Michael Clarke believes that no one can fill Virat Kohli’s boots, while adding that in case India manage to beat the Aussies in their own backyard in Kohli’s absence, it would be a massive reason to celebrate.
Virat Kohli will miss the last three Tests to go back to be beside his wife as the star couple are expecting the birth of the first child in January.
Michael Clarke: Virat Kohli’s Void Will Be Hard To Fill
Even before India travelled to Australia for the ongoing series comprising of 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 4 Tests, major news came from the Indian camp. Skipper Virat Kohli was granted paternity leave and will be returning home after the first Test which is scheduled to begin from December 17th in Adelaide.
While ongoing debates are on whether India can beat Australia in the longest format in talismanic skipper Virat Kohli’s absence, many believe it will certainly be a hard challenge.
Michael Clarke said that there are two aspects of Virat Kohli-captaincy and batting, which will be hard to fill once he departs home. He said although there are talented cricketers, it will be hard to fill Virat Kohli’s void.
“There are probably two sides to Virat, one is the captaincy part and the other is the batting part. Who is going to bat in place of Virat. KL Rahul is very talented, there is no doubt about it. I think he is experienced, playing in these conditions before. He can do it,”
“But Virat Kohli’s boots can never be filled by anybody. I love Jinx (Rahane). He is a great player. His captaincy is pretty good. Tactically, he is a very good captain and it’s going to be good for India. You have got to see it as an opportunity. You have got to try and create history,” Clarke said on the latest episode of Inspiration on India Today TV.
Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in Virat Kohli’s absence in all probability. He had led previously in 2 tests and both times India won though both were at home against Australia and Afghanistan.
Michael Clarke: India Can Celebrate For A Year If They Create History By Winning
India looked rusty and disappointed in the first two ODIs against Australia where the home team batting first both times scored in excess of 350. Both times India came close, but the target was too steep to chase.
“If India can beat Australia at Australia’s own backyard without Virat Kohli, you can celebrate for a year. That will be an unbelievable win,” he further said.
“I think that’s the way Indian players have to look at it. They have to believe they are good enough to take on and beat this Australian team,” he signed off.
India, meanwhile, have already lost the three-match ODI series against Australia after the hosts took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series on Sunday following a 51-run win. In the first ODI, Australia won by 66 runs. Michael Clarke said that India must believe in themselves to hand Australia defeat in their own backyard sans Virat Kohli.