Indian captain Virat Kohli recently confirmed that he is likely to miss as many as 3 of the 4 test matches that India will play against Australia in the land down under. The 32-year-old and his wife, Anushka Sharma, are expecting their first child in January 2021 and undoubtedly, the skipper has made his intentions clear of being there for the birth.India’s Tour of Australia is set to start from November 27 and will culminate in mid-January. The series comprises 3 ODIs, 3 T20s, and 4 test matches. Kohli is expected to lead the charge in the ODI and T20 Series but will be absent for a majority of the Test series.
A Big Setback for the Side?
Virat Kohli’s captaincy record in the test format is commendable, leading many to believe that his absence may prove India the test series. Of course, this is just speculation at this point but the numbers speak for themselves. Even from an online cricket betting perspective, the bookmakers are likely to revise the odds and favour the Aussies slightly more.The same holds good for fantasy cricket too, that may see the participants scramble to pick their captain to bag most points.As the skipper, Kohli has overseen India’s performance in 55 test games so far - second only to MS Dhoni who leads the way with 60 matches. Of that, he has guided India to an impressive 33 victories while losing 12 and drawing on 10 occasions. His win-rate as the captain is at an impressive 60% in this format.When we compare his performance to the rest of the cricketers across the world, his winning percentage in test matches falls only behind the likes of retired legends such as Steve Waugh (71%) and Ricky Ponting (62%).Undoubtedly, Kohli has proven himself to be one of the most prolific captains in the red-ball format. Without him at the helm in Australia, the Baggy Greens may feel a bit more bold and confident.
A Chance for the Kangaroos to Avenge?
India have been dominant against the Aussies in the recent test series. Case in point, they have won three of their last four test series, with two of those trophies coming back to back - one at home (2016-17) and one on the away turf (2018-19).Both of those series comprised 4 test matches that the Boys in Blue won by 2-1 - talk about a coincidence! Now here’s the common denominator - Kohli was the captain in both those victories.Admittedly, it is a matter of pride for the hosts now - after all, they have lost two test series back to back to India. Despite being the No. 1 team in the ICC Test Rankings, they lead the visitors by a mere two points. If they want to retain their spot in the rankings and level the playing field again, beating India in cricket in this format would be one way to go.Kohli’s possible absence paves the way for that. Ajinkya Rahane is likely to resume the role as the vice-captain and do the heavy lifting of leading the side. He has only two caps under his belt so inexperience may be a factor here. That said, India is fielding a pretty impressive, in-form squad that can very well support the captain.
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