Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has opined that India cannot win the Test series without finding success in the limited-overs leg. India already trails the three-match ODI series, suffering a 66-run defeat in Sydney and conceded a mammoth 374. Michael Clarke believes that Virat Kohli’s departure midway through the series will further make it challenging for the tourists.
Indian captain Virat Kohli, who has not had an impressive start in the first ODI, will not be available for the full four-match Test series after the white-ball fixtures. The 32-year old will play only in the first Test in Adelaide and return home for the impending birth of his first child. His absence would mean that the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will have to do the bulk of run-scoring and will need inspiration from the leadership point of view too.
Michael Clarke underlined that Virat Kohli is arguably the best player in the world and his absence leaves a gaping hole in India’s line-up. The New South Wales lad believes that by winning the T20 and ODI series, the visitors will remain in good stead and carry the momentum to the Test series. Clarke added that having the captain only for the first Test makes it an uphill task for India to win, especially in Australia.
“Virat Kohli is the best player in the world. Anytime he is not playing, it’s going to be a huge loss for India. What I meant was India have to start well, they need some success in the ODI series and T20 series to carry that momentum into the Test series. In my opinion, having Virat Kohli only in the first Test makes it extremely hard for India to win that Test series, particularly in Australian conditions,” Clarke stated as quoted by India Today.
He is their true leader: Michael Clarke
The World Cup-winning captain underlined that it would be impossible to replace a calibre of cricketer Virat Kohli. Michael Clarke stated that Kohli brings plenty more to the team other than his batting as the Indian team follows him and is inevitably their true leader.
“How do you replace Virat Kohli? It’s impossible. Not only his batting but also his leadership, his aggressive approach, that’s what he brings to that side. The Indian team follow him. He is their true leader,” the 39-year old added.