Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Indian team is likely to miss the services of Virat Kohli in the Test series against Australia slightly more than those of Rohit Sharma in the limited-overs leg of the tour.
He made this observation while responding to viewer questions in a video shared on his Facebook page.
Aakash Chopra was asked whom India will miss more - Rohit Sharma in limited-overs or Virat Kohli in Tests - in the upcoming tour of Australia. He responded that it is a tough call, as both of them are critical players for the Indian team.
"They are the two eyes, whom will you miss more. You need both the eyes to see and if you remove one of the eyes, then it will definitely be a big miss."
Talking about Rohit Sharma, the reputed commentator pointed out that the pace and bounce of the Aussie pitches would have assisted his strokeplay and that the Indian limited-overs vice-captain will be missed a lot.
"If you talk about Rohit in ODIs, these are Australian grounds where if he is not there, it is going to be very very difficult. The ball will have the pace and the bounce, you will miss his experience."
He also questioned Rohit Sharma playing in the IPL 2020 finals on 10th November but not being fit enough to play the limited-overs leg of the tour of Australia.
"I am still not able to understand that if a person was fit on the 10th, was playing the IPL final and played a good knock to win the match, how he cannot be a superhit on the 27th. This is something I am still not able to digest."
The former KKR player added that he would have preferred Rohit Sharma playing the first ODI against Australia on 27th November rather than the IPL finals if he is not fully fit.
"Because if he is 70% fit, then I would still want him not to play on the 10th and play for India on the 27th because it is very much required for him to play for India. He is the life of the Indian team."
Aakash Chopra on the Indian team missing Virat Kohli in Tests slightly more than Rohit Sharma in limited-overs cricket
Aakash Chopra highlighted that Virat Kohli's absence in the last three Test matches of the Australian tour will be a huge setback for the Indian team.
"Kohli coming back after the first Test is also a big problem."
Aakash Chopra signed off by observing that Virat Kohli will be missed slightly more than Rohit Sharma, considering the greater importance of the Test series.
"Although you are going to miss both of them equally, because I give more importance to Test cricket than white-ball cricket, especially if it is the Border-Gavaskar Trophy which you need to retain, then it will be very difficult without Kohli. So maybe Kohli will be missed a little more than Rohit Sharma."
With Virat Kohli opting out of the last three Tests in the series against Australia, the onus will now be on the other senior batsmen in the Indian lineup - Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma to name a few - to rise to the occasion and deliver the goods for the team.
Pujara would like to continue his rich vein of form from India's last tour of Australia, where he carried the burden of the Indian batting on his shoulders.
Published 18 Nov 2020, 12:30 IST