The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the revised squad for the tour of Australia on Monday. Ajinkya Rahane remains vice-captain in India’s revised squad for the Australia Tests but former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan feels that a much more experienced Rohit Sharma has to lead the team in Virat Kohli’s absence in the Test series.
Kohli has been granted paternity leave after the first Test and Pathan said it will have a massive impact on the team but as a cricketer, he respects his decision.
“Virat Kohli not being there will have a huge impact on the team but you have to respect his decision. We have to accept and appreciate life beyond cricket, the family is very important,” Pathan told PTI.
“On the field, it is bound to make a massive difference and it is very tough for anyone to fill his shoes. The way he has performed over the years and in all conditions.”
On Monday, the selectors amended the name of the players of the team going on the Australia tour. Rohit Sharma, who was earlier excluded from the squad due to injury, has given a place in Test squad and has been rested from the ODI and T20I squads.
Meanwhile, Irfan Pathan feels that Rohit Sharma has to lead in Kohli’s absence as he is a ‘proven leader’ and has more experience.
“Nothing against Rahane but Rohit has to captain. He is a proven leader and has the required experience.
“His role as an opener will be equally crucial. He is the guy you want to play in Australia. I remember ODI series in 2008 and he was new but did quite well on Australian pitches. He will be raring to go after the injury.
“There is nothing more dangerous for the opposition than a hungry Rohit Sharma. Playing abroad is always a tough challenge but when Rohit is in form conditions don’t matter.
“As an opener, he can play the same role that Sehwag did in the 2004 series and can win you games. Pujara’s role becomes even more important at number three as he will be the glue holding everyone together and see off the new ball. Rahane will be my number four in Kohli’s absence,” said the former left-arm pacer.
Team India is scheduled to play three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests in Australia. The Test series is scheduled to start on December 17 with the day-night contest in Adelaide.