Even before the start of the pink-ball Test in Adelaide, there is a huge focus on India captain Virat Kohli. The day/night Test against Australia will be the only match that Kohli will be playing in the four-match Test series as he has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI. Kohli will be flying back home after the first Test for the birth of his first child.
There had been a lot of discussion among cricket pundits on whether the Indian team can win the series in Kohli’s absence. But Australia captain Tim Paine told reporters that he is not taking the series lightly.
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Speaking in a virtual press conference ahead of the first Test, Paine said that he recognises the talent that the Indian team has apart from Kohli.
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“When Kohli leaves, we know the talent they have on their side. Pujara obviously troubled us a lot last time around so he is a big key for us, but we know the talent they have,” Paine said.
“We saw Rishabh Pant hitting a very quick hundred in the second practice game so they have got guys who can take away the Test match pretty quickly,” Paine told the media on the eve of the 1st Test,” he added.
In Kohli’s absence, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is expected to lead the India team, and Paine said that Rahane was the glue that held the team together the last time. The Aussie keeper-batsman added that the team has paid special focus on Rahane before the start of the series.
“Clearly, Rahane held the team together last time, he was the glue last time around so he is a huge focus for us,” Paine said.
India will play four-match Test series against Australia. While Australia had won the three-match ODI series 2-1, the Indian team had bounced back in the T20Is, winning the three-match series 2-1.