India’s much-awaited tour of Australia will start with two weeks of limited-overs fixtures, consisting 3 ODIs followed by as many T20 internationals. The tour Down Under will conclude with red-ball series where both the nations shall play 4 Test matches, starting on December 17. The Test series will end of January 17.
India captain Virat Kohli will be a part of the first Test to be played at the Adelaide Oval. However, he will miss the remaining three matches. Kohli will return to India after the Day/Night Test in Adelaide, to be with wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child.
There is no doubt that the absence of Kohli in the remaining three Tests will impact his side a lot. It would be pretty challenging for Team India to repeat similar performance, as they did two years ago, in the non-attendance of Kohli.
Bhajji backs Rahul and Pujara to stand up in Kohli’s absence
But veteran Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh is of the opinion that India has some star players in the Test squad who can cover up for Kohli’s absence. Bhajji said that Kohli’s departure after the first Test would give the opportunity to players like KL Rahul, who is making a comeback in the team.
“Virat Kohli is coming back after the first Test, but this opens the window of opportunity for someone like KL Rahul, who is coming back in the Test team. Virat Kohli is a big player, and he has scored runs whenever he has toured Australia, his absence will be missed, but this is an opportunity for players to step in,” said Harbhajan on ‘Sports Tak’ chat show.
Harbhajan also backed Cheteshwar Pujara and reckoned that India should just remember that they are playing in Australia to repeat what they did when the last time both the teams faced each other.
“Virat Kohli’s absence should be seen in this manner. KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara are big players, and they have an opportunity to prove themselves. I think Team India has it in them, but the fact that Virat Kohli is there or not should be forgotten. The team should just remember that they are in Australia to win and repeat what they did the last time,” Harbhajan added.