Daryll Cullinan has postulated that India will miss Virat Kohli’s attitude and competitiveness in the upcoming Test series against Australia with the Indian skipper returning home. However, he stated that it presents an opportunity for Pujara and Rahane to take the opportunity and prove their game.
While India cruised home in the first T20I in Canberra, elsewhere at the Drummoyne Oval, the visiting Indian side comprising of their Test stars failed to capitalise on the conditions in the first warm-up game. After opting to bat, India A were reduced to 2-6, which prompted the question of how they could cope up under the pressure in the first Test, starting next week.
While Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara continued from where they left with brilliant batting in the middle, it brings up a bigger question about the Indian attitude. Former South African pacer Daryll Cullinan postulated that the Indian team will miss Virat Kohli’s attitude and competitiveness, something that tilted the Test series their way 2-1 the last they toured Down Under. At the same time, the Proteas player also admitted that it presents an opportunity for Pujara and Rahane to shoulder responsibility.
"India will miss the attitude and competitiveness that Virat brings to the team. His sheer presence gives a boost to the Indian dressing room. However, with Virat not in the side, it's an opportunity for others to step up. India have the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and others to shoulder the responsibility of scoring those crucial runs against a quality Australian bowling line-up," Cullinan said, reported TOI.
However, the Saffer still reckoned that the series would be a keenly-fought one without the presence of Kohli in the Indian camp.
"Both are quality teams and will come hard at each other. Australia, in their own backyard, will always start as favourites but India are a tough side and it should be a keenly-fought series," Cullinan added.
He also was a firm believer in Virat Kohli’s leadership, admitting that Kohli hasn’t done badly in the shortest format which calls for a change in captaincy.
"Has Virat done badly in T20s? No, he hasn't. Then why change the captain. That's my view," he said.