian summer as they serve the remainder of their one-year bans.
As a result, the Australian side will have more than 12,000 runs and almost 140 Tests of experience sitting on the sidelines.
Ever since the pair, along with West Australian opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, was stood down, the make-up of the Test side has been debated.
Australia has been boosted by the return of Usman Khawaja, who missed the recent home One Day and T20 series’ against South Africa and India following an injury picked up in the UAE against Pakistan.
And the classy left-handed batsman is expected to be asked to bat at No 3, with Aaron Finch expected to open in his debut home Test — despite copping a blow to the hand at training on Tuesday — alongside uncapped Marcus Harris.
Speaking on SEN, White, who played four Tests against India in 2008, said for Australia to win the batting group had to step up.
“I think it’s going to be tight,” White told SEN.
“It’s just going to be whether we can make enough runs really.
“I back especially (Josh) Hazlewood and (Pat) Cummins, I think they’re superstars…it’s just going to be whether we can make enough runs.”
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In particular, White said that his Victorian teammate Finch would face a testing time against the new ball.
“It’ll be a big challenge for him,” White said.
“I think the type of bowler that India are bringing out here with (Ishant) Sharma, (Mohammed) Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar — they can all bring the ball back into the right-handed batter which is going to be a big challenge for Finchy.
“It’s not so good in a match-up sense, he’ll obviously be aware of that, he’s a smart player. You don’t get to play for Australia if you’re not a good player.
“But I’m sure he’ll combat that and hopefully do a good job.”
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While India’s superstar batsman Virat Kohli has dominated the headlines since the tourists arrived in Australia, their bowling group can’t be underestimated.
Indeed, in their recent series against England, all of India’s quicks caused the English troubles at times and the variation between pace, bounce, seam and swing is expected to cause the Australians more trouble than ever before down under from an Indian pace attack.
“Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) very skilful, can swing the ball both ways, (Jasprit) Bumrah is under rated and quick enough and Ishant’s (Sharma) just got better and I think he was there best bowler in that England series.
“If we play quite a lot of left-handers, which looks like we’re going to do, I think they’re suited to bringing the ball into the right-handers and away from the lefties from over and around the wicket, so I think they match up well against us sadly.”