Australian Test captain Tim Paine has said that his side is aware of the talent that the Indian team boasts of in their ranks and they will not put their foot off the peddle once regular skipper and charismatic batsman Virat Kohli leaves the series after the first Test.
Virat Kohli will miss the last three Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as he will head back home in order to be with his pregnant wife Anushka Sharma, who is set to deliver their first child in January.
In Kohli’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team. Rahane led the team with aplomb during the series-decider between the two sides three years ago in Dharamsala when Virat had to sit out due to a shoulder injury.
Rahane led the team to a series win and Tim Paine is well aware of the role that he played during India’s triumphant 2018-19 tour.
Tim Paine said that the Australians will be focussing on India’s vice-captain. He also heaped high praise on Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant- the top-2 run-getters for India in 2018/19- adding that the visitors have enough firepower in the tank to make up for the loss of Virat Kohli after the Adelaide Test.
“When Kohli leaves, we know the talent they have in their side. Pujara obviously troubled us a lot last time around so he is a big key for us, but we know the talent they have, we saw Rishabh Pant hitting a very quick hundred in the second practice game so they have got guys who can take away the Test match pretty quickly,” Tim Paine said during the virtual press-conference ahead of the first Test.
“Clearly, Rahane held the team together last time, he was the glue last time around so he is a huge focus for us.” he added.
The first Test between Australia and India will take place at the Adelaide Oval from December 17.