Australia vs India 2020-21: Waqar Younis Backs Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane To Step Up In Virat Kohli's Absence

Australia vs India 2020-21: Waqar Younis Backs Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane To Step Up In Virat Kohli’s Absence

Waqar Younis, Shahid Afridi, Gautam Gambhir
Waqar Younis. Credits: Getty Images

Former Pakistan captain, Waqar Younis believes that India has a strong batting line-up even in the absence of skipper, Virat Kohli who will miss a major portion of the Test series against Australia.

Australia will host India for six white-ball games and four Test matches. The three-match ODI series commences on 27th November followed by 3 T20Is. The high-octane Border-Gavaskar series will begin on 17th December with a day-night Test in Adelaide followed by the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, New Year’s Test in Sydney, and the last Test match in Australia’s fortress, Brisbane.

Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma Australia
Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma. (Photo: Twitter)

Virat Kohli will miss out on the last three Test matches as he will return to India to attend the birth of his first child. He has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI and will lead the side in the ODIs, T20Is, and the first Test in Adelaide. Ajinkya Rahane is likely to captain the team in the last three games.

Pujara and Rahane are notable Test performers: Waqar Younis

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane
Cheteshwar Pujara-Ajinkya Rahane (credits – Zee News)

Waqar Younis feels that the India batting unit is pretty strong and will give the Aussie bowlers a run for their money despite Virat Kohli’s absence. He picks two middle-order batters, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to shine in Australia based on their respective Test careers.

Pujara was the highest scorer and the Player of the Series in India’s victory down under a couple of years ago. Rahane averaged 71 last year with two hundreds and 5 fifties.

Waqar also said that India will miss Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma from the Test series because of their quality and experience in international cricket.

Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma haven’t travelled with the Indian team to Australia. Both the players are recovering from the injuries they suffered during the IPL. In recent news, doubts are looming whether Rohit will make it to the Test matches in time or not. KL Rahul, the Kings XI Punjab skipper, has been named the vice-captain of the limited-overs team.

As quoted by news agency PTI, waqar Younis said,  “The Indian batting is also pretty impressive with some notable test performers like Pujara and Rahane so I expect good contests.

“Rohit is a top act while Ishant has a lot of experience and wickets behind him and they can’t make it for the Test matches, India will feel their absence.”

David Warner, Steven Smith, South Africa
David Warner, Steven Smith. (Credits – AFP)

The 49-year-old opined that the hosts are strengthened by the return of Steve Smith and David Warner- who missed the previous series owing to their year-long ban. However, the current Pakistani bowling coach lauded the Indian pace bowlers and feels that they will perform well like they did a couple of years ago.

“Australia are playing at home and have developed a good pace attack and with David Warner and Steve Smith back they appear to be very strong but India also has some good pace bowlers who have come up rapidly and they bowled well on their last tour to Australia,” Waqar Younis added.

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