Former India batsman Farokh Engineer has stated that both Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli plan a Test series well and in the latter’s absence, the coach will have a big role. Engineer further stated that Jasprit Bumrah will have a lot to do in the absence of Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Virat Kohli will miss three out of the four Border-Gavaskar Test matches due to the birth of his first child and it is expected to have a huge bearing on the outcome of the Test series. Kohli has been the fulcrum of the side for some years now and the absence of the Indian skipper for a long series like this will be a telling factor but that also means Ravi Shastri stepping up from the word go. Farokh Engineer believes that Shastri will have a big role in the outcome of the series.
“Let the best team win on the given day. Both the teams are world-class and top teams. I know Warner and Smith are back, but that shouldn't stop us from going (on) and winning the series. India are a strong side. I know Virat is not there (after the first Test), but all our players are match-winners.
“In the batting, you have Rohit, Pujara, Rahane, and Saha and in the bowling, you have Shami, Umesh, and Bumrah. So, there is nothing to worry about at all. I am sure India will win the series. In Virat's absence, Ravi Shastri will have a huge responsibility on his shoulders in Australia. Both Virat and Shastri strategise a series really well. In Virat’s absence, Shastri will be doing this big task,” Engineer told TOI.
Not only Kohli, the side will also be without two of their key major pace-bowling weapons Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ishant caused all sorts of problems with the ball last time the team toured Down Under and was crucial to India winning the series comfortably. Engineer noted that Bumrah will have to do well for India not to feel the absence of Ishant.
“India will be without Ishant and Bhuvneshwar. Both are wonderful bowlers. Ishant should have been there. Because he has the experience and he is intimidating. In the absence of Bhuvneshwar and Ishant, Bumrah will have to play a big role. I have a lot of hopes from Bumrah. I am sure he will do wonders in the Test series. He was given rest by Virat so that he is fully prepared for the Test series.
“If Virat will shine with the bat, Bumrah will shine with the ball in the Test series against Australia. Shami will be good support from the other end. Shami and Bumrah will have a lot of responsibilities in the bowling department.”
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy will kick off on December 17 in Adelaide.