Can India Challenge Australia In The Absence Of Virat Kohli?

Can India challenge Australia in Virat's absence?
With skipper Kohli unavailable for the whole series, pressure would be on the Indian team to deliver
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India to play without its captain for 3 test matches

The already tough Tour of Australia just got a bit tougher for the Indian Cricket Team with the news of their skipper, Virat Kohli being granted paternity leave for 3 test matches.

Touring Australia is one of the toughest assignments for any visiting team and to think of it that India would be playing without its most celebrated player, would make the task even more daunting.

Who is expected to lead India in Kohli’s absence?

It is widely believed that vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane would be leading the side in Kohli’s absence for the 3 tests scheduled to be played at Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

Rahane had earlier led India in two tests one each against Australia and Afghanistan with both the games resulting in favor of India. So he would be carrying that confidence with him.

Can India even pose a challenge down under?

While the last time India visited Australian shores for the Border-Gavaskar test series in Dec 2018, the Aussies were missing the services of David Warner and Steve Smith. Both these players were serving a year ban thanks to the infamous ball-tampering scandal which broke out in March 2018.

Their absence was also one of the reasons why India was able to outplay Australia in their backyard resulting in a 2-1 series victory for the visitors.

But now with Kohli slated to miss 3 test matches except for the first test (pink ball test match) the tables have now turned completely on India. Kohli is not just the captain but one of the best red-ball batsmen too, who possesses a tremendous record in Australia.

His presence in the field would be dearly missed, as he single-handedly lifts the spirits of the entire team with his energy and attitude.

So, it would be pretty interesting to see how the team copes up without its talismanic skipper.

Challenges are opportunities!

But Kohli’s absence can provide the team is an opportunity, especially for those players who are almost always on the fringe to express themselves more clearly. The likes of Hanuma Vihari would possibly get an extended run in the middle order thanks to a spot getting vacant at number 4.

This might also mean that India could play all of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Prithvi Shaw, without having to compromise on aggression.

A fit Rohit if he manages to find form soon can prove to be the biggest takeaway for India in this series and the team would be banking on collective efforts of every individual to come out trumps in this series and retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

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