Former Australia captain, Mark Taylor feels that the only way India can stage a comeback in the series is by posting a big total in their first innings in the second Test at the MCG. Taylor points out that despite the loss of Virat Kohli, India still has experienced batters in Chetshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
Taylor opined that if the Indian batsmen manage to put runs on the board, the visitors have a high-quality bowling attack that can take 20 Australian wickets. Melbourne being a batting wicket in recent years, the 56-year-old feels that India has a good opportunity to bounce back in the series after their humiliating loss in Adelaide.
“India’s best chance is to put runs on the board. They’ve still got some very fine players. Obviously (Virat) Kohli leaves a big hole in terms of batting and leadership, but they’ve still got (Cheteshwar) Pujara and (Ajinkya) Rahane,” Mark Taylor told Wide World of Sports
“If they put runs on the board, they’ve got the bowling attack to take 10 wickets. If India has runs to play with, their bowlers can do the job. I think day one in Melbourne is absolutely crucial for India”s chances in the series,” Mark Taylor feels.
Going to be tough for India to bounce back without Kohli: Mark Taylor
Taylor reckons that without Virat Kohli, who has returned home to attend the birth of his child, it will be a challenging task for India to stage any sort of a comeback in the series. The former opener believes that not only India has lost a key batsman in Kohli, but also his captaincy shoes are too big to fill for anyone.
Ajinkya Rahane will be the stand-in skipper for the next three Tests. Taylor says that Rahane would first have to motivate the team – after recording India’s lowest ever Test total in the opening Test – and then ensure a good start to the Boxing Day Test.
“I think it’s certainly going to be tougher for them to bounce back without Kohli, obviously they’ve lost an outstanding batsman. But the bigger hole to fill is his leadership, and the drive he gives the side. That will be the area that Rahane and the team management will have to be conscious of, and I’m sure they will be. They’ll have been working hard, firstly to put Adelaide behind them, and secondly to make sure they hit the ground running on Boxing Day,” Mark Taylor added.