Glenn McGrath says India may not have the bowling quality to claim a first-ever Test series win in Australia if Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma are ruled out through injury.
Khan is still getting back to full fitness following ankle surgery which cut short his tour of England in the summer, while fellow seamer Sharma picked up an ankle problem in India's first tour match in Canberra.
If injury ends up disrupting either bowler's participation in the upcoming four-Test series, it will be a major blow to the world's second-ranked Test team's hopes.
And former Australia paceman McGrath thinks that the pair's fitness will be key to the tourists' chances of success.
"Zaheer Khan was a big loss for them in England and he's obviously their main bowler," McGrath told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"And Sharma bowled well last time they were out here so he'll be looking to find a bit of form.
"But with both those guys under injury clouds it's not looking good. To go into a Test match without both those guys (at full fitness) it's going to weaken their bowling line-up a lot."
India have never secured overall victory in nine tours to Australia going back to 1947, but Australia go into the contests having lost to England and drawn with New Zealand in their last two home Test series.
India also suffered a drubbing against England earlier in the year, but will hope their star-studded batting line-up have a better time of it in Australia.
McGrath added: "They've got an awesome batting line-up, that's definitely their strength. They lack a little bit in the bowling. They're going to have to bowl well to compete with us.
"It will be interesting to see how they go out here. I saw them play England earlier this year and it was a fairly one-sided contest."