Former greats of the game Allan Border and Sunil Gavaskar have reflected on the impact of Virat Kohli’s absence after the conclusion of the first Test of the series named after them. While, Border has said that Australia will naturally become favourites after the departure of India captain, Gavaskar has reckoned that not bowling to someone like Kohli will be a huge boost for Tim Paine’s side.
Virat Kohli is set to return to Australia after the conlusion of the Adelaide Test to attend the birth of his first child.
“I agree, there will be a huge gap in that line-up — just his (Kohli’s) presence around that team and out on the field. I think the Aussies will really enjoy that they don”t have to bowl to him for three of the Test matches.
“So he will want to hit the ground running at Adelaide and try and get India off to a flying start and see what happens from there,” he said.
“It”s hard to replace anyone like him. So we have to wait and see the impact it has but surely the Aussies will be favourites for the games where he is not playing. That is for sure,” Allan Border said ahead of the 4-match Test series which will kick start from December 17.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar echoed the sentiments of Border, saying Kohli’s return would mean a huge advantage for Australia.
“I think it is a huge boost for the Australians, a man who has six hundreds in 12 Tests in Australia. It is a huge boost for Australians not to be bowling to Kohli in the last the three Tests,” he said.
“…(But) somebody or the other from the Indian ranks lift themselves up to make up for his absence.
“… And therefore like I said that though it is going to be a huge boost for the Australians, for the Indians it will be a great incentive to lift their game up, for everybody to give that extra to make up for his absence,” Gavaskar stated.
A fit Jasprit Bumrah key for India: Allan Border
Former Australia captain Allan Border further added that a fit Jasprit Bumrah will be key to India’s success. Border called himself a fan of Jasprit Bumrah, saying that the pacer is lethal when he gets going.
“Well I am a huge fan of Bumrah. If he keeps himself fit. We are talking of a guy who can win games for you fellows. I worry about him because on our pitches you get a little bit of bounce and sideways movement,” said Border.
“For India to win, I am worried about Bumrah. If he fires up like he did last time, get important wickets, ruffle a few feathers with the ball, I reckon he could be the real difference.
“You always think that your batting line-up will get enough runs, you need the 20 wickets to win the Test. If he stays fit, he is the one who is going to be a key.
“He (Bumrah) is a ripper. Just the way he plays his cricket, always has smile on his face. Lethal when he gets his rhythm going,” Allan Border said.