Former Indian fast bowler Chetan Sharma has backed the Indian side to be competitive and even beat Australia in their den for the second time running despite regular skipper Virat Kohli being available for just one out of the four-Test matches.
Virat Kohli will head home following the culmination of the pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval in order to be with his pregnant wife Anushka Sharma.
Kohli’s absence is set to leave a massive void in the Indian team and possibly jeopardize their chances of doing an encore of 2018-19, when they beat Australia 2-1. But Sharma has backed other players like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and youngsters like Shubman Gill to step-up to the occasion.
“I don’t believe that some players are not there and it will be easy for the other side. See the other players – Rahane and Pujara especially. They have done really well in the warm-up games. They are one of the best players of red-ball cricket India has. In the absence of Kohli and Rohit, others will have the opportunity to perform well, win matches for the team, and cement their places permanently in the side,” Chetan Sharma told Timesofindia.com.
“It is not that easy for any batsman to cement his place in the Indian team. And when you have got the opportunity, they should come forward and do wonders for the team in the absence of Kohli and Rohit. You don’t get these types of chances and opportunities. A youngster should sit and realise that he has got the India cap and he has to do well. There are very few who get to wear the India cap,” he added.
‘India won the series last time and they will definitely win this time as well’- Chetan Sharma
India won the 2018-19 rubber by a margin of 2-1. But the caveat attached to that win is the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner.
While Warner will miss the 1st Test due to injury, Steve Smith will be raring to go against his favorite opposition.
However, Sharma reckons that India boasts of enough firepower in their fast bowling department, who are capable of leading the visitors to another heist Down Under despite the presence of Smith and Warner.
“India are doing really well. India won the series last time and they will definitely win this time as well. There is no excuse this time that Warner and Smith are not there. It doesn’t matter who is there and who is not. When it will become history, everyone will be asking one thing – who won the series? It will never be highlighted that particular players were not available,” Sharma said.
“India should beat Australia hands down because we have one of the best fast bowling attacks in the world. We have Shami, Bumrah, and Umesh. We have class spinners like Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja is one of the specialists in the Indian team. He has done wonders for Indian cricket and in all formats,” Sharma added.