Former India coach Ravi Shastri is confident that Virat Kohli‘s near-50 average in Tests against Australia will spur him on and if he gets going in the first couple of innings, he would spell doom for the Australians. “His (Kohli’s) record against Australia would spur him on. He would be charged up and want to start well. You should look at his first two innings. If he gets off to a start, he would be a thorn in flesh for Aussies. They would for sure won’t want that to happen,” Shastri said in an interaction facilitated by Star Sports.
“Kohli has average of just under 50 against Australia. Amazing record, that should really get him going.”
Shastri reckoned that India should keep their 12 ready with Shubman Gill in the scheme of things and then decide looking at the conditions of the track. He doesn’t want Suryakumar Yadav to be ruled out from the playing XI as a quick 40 on a rank turner from him could be a potential game-changer.
“Tough choice. You have to pick the best player for that position (No. 5). Surya is one player who will be proactive and looking to rotate the strike.
“If you want to do well in India, you have got to rotate the strike and not let bowlers bowl maidens at you. Blocking won’t help. A quick 30 or 40 could decide the fate of game. He (Surya) can get (the runs) quickly and disrupt the opposition. India should back themselves to win by two-match margin,” Shastri, a veteran of 80 Tests said.
Better keeper against spinner should get nod
Rishabh Pant‘s absence would really hurt India and Shastri admitted that one tough call would be whether to choose a better batter in Ishan Kishan or a relatively safer keeper in Kona Bharat.
“That’s a tough call for India. That’s how important Pant is. He ticked all boxes. Not only did his keeping improve but he could get under the skin of the opposition. As a batter, he is so dangerous. Pant has played more match-winning knocks than any of our top five batters in recent times. So that’s how big a blow it is.”
As far as the choice between Kishan and Bharat, Shastri said, “If the pitch offers turn, the better keeper should play. For Jadeja, Kuldeep and Ashwin, they would need good keeper behind stumps. Now it is up to you, who do you think is a better keeper.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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