Former Australia coach John Buchanan recalled the 2018-19 historic Test series of India’s win over Australia and said that it was Cheteshwar Pujara, who emerged the highest run-scorer for India in the series, still captain Virat Kohli’s contributions were equally significant.
During India’s historic 2-1 series win over Australia in 2018-19, Pujara was the leading run-scorer with 521 runs in four Tests, including three centuries, while Kohli totaled 282 runs.
Kohli’s 2018-19 performance was nowhere close to the one Kohli had in 2014-15, where he had scored 692 runs. Looking towards these figures of Kohli, Buchanan reckons Kohli was a monumental figure in the series. His absence will have an impact on India’s performance in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“It will definitely be an advantage for Australia because Virat Kohli was one of the dominant players in the last Test series the two teams played. Of course, Cheteshwar Pujara was the star of the series but Kohli’s presence in the middle was a huge factor in India winning that series. His presence on the field and in the dressing room will be missed by India,” Buchanan said to Times of India.
Being in bio-bubbles tends to have an effect; there is a sort of mental wear down on Indian players, and that is something Kohli had touched upon, and highlighting the same, Buchanan said that is where India will miss Kohli the most.
“Kohli has demonstrated in the last few years that he is a mature leader who keeps this Indian team together. Having said that, I am not for a moment suggesting that the ones who would lead in Kohli’s absence can’t do that,” Buchanan added.
Skipper Kohli will play the three T20Is and ODIs, along with the first Test, and then he will be returned to India due to his wife Anushka Sharma is about to give birth to the couple’s first child.
India would miss Kohli like Australia had miss Steve Smith and David Warner in the last Test series. Now Australia will give them more than just a chance as the star batting duo is back.
“When you look at the Australian batting line-up last time to what it will be now – there is a big change. Warner and Smith bring in a lot of experience to this line-up. Marnus Labuschagne has been in great nick, and so has the other batsmen, but Warner and Smith give the side a potent look,” Buchanan further added.
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