With Virat Kohli set to return after the first Test between India and Australia at the Adelaide Oval, the batting line up of the visitors will be in for a stern challenge. But batsman Glenn Maxwell believes the starry Indian batting is solid enough to thrive even without their best batsman. With the likes of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, India have what it takes to more than make up for the void that will be left by Kohli.
And Maxwell is aware of that. Although he is not part of Australia’s Test set-up, Maxwell feels Australia should be wary of Rahul considering he’s coming off a fabulous IPL where he bagged the Purple Cap for scoring 670 runs from 14 matches. Yes, international cricket is a different ball game altogether, but from what Maxwell has seen of his KXIP teammate in the UAE not too long ago, the Big Show is confident about India’s batting being more or less sorted with or without Kohli.
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“India have still got back-ups, more than capable of playing that role. We saw KL Rahul, the performance that he put on during the last IPL was extraordinary. Whether he opens the batting or not, I am sure he will be just as good a player,” Maxwell said during a virtual media interaction.
Maxwell spoke highly of the opening pair of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, who are likely to open for India in ODIs and T20Is.
“Well, I would say they (Mayank-Rahul) are the two lovely guys I have ever met. It was a pleasure to spend the change room (with them), two very good players, they score all-round the wicket and have got very limited weaknesses,” Maxwell said.
“I suppose ODI cricket might be a bit different (compared T20). Hopefully, with our bowling attack, we can put some pressure on them and with bounce in the pitches and bigger grounds as well, they play into our hands. They are good performers, and good players.”
As far as India’s bowling goes, Maxwell was impressed with Mohammed Shami, also his teammate at KXIP, and the way he’s come around in the last couple of years with improved fitness and a spring in his step.
“A guy like Mohammed Shami, whom I have played with in the recent IPL and played with him in Delhi, as well. (I) saw the skill that he has. He has got good skills at the end (death overs) as well as with the new ball. His ability to get moving on pitches will be key to them,” said Maxwell.