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India Tour of Australia: ‘Virat Kohli’s absence would help Ajinkya Rahane feel a lot more secure,’ says Sunil Gavaskar

It’s going to be tough for Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, both these players have to bat out of their skin: Sunil Gavaskar

Virat Kohli, Sunil Gavaskar and Ajinkya Rahane (L-R)
Virat Kohli, Sunil Gavaskar and Ajinkya Rahane (L-R)

Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar feels that the absence of Virat Kohli in the upcoming Test series would give a sense of security to vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Gavaskar said that Rahane would have more control over the game as Kohli flies back home after the first Test. 

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The 71-year also reckoned that Cheteshwar Pujara would be a key batsman in the longer formats. He said Pujara should be allowed to play his natural game, and others can score around him and play shots.

“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 a show on Sony Network.

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“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,” Gavaskar said.

“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.

No need to panic Virat Kohli’s absence: Gavaskar

Virat Kohli and Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar feels that the Indian team need not to panic after Virat Kohli leaves mid-way during the Test series. He said that the Men in Blue won numerous tournaments even in Virat’s absence.

“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.

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