Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman, who boasts an incredible batting record in Australia, feels that to beat the Kangaroos in their own backyard, you need to be mentally strong and aggressive. He also added that Virat Kohli's absence will be a big opportunity for others to step up and do well.
India will start the defense of the Border-Gavaskar trophy under Virat Kohli at Adelaide Oval from December 17, however, he will leave for India for the birth of his first child and won't be part of the last three Tests. One of the biggest things with Kohli is his batting, but he also leads India with a lot of aggression and that rubs on all the other players as they go from strength to strength, unafraid of failures and express themselves be it with their game or their mouth like we saw with Rishabh Pant, last time when India won 2-1 in 2018/19 Test series Down Under.
Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman, who himself had 1,236 runs in 15 Tests at 44.14 with four centuries in Australia, asserted that the team needs to be up there in terms of their mindset and it has to be mentally strong and aggressive as he reckons that was the reason the side won last time than just the skills.
“They have to just go back and revisit what they did in the previous Australia tour and it’s not only about the skill, but also the mindset. I thought everyone - right from the batsmen to the bowling unit - was aggressive in their mindset. And, if you have to beat Australia in Australia, it is very important that you are mentally strong and aggressive. That’s the reason why they won last time. I am sure they will continue to play with the same mindset, even this time around”, Laxman told Sports Star.
The Indian veteran who played 134 Tests and averaged 45.97 stated that Kohli is going to be a big miss for India as he has an impeccable record in Australia.
“Virat Kohli is a nemesis for the Australians. If you see his record, it is second to none on Australian soil. As a captain and as a world class batsman, he has always batted with authority against Australia in their own backyard. So definitely, there is no doubt that India will miss the impact of Virat, but I think this could be an opportunity for someone else to step up,” Laxman remarked.
However, he also feels that it could be a chance for others to step up and prove their worth. Shubman Gill is likely to make his Test debut in the absence of Virat Kohli.
“That’s the beauty of international sport. When some big player - in this case, it’s Virat - misses out, it is an opportunity for some other players to step up and showcase his talent and I hope that there will be some other hero who will emerge in the series,”
“Last time, in the batting unit, it was more of Pujara and Virat, and in bowling, it was a combined effort. I am hoping that there will be a new hero, who will emerge in the absence of Virat in this series,” Laxman said.
Laxman also highlighted the challenge for cricketers to live in a bio-bubble but was happy with how teams did with the new protocols in place in the IPL 2020.
“There is no doubt that living in a bio-bubble is a challenge for anybody. But the way the players have handled that in the IPL, I am confident that they will embrace the challenge because they know that representing the country is the biggest honour,” Laxman said.