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The India vs Australia 2020 series is just around the corner as cricket fans gear up for an adventurous Australian summer. Banking on Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, India won their first Test series Down Under during their previous tour in 2018-19. As a result, Australian great Glenn McGrath feels India hold the bragging rights currently as both the teams gear up for the Broder-Gavaskar Trophy. McGrath shared his overall thoughts for the tournament and explains why he feels that India has no fear coming to Australia like they earlier had in his playing days.
Indian captain Virat Kohli led the national side to their first-ever Test Series win Down Under in 2018, which is still considered as one of his biggest achievements. However, things will not be the same this time around as the Indian skipper is only available for the first Test. Virat Kohli is expected to feature in the pink-ball Test that will be played in Adelaide from December 17-21.
The Indian skipper will be missing all the remaining three Tests. Kohli was granted paternity leave by the BCCI as he will return to India and be with his wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of the duo’s first child.
McGrath spoke on Kohli’s absence by saying how the Indian captain is worth 2 players. He goes on to add how his captaincy and batsmanship helped India win the last time around. The former pacer also mentioned how Australia have the upper hand this time around with Warner and Smith coming back to the Test setup.
Hindustan Times quoted Glenn McGrath, who said, "It will impact the series. The player of his quality and class, for India to lose him in three out of four Tests is a big blow. It will be for the other players to step up. I can totally understand him wanting to go back for his first child’s birth.”
Glenn McGrath also hails the importance of Cheteshwar Pujara in the Indian team’s Test setup. Pujara was a vital cog in India’s success last time around as India’s No.3 recorded 521 runs in 4 matches. The Saurashtra-based player also registered a staggering average of 74.42 during India’s triumph in 2018-19 in Australia.
Glenn McGrath said how Pujara’s main trait that helped him excel the last time was his ability to occupy the crease. He added how Pujara just keeps on batting and does not feel the pressure of scoring runs. He went on to applaud the unique trait of Pujara that helped him last time and allowed him to get a lot of time to just compile runs.
However, McGrath also predicted that Pujara might find it difficult this time. He shared how the Indian batsman, who last featured in a competitive match back in March 2020, hasn’t spent much time in the middle, with no rhythm, momentum or practice as such to shore up his confidence. The fast bowler concluded that Pujara would possibly have to work harder to succeed this time in Australia and perhaps his form will be critical in deciding the fate of the series.
India squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohd. Siraj.
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