Former Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar believes that the departure of Team India captain Virat Kohli will leave a “void” for India in their upcoming Test tour of Australia, but also pointed out that it will give a golden opportunity to a young player to showcase his talent. Virat Kohli will only play and lead the side in the first out of the four tests, scheduled in Adelaide on December 17, before coming back to India for the birth of his first child. For sometime now, there have been calls from some former cricketers for Kohli, India’s captain in all three formats, to hand over some of his captaincy duties permanently. Tendulkar however did not wish to comment on that matter but said India’s bench strength would help as they will be looking to win a second straight Test series win in Australia.
“When you lose an experienced player like this (Kohli) there is without any doubt a void, but let’s understand, this is not about individuals. It is about our team and the best part about Indian cricket right now is there is bench strength,” Sachin Tendulkar, told AFP in an interview.
Tendulkar further said “So Virat has to come back for personal reasons and some youngster is going to get a chance to play in his spot and that’s an opportunity for someone else.”
Till now the Down under tour has resulted in Australia beating India in the one-day series with scoreline of 2-1, with the tourists reversing the result in the Twenty20 matches.
During Team India’s last tour in Australia in 2018-19, Kohli’s men had created history by winning their first Test series in Australia. But they are also aware that the challenge would be higher this time.
Australia are just ahead of India in the world Test rankings and the Adelaide game will be India’s first day-night five-dayer on foreign soil.
Tendulkar, the former Team India captain , said the current Australian side is a lot stronger with leading batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith back after being suspended for two years in the ball-tampering case.
“From the last time that Australia played India they have got three important players. They have got Warner who is back in the team, Smith and (Marnus) Labuschagne, this is a far better squad compared to the earlier one. When a couple of your senior members are not there, suddenly that void is felt and that is what Australia felt.” said Tendulkar.
But Tendulkar stressed on the point that India’s bowling attack led by the fiery Jasprit Bumrah and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is also looking stronger and can give a stiff challenge to Australia.
“Every era should be kept separate, I don’t like comparing,” he said, when asked if this was the strongest attack India has produced.
“But I can say that it (India) is a complete bowling attack. So it doesn’t matter what kind of surface you are playing on, you have got all sides covered.
“You have got bowlers who can swing the ball. When it comes to variations and awkwardness, that is also there.
“Someone hitting the deck hard is also there. We have got a wrist spinner, we have got finger spinners.”
Tendulkar, a right-hand batting maestro, made his debut for India aged just 16 in 1989 and set a swathe of batting records before retiring in 2013.