In absence of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma will be burdened with a lot of expectations and Glenn McGrath feels that he might step up as he hasn't done justice to his talent in Tests so far. He has also added that Jasprit Bumrah is a class bowler and he likes his mindset, and mental strength.
Rohit Sharma has polarized opinion throughout his career. He has never turned out to be quite the player one expected him to be in Test format, however, he has been a limited-overs great and is as important to India in white-ball cricket as a certain Virat Kohli if not more. There is a feeling among fans that he never quite got a good shot in Tests but now that he is opening, things have started to change as he had a bumper home season as an opener last year.
Sharma, however, will still need to prove his mettle outside of home conditions where he averages 26.32 that too after playing as many as 33 Test innings. At home, Rohit averages a whopping 88.33, and all his six Test centuries have come in India.
In the Border-Gavaskar trophy with Virat Kohli returning home for the birth of his first kid after the opening Test, Rohit is set to be the center of attraction. Former Aussie great Glenn McGrath reckons Rohit might well step up in the upcoming Test series in absence of Kohli and make up for what is considered a Test career that doesn't correspond to his prodigal talent and majestic bating pedigree.
"Rohit Sharma is a quality batsman who hasn't achieved at Test level what he should be achieving in my opinion... Maybe when Virat goes home, he might step up. Having said that, you can't just focus on one player. You have (Ajinkya) Rahane, (Cheteshwar) Pujara, (KL) Rahul, so there's a quality batting line up. Once Virat leaves, it will be an opportunity for someone else to put their hand up and make a mark on the series. Maybe that could be Rohit Sharma," Glenn McGrath said, reported Sportstar.
In what has been a huge blow for India, Virat Kohli will be missing the last three Tests of the Border-Gavaskar trophy as he will be on paternity leave. McGrath opined that it is an understandable decision by Kohli, however, India will miss him badly.
"The birth of your child is a very important time and he wants to be there for it and support his wife. So, I can understand. There is no doubt that it will impact the series, for India to lose a player of his quality and class for potentially three of the four matches is a big blow. It's up to the other players to do the heavy lifting when he is not there."
Jasprit Bumrah is considered one of the greatest assets for India across formats. Last time, when India won the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar trophy Down Under, he was one of the major contributors. The former Aussie quick feels he is a class bowler and after his great IPL run, he would be confident of doing well in Australia.
"Bumrah is a class bowler. I have spoken to him, and I like his mindset, his attitude and the way he goes into a game. He has a lot of mental strength to go along with his skill. He bowls good pace and good areas... his second and third spells are just as quick as his first, so he has got every attribute to be one of the greats at the end of his career.
"He will be fine - it is about confidence and getting a few overs under your belt... the first few matches here will be important for him in terms of finding the right length on the slightly quicker wickets here. That said, he did pretty well in the IPL recently, bowled a lot of overs, so he will be confident in his body."
India's tour of Australia starts from November 27 with the limited-overs leg kick-starting the much-anticipated tour. The Test series will start from December 17 in Adelaide.