Before India traveled to Australia for the upcoming series, big news came out of the BCCI camp. Indian captain Virat Kohli was granted paternity leave in December, which means he will only play the first test against Australia and miss the remaining test matches. It was a big call and while many cricketing pundits have dubbed it as a decision necessary for Kohli to be with his family, many are also wondering how the Batting Order in India will behave in Kohli’s absence. .
Kohli had a fantastic season last time in Australia as he scored 282 points in 4 tests with an average of 40.29. Under his leadership, the Indian team made history by becoming the first Asian nation to win a series of Down Under tests.
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But last time around – Steve Smith and David Warner weren’t on the team – as they were serving their 12-month ban. The duo will be back this time around and provide the depth needed for the Australian batting order.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell believes Kohli’s absence will leave a big hole in India’s batting order. “India also faces a selection dilemma when skipper Virat Kohli returns home for the birth of his first child after the opening test. This creates both a big hole in the Indian batting order and an opportunity for one of their talented young players to make a name for himself, ”Chappell wrote in his column on The Bharat Express News.
Chappell also highlighted confusion over the opening pair in the Australian camp, something that has become a focal point in recent weeks.
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“Speaking of confusion, I was taken aback by the Australian coach’s summons to choose between incumbent Joe Burns and rising star Will Pucovski for the position of opening partner of David Warner,” Chappell wrote.
“If no one else is fighting for the job, Burns keeps his place. However, Pucovski has been knocking on the door for a while now – something Langer craves. Pucovski took a hammer to the entrance by making six centuries at the shield level, including three doubles; two of those double hundreds have come this season. He has indeed proven himself to be good enough at this level, so it’s time to see if he can do well in the Test arena, ”he added.
“What was already shaping up to be an exciting brawl now has the added stimulus of crucial selection decisions. The result may well come down to who is the bravest of selectors, ”concluded the former Australian cricketer.