Home / Sports / For Pat, no Virat not a big factor

For Pat, no Virat not a big factor

Australia’s Test and ODI vice-captain Cummins believes that the India team has enough quality to overcome the skipper’s absence
Virat Kohli

Sayak Banerjee   |   Calcutta   |   Published 17.11.20, 01:55 AM

Unlike Justin Langer, Pat Cummins doesn’t consider Virat Kohli’s absence from three of the four Tests in the upcoming India-Australia Test series to be a huge factor.

Australia’s Test and ODI vice-captain Cummins believes that the India team have enough quality to overcome Kohli’s absence.

The India skipper will only be playing the opening Test, beginning on December 17 in Adelaide, before returning home for the birth of his first child.

In an interaction with select Indian media on Monday, the speedster said: “Honestly, we haven’t spoken too much about it (Kohli’s absence). I saw the announcement in the media. As a captain, obviously Virat will be missed. But the Indian cricket team always finds some incredible batsman, who outside the team, is just waiting for an opportunity. So maybe that new opportunity will be the beginning of someone else’s career.

“Virat’s absence might make a bit of a difference… I am not sure, though, if it’s going to be a deciding factor in the series. But to be honest, we haven’t spoken too much about it.”

All matches of India’s Australia tour will be broadcast on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels.

David Warner and Steve Smith, who were both missed badly by the Aussies in their 1-2 loss to India in 2018-19, are back and they have been further strengthened by Marnus Labuschagne’s remarkable progress as a batsman. Cummins insisted that Australia are better equipped than what they were two years ago.

“Obviously, Smith and Warner are back, while we’ve also got Marnus, who now is one of the best batters in the world. Besides, Travis Head has had another 20 or 30 games (since then) and the bowlers too have progressed two years further down the track.

“So yeah, we’re better equipped than we were a couple of years ago. We’ve got a lot to prove as we pride ourselves on winning at home. 

“India are much the same. They have got the same line-up, same high-quality players, so it’s going to be a great series.”

The Day-Night game at Adelaide Oval will be the first between the two nations. Responding to query from The Telegraph, Cummins agreed that Australia have a slight

advantage going in to the game as they have won all the Day-Night Tests they have played so far. But he was well guarded not to undermine India’s chances.

“I’ll say most times you play at the home ground, at a familiar venue, it’s a bit of an advantage. No doubt, playing a few more games than India in this slightly new Day-Night format might help.

“India have played one Day-Night Test match (at Eden Gardens last year versus Bangladesh) and have had a really good win. Besides, they’ve got a pink-ball warm-up game at the SCG under lights, so they’ll have good preparation leading into this one,” Cummins said.

Managing the quicks’ workload will also carry significance in the Tests, Cummins pointed out. “We’re wiser and more experienced now. Of course, we’re going to have a few big days on the field, but hopefully, we can break that up by some rest, some big scores and putting some pressure back on the Indian line-up. That’ll help as well.”

Addressing racism

Australian players will form a Barefoot Circle to acknowledge the culture of indigenous people before every series, starting with the ODIs versus India from November 27, Cummins said.

“We’ve decided to do the Barefoot Circle. We’re going to look at doing it at the start of each series and it’s a pretty easy decision for us. Not only as a sport, but we as people are absolutely against racism,” Cummins was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.