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Indian skipper Virat Kohli (file image)
Indian skipper Virat Kohli (file image)

Virat's absence for three Tests huge setback for India: Coach Rajkumar Sharma

ANI | Updated: Nov 24, 2020 16:20 IST

By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], November 24 (ANI): Rajkumar Sharma, the childhood coach of Virat Kohli on Tuesday said that the absence of the Indian skipper for three Tests against Australia would be a setback for the side. Skipper Kohli will be playing just one Test against Australia, and will then head back home after being granted paternity leave by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
India and Australia are slated to lock horns against each other in three ODIs, three T20Is, and four Tests. India and Australia will first play against each other in ODIs and T20Is and then both sides will shift their attention to the longest format of the game.
"It's a very important series and we know both teams are very competitive, this series is very crucial and the world is looking forward to it. After a long time, competitive cricket will be seen and I feel it will be a good series to watch. Kohli will come back after the first Test and it will be a big setback for the team," Rajkumar Sharma told ANI.
"Everyone knows the kind of record Virat has against Australia, he gives the team the desired momentum and he is a sort of captain who leads from the front. He is very focused and determined so I think the Indian team will miss these qualities against Australia. The hosts will have a slight advantage but I hope that the players who get an opportunity in the absence of Virat grab their chance as we have talented players on our side," he said further.

In absence of Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the Indian side. Talking about Rahane, Rajkumar said: "Ajinkya Rahane is a very good player, in Tests, he has a good record, he has good technique and he is a good leader, he will have a chance to establish himself as a captain."
Rohit Sharma recently won his fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) as the skipper of Mumbai Indians. After that, many former cricketers including Gautam Gambhir, Michael Vaughan have vouched for Rohit to become the captain of India's T20 side.
Talking about split captaincy, Rajkumar said: "I don't understand why there are so many questions regarding the captaincy, if anyone has doubt then he should look at the records of Virat, don't look at just the IPL record, look at what Virat has done for the country and see how he leads the team, after seeing the records, they themselves will say that Virat should lead the Indian side."
Kohli's childhood coach also believes that having played the IPL, all the Indian players will be in sync. He also believes that training during the quarantine period will hold the side in good stead.
"By playing the IPL, players have got rhythm, it's understood that IPL is a different format but it will surely help players in Australia. We will play ODIs and T20Is first and by the time Tests start, we will be properly prepared. Adaptability is important for Test cricket, it's a different ball game but the Indian team will have enough time behind them. They have practiced regularly during the quarantine period so I think the players will be in good shape going into the Test series," he said. (ANI)