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Sunil Gavaskar asks Indian players to step up in Kohli's absence

by  Neel Ashar  •  Last updated on 2020-11-21 13:09:49


Legendary Indian batsman and superstar Sunil Gavaskar has asked Indian batsmen to step up in the absence of King Kohli when he leaves for India after the 1st Test match in Adelaide because Anushka and he are expecting their first child. In Kohli's absence, India has played 1 Test match in Dharamsala in 2017 against the Baggy Greens which Team India won under Rahane's captaincy. There have not been many occasions when King Kohli has missed Test matches. His presence has lifted Team India's spirits and soared to unscaled heights under him. 

Particularly, fast bowlers have relished the prospect of playing under King Kohli. Their stats show that since the 2014 Australia Tour when Kohli took over as India's Test captain, their average and strike rates have improved while economies have dropped which is a good sign for any skipper and the team as a whole. India won Tests in Johannesburg and Trent Bridge under Kohli's captaincy before a historic series triumph in Australia which they won by a 2-1 margin.

“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. 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."

“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. That discussion is after the Australia tour. Let’s just focus on this tour because it’s going to be very important for not just Indian cricket but world cricket too. This is a very different Australian side that they will be facing this time. What this pandemic has taught us is, don’t look too far ahead. " said the legendary Indian batsman.

“I don’t know what the current players will be thinking about continuity. Sometimes continuity can make players complacent. Some players get nervous when there are changes made every after the game. A balance has to be struck. Ashwin playing, with his experience and hunger of success, would give the team an edge. But it again depends on the conditions. But someone with nearly 400 Test wickets would be a regular in most other Test teams." he concluded