Virat Kohli & Co scripted history when they last visited Australia for the series Down Under. In the 2018-19 season, India won the 4-match Test series 2-1 and Kohli became the first Asian captain to beat Aussies in their own backyard.
Two years down the line, the Indian contingent is once again in the Kangaroo land aiming to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy. However, this time the scenarios are completely different – strict COVID-19 SoPs, regulations of the bio-bubble and more importantly, the absence of Virat Kohli from the last three Tests.
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While it’s being speculated that the tour won’t be easy for the Indians without Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri has dismissed any suggestions regarding the team feeling any pressures.
“Where’s the pressure? We have come here and are going to play our natural game. I have told the boys to respect the terrain and the opponents but play fearless cricket,” Shastri told Sportstar in a conversation.
The Indian head coach is pretty much confident about the pace battery. He is aware of the fact that the participation of Ishant Sharma in the Test series is doubtful due to his injury. However, he believes that the five pacers named in the squad are very capable of producing sparkling cricket.
“We have a fabulous five – (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami, (Mohammed) Siraj, Umesh (Yadav) and Navdeep Saini. Yadav has the experience. Saini is young and fast. Bumrah one of the best in business. Shami is raring to go. Siraj is an exciting prospect. You put up runs on the board and watch these fast bowlers hunt the opposition. They can beat Australia in their own den,” said Shastri.
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The Test series begins from December 17 in Adelaide. The first game is a day-night affair. Team India has the least experience of the same but Shastri wants his boys ‘to go and enjoy their game.’
“Our boys have not played much of pink-ball in domestic cricket, but I just want them to go and enjoy their game. What matters is that they will be having some match fitness for the white-ball cricket and they now have to show if they have the will to adapt. Gain experience from here because god willing there won’t be a situation like this again. This challenge of the pandemic and quarantine,” said Shastri.