As the countdown to the first of the four Tests begins, former Indian Test cricketer VVS Laxman has opined on India’s chances. After an even result in the six limited-overs games across T20Is and ODIs between India and Australia, the two iconic sides will lock horns in red-ball cricket. VVS Laxman feels that the first day of the opening Test will set the tone for the remainder of the series.
India warmed up for their first pink-ball Test overseas with a practice match in Sydney and although the Test ended in a draw, the visitors had plenty of positives out of it. Even as Virat Kohli will depart after the first Test, the men in blue have competent players to make up for him. The likes of Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal, and Rishabh Pant have all made compelling cases ahead of the first Test.
VVS Laxman believes that India must start well to be in good stead for the remaining fixtures in the tour, especially with Virat Kohli set to return home after the first Test. The 134-Test veteran also wants to see KL Rahul open in red-ball cricket even as his form in the same has not been satisfactory but pointed out the 28-year old’s experience and success in Australia previously.
“How India starts the first day of the series, be it with bat or ball, will set the tone for what will follow, especially with Virat Kohli returning home after this match. That’s one of the reasons why I’d like to see KL Rahul partner Mayank Agarwal at the top. Rahul has been in great touch, admittedly in different formats; but he has experience of having played and savoured Test success in Australia previously,” Laxman said as quoted by Times of India.
This Indian side has what it takes to rise to the occasion and compete: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman further said that India could derive confidence from their victory last time around and the fearless brand of cricket. At the same time, he warned the challenge the pink-ball Test presents and the hurdles that come with playing against Australia as compared to Bangladesh. Nevertheless, the 46-year old remains confident of the tourists’ ability to rise to the challenge and compete.
“India can derive confidence from their sides win last time around and the brand of cricket they have showcased, but Adelaide offers a unique challenge in that it will be their first pink-ball Test overseas. Their only previous day-night Test was in Kolkata more than a year back, where they were barely tested by Bangladesh. Australia, with greater exposure to this innovation, will be a much tougher opposition; but this Indian side has what it takes to rise to the occasion and compete,” the former Test specialist added.