Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath believes that hosts might sweep the test series against India 4-0. The overbearing narrative, from the Australian perspective, heading into the Test matches is the absence of batting stalwarts, David Warner and Steve Smith as the pair continue to serve their suspensions over a ball tampering incident.

But McGrath believes that the absence of Smith and Warner provides an exciting opportunity for other players to make a name for themselves in the international arena.

"The hole that Steve Smith and David Warner have left will be tough to fill. But it is a great opportunity for any young batsmen if they can perform well they can cement their place in the Australian squad," McGrath told India Today in an exclusive interview.

The absence of the heavy-scoring duo has undoubtedly tilted the balance towards India's favour as they look to finally win a test series in Australia. McGrath, although, believes that Australia will still win the series 4-0 as they did in 2011.

"It will be an interesting series, but I think Australia will still win 4-0."

Glenn McGrath with Virat Kohli
Glenn McGrath with Virat Kohli

"But seriously, without Smith and Warner, it will be a close series. Australia will have to play very, very well if they have to win," he added.

McGrath also spoke about Kohli's captaincy saying his aggressive nature looks good when he is scoring runs but when his bat becomes quiet, so does his captaincy.

"Virat, I think, is a quality captain. He leads from the front; he doesn't take a backward step. He is quite aggressive. When he is playing well, he is fine.

When he starts underperforming, if he does – he did go through a stage where he didn't score many runs – I think it did have an adverse effect on his captaincy; the way he went about it.

But while he is scoring runs, and if the team is doing well, he will be fine."

Kohli, on his part, will certainly be hoping that it isn't only him who is scoring runs as although the Aussies have a weak batting line up, their bowling line-up is very capable of running through most batting line-ups.

Finally, it appears, the Australians have fired their long-awaited verbal shot, even if it was in jest.