Since the suspension of their star players Steve Smith and David Warner, Australia are having a tough time on the field to fix their batting woes. The team which dominated world cricket for over a decade has suffered a string of losses across all formats recently. 

The mighty Kangaroos have won four World Cups and had twice ratcheted up 16 Test wins on the trot (stalled on both occasions by India). That was the era of Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee among others. Australia played ruthless, aggressive cricket during that time, and were near-unbeatable. 

Australian cricket was tarnished earlier this year when rookie Cameron Bancroft was caught in ball-tampering during the tour of South Africa, with the then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner found to be involved in the plan. This led to the trio getting lengthy bans. The loss of key players like Smith and Warner caused a massive dent in the Australian team and led to a drastic downfall in the cricketing standards.  

Over the past six months, the Aussies’ performance in Test cricket has been below par. They have also lost ODI series against England, Pakistan and South Africa.

Australia are all set to face their big rivals India in three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs, with the first T20I slated to take place at Brisbane on November 21. India are being touted as the favourites to win the series. These are some of the weaknesses of the current Australian team that Virat Kohli and Co will look to exploit: 

1. Defensive mindset of coach


Darren Lehmann resigned from the post of head coach after the ball-tampering event. Lehman had always tried to attack the weaknesses of the opponents directly, while new coach Justin Langer adheres to playing defensive cricket, trying to be 'good men' and setting an example for sportsman spirit. This is not exactly Australia's forte. 

2. Lack of character in captaincy


Australia appointed Tim Paine as the new skipper after Smith's suspension. Australia lost to England by a humiliating margin of 0-5, followed by a loss in the tri-series final against Pakistan. The Kangaroos' losing streak continued against Pakistan and South Africa in both T20Is and ODIs despite opener Aaron Finch replacing Paine in limited-overs cricket as the skipper.

3. Opening issue


After the suspension of their pillar of dominance Warner, the Aussies are struggling to find a batsman that equals his calibre and they are desperately in need of an opener in all three formats in the southpaw's absence. With the best bowling line-up India have ever had in their tour Down Under, Australia will have a tough time facing them.

4. Middle-order crisis


The Aussies do not have even a single batsman in their middle order who can take responsibility if the openers fail. The only experienced player in the squad, Shaun Marsh, lacks consistency while Glenn Maxwell is struggling to score big runs after getting good starts. The return of Smith, to lead the team from the front with his bat is the only solution to this problem.