Indian veteran Harbhajan Singh has said the next round of testing against Australia will be a big challenge for the Indian cricket team in the absence of Virat Kohli. The Indian captain has been granted paternity leave from BCCI and Kohli will only play the first test of the four-game series. The Indian skipper will then return to India for the birth of his first child with his wife and Bollywood superstar Anushka Sharma.
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Speaking in an interaction on India today, Harbhajan Singh said Kohli’s absence would make it difficult, but added that India still had the list to challenge the Australian team.
“This team has enough power to keep the trophy. They played brilliant cricket the last time they were in Australia, Virat Kohli was absolutely brilliant and Pujara too, ”said Harbajan Singh.
“You can hardly hear his name because he’s always under the shadow of the big players, but Pujara’s contribution has been great. It’s going to be a big challenge without Virat Kohli, but I still think the Indian team has that kind of batting lineup and also bowling, which has been a key factor for them … they can get those 20 wickets, ” he added.
“They have the team to beat Australia in Australia even with David Warner and Steve Smith,” Harbhajan added.
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“The series will start tied, but I would give India the advantage because it allowed the team to play in any condition, whether it was Australia or England, they have the mentality. Both teams haven’t played much quality cricket due to the pandemic year. But the Indian cricketers went there right after the IPL, which will give them some sort of edge over the Australians, ”the veteran concluded.
India will play 3 ODI, 3 T20I and 4 Tests against Australia with the first ODI being played in Sydney next week on Friday.