‘They are big players’: Harbhajan Singh names two batsmen who can stand up in Virat Kohli’s absence in Australia Tests

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh believes the best way for the Indian cricket team to deal with Virat Kohli’s absence after the first Test against Australia is to forget about it. Kohli’s departure from Australia after the day-night Test in Adelaide is a blow for India not only because of his batting but due to the effect he has on his players on the field.

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And while his absence is sure to have an impact in some way or the other, by no means does it guarantee that India cannot repeat their success in Australia from two years ago, remarks Harbhajan.

“Virat Kohli is coming back after the first Test but this open 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,” Harbhajan told Sports Tak.

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With Kohli’s departure, it is likely that vice-captain of the team, Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team. And as far as batting is concerned, Harbhajan feels the fact that the Indian batting line-up is stacked with high-calibre players who are proven match-winners, should cover up for Kohli’s absence. Harbhajan backed players like Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul to stand up and lead India’s batting.

During India’s previous tour of Australia Pujara was the rock that stood in front of Australia, scoring 521 runs. Rahul’s record in Tests has been a bit off colour in his previous series but the fact that he’s coming off a solid IPL, where he bagged the Orange Cap, coupled with a fine run in limited-overs international for India, should help his confidence Down Under.

“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. I think Team India has it in them but the fact that Virat Kohli is there or not should be forgotten. The team should just remember that they are in Australia to win and repeat what they did the last time,” Harbhajan said.

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