One of the key players in Team India's 2-1 Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020–21 victory was Rishabh Pant. In the fourth Test at the Gabba, his valiant 89 runs not out helped India break through Australia's defenses and snap their 32-year winning streak there. But the dangerous left-handed batter is not there in the upcoming four-Test series against Australia as he is recovering from injuries sustained during a tragic road accident in December last year. Pant has produced several match-winning innings in Test cricket over the past few years, so Rohit Sharma and the team will undoubtedly miss him. The former wicket-keeper batsman for India, Saba Karim, has expressed his hope that India won't suffer from Rishabh Pant's absence in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series. A four-match Test series between India and Australia is scheduled to begin on February 9, the first match venue is VCA stadium at Nagpur.
Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat have been added to Team India to step into Pant's big shoes, but neither has played a Test match yet. Additionally, Bharat and Ishan lack Pant's international experience as a wicketkeeper. In an interview with India News, former Indian cricketer and selector Saba Karim discussed Australia's chances without Pant.
"Australia would like to take advantage of the opponent wicketkeeper. India's Test cricket has transformed since the arrival of Rishabh Pant, and I hope they are not negatively impacted by his absence "Karim remarked.
He showered Virat Kohli with praise, stating that because of him, the squad now believes that Australia can be defeated both at home and abroad. "Team India has been able to establish a name for themselves ever since we traveled to Australia for the 2014–15 series. The team owes Virat Kohli credit for instilling the idea that Australia could be defeated both at home and away," Karim continued.
The former cricketer insisted that it is crucial for India to develop its pitches such that Test matches take at least 3–4 days and emphasized that making rank turners right away has no purpose. "We need to elevate Test cricket, and to do so, it's critical to develop grounds for at least 3- to 4-day Test matches. Making rank turners right away is pointless. We must prepare strong pitches that begin to turn on Day 3 and that will undoubtedly increase the game's excitement. If we truly want to be the No. 1 squad, we have to go the difficult way and attempt to win," added Karim.
In addition, middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer will not play in the first Test against Australia due to a back issue. The hosts' concerns have increased as a result of his absence, and it is unclear who will likely replace him in the starting lineup. It appears that KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, and Suryakumar Yadav are in competition with one another.
In the meantime, Rohit Sharma and team hope to qualify for the 2021–23 World Test Championship final by winning the forthcoming series by a wide margin. They are currently ranked second, behind Australia, who is currently in first place.