Team India captain Virat Kohli will fly back to India after playing first Test against Australia. He has taken a paternity leave from BCCI to be with his wife Ansuhka Sharma who is going to give birth to their first child in January. While many thinks that his absence might affect team India, the former Indian cricketer and legend Sunil Gavaskar thinks otherwise.
Gavaskar feels that the 32-year-old’s absence in three Test matches will push the other players to raise their levels, and history suggests, it always happens.
Team India is on the tour of Australia, where they are scheduled to play three ODIs, as many T20Is and four Test matches. Virat Kohli will be there with team in all the T20 and ODI matches but will only play the first Day-Night Test in Adelaide. After playing first Test match, he will return to India.
“If you actually have a look, India have won every time Virat wasn’t there, be it the Dharamshala Test against Australia, the Afghanistan Test, Nidahas Trophy or the Asia Cup in 2018. Indian players do tend to raise their game when he is not around. They understand they have to make up for his absence,” Gavaskar told TOI on Friday.
Speaking further on Sony Sports Network, the legend said that Kohli’s absence will provide a good opportunity to Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.
“It’s going to be tough for Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Both these players have to bat out of their skin. Captaincy will actually help Rahane. He will feel a lot more secure and in control of situations. The selection committee is clear about who should lead in Virat’s absence and he has done well as a Test captain,” Gavaskar said during an interaction arranged by Sony Network.
Nobody Should be Telling Pujara How to Get Runs: Sunil Gavaskar
Gavaskar further said that no pressure should be made on Cheteshwar Pujara. Team has to let him play in the way he wants while other players around him can look to score at a better pace.
“Pujara should be allowed to play the game he knows best. That’s what got him here. You don’t tamper with a player’s natural aptitude or temperament. Like you never told Sehwag how to play, nobody should be telling Pujara how to get runs as long as he is getting the runs and the hundreds.”
“If he is let alone and no pressure is put on him, that’s going to work in India’s favour. He is so rock steady, the others can score around him and play shots,” he added.
The 4-Test match series, the Border-Gavaskar trophy will get underway from December 17.