According to the former India opener, Virat Kohli's absence might see the Indian cricket team players "raise their game" against the hosts.
“If you actually have a look, India have won every time Virat wasn’t there, be it the Dharamshala Test against Australia, the Afghanistan Test, Nidahas Trophy or the Asia Cup in 2018. Indian players do tend to raise their game when he is not around. They understand they have to make up for his absence,” Sunil Gavaskar told TOI on Friday.
Virat Kohli has been India's leading run-scorer for the last few years and his form has been pivotal in their success in the longest format of the game. Over the course of the four Test matches against Australia in 2018, Kohli scored 282 runs and played an important role in India's historic 2-1 triumph.
Sunil Gavaskar believes Rahane can do well in Virat Kohli's absence
Undoubtedly, Virat Kohli is currently India's most successful Test captain, and his departure will put Rahane's captaincy under the crosshairs. Rahane is one of the rare players to have a flawless captaincy record with a 100% win percentage for India.
He last captained India against Afghanistan in 2018 and had also stepped up in 2016 in the 4th Test of a closely fought Australia's tour of India.
But the sample size is too small to predict how the modest Rahane will fare out against the bullish Australians at their home. Sunil Gavaskar, though, trusts him for the job and believes that being at the saddle for this series will help the Mumbaikar in his batting as well.
“It’s going to be tough for Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Both these players have to bat out of their skin. Captaincy will actually help Rahane. He will feel a lot more secure and in control of situations. The selection committee is clear about who should lead in Virat’s absence and he has done well as a Test captain,” Sunil Gavaskar said during an interaction arranged by Sony Network.
India will go head to head against the Australians in six limited-overs games starting on Friday, November 27th, followed by the first Test in Adelaide on 17th December.Published 21 Nov 2020, 09:48 IST