India is going into the Australia tour with as many as three big guns missing in its arsenal. While Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are set to miss the tour owing to injuries, Virat Kohli will be leaving in the middle of the Test series for the birth of his first child. This is a big morale booster for the hosts who are coming into the series with a full-strength squad.
Rohit’s absence in the limited-overs series might hurt the visitors on the pace friendly Aussie pitches. Although the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli can fill the void.
India now has two batsmen capable of counter-attacking
Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar feels that youngsters KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer will play a pivotal role in Rohit’s absence. Gavaskar feels that this young duo has the ability to take the fight to the opposition. And that will be crucial against Kangaroos.
Both Rahul and Iyer are coming off great stints in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and it must have helped their confidence. While Rahul followed up his great run for India with 670 runs in the IPL to bag the Orange cap. Iyer led his side to their maiden IPL final as he led with an example with his 519 runs.
“The problem, generally, is when the top three fail to get going. Though Rohit is absent for the T20Is and the ODIs, in K. L. Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, India now has two batsmen capable of taking the attack to the opposition. India’s pace attack is a potent one, too, capable of picking wickets at the top as well as running through the lower order. The Australian pitches are great to bat on after the ball loses its hardness and with the even bounce, batting can be a delight,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.
The pink ball will present its own challenges
Gavaskar went on to point out that the day night Test in Adelaide will test the Indian side’s character. While Australia have been unbeaten with the pink ball at home, India has played only one day night Test so far. The renowned commentator adds that the visitors will have be careful while batting in the twilight face as the light fades away gradually.
“The Test series will present its own challenges starting with the pink ball Test in Adelaide. The Aussies have an unbeaten record there and know exactly what the ball does especially at the hour where the sun sets and the light fades away. That hour is what the Indians will have to watch out for especially when they are batting. The Indian experience of a pink ball game has been limited to just one Test against Bangladesh which they won in a canter and where they were hardly stretched at all,” he adds.