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Virat Kohli’s absence an opportunity for Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul to step in – Harbhajan Singh

Virat Kohli’s absence an opportunity for Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul to step in - Harbhajan Singh

Cricket   |   November 19, 2020

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India’s veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh feels Virat Kohli’s absence will be an opportunity for players like Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul to step in.

Kohli will miss the last three Test matches of the Test series against Australia as he will head back to India to be with his wife for the birth of his first child.

India will have big shoes to fill and it is not going to be easy for them to go past the potent Australian team in the latter’s own conditions. However, it will also be an opportunity for someone like KL Rahul, who has been in sublime form in the white ball format.

Rahul has batted at the top of his game in the white ball format and he was the leading run-getter of the recently concluded IPL as he had amassed 670 runs in 14 matches at an average of 55.83 for Kings XI Punjab. However, Rahul last played a Test match back in August 2019 against West Indies and it would be interesting to note his form in the red ball version.

On the other hand, Cheteshwar Pujara was India’s hero in the previous tour of Australia as he had finished as the highest run-getter with 521 runs at an average of 74.43 in four Test matches. Thus, Pujara was awarded the Player of the series as he had scored three centuries.

However, Pujara was last seen in action back in February in the Test series against New Zealand and since then hasn’t had any match practice. Consequently, Pujara will look to hit the ground running on the tour Down Under.

Harbhajan Singh told Sports Tak, “Virat Kohli is coming back after the first Test but this opens the window of opportunity for someone like KL Rahul, who is coming back in the Test team. Virat Kohli is a big player and he has scored runs whenever he has toured Australia, his absence will be missed but this is an opportunity for players to step in”.

“Virat Kohli’s absence should be seen in this manner. KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara are big players and they have an opportunity to prove themselves.

Indian players have the experience under their belt and the players like Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara will need to score the big runs for the visitors.

The first Test match will take place at Adelaide Oval from December 17.

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