One of the biggest concerns for Team India, when Virat Kohli returns after the first Test, is that who will bat for them at number four. Along with his captaincy, Kohli will be missed as the number four batsman as well. This will be the biggest loss for India in the Test series believes former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting. Kohli’s absence from the last three Test matches is the biggest talking point in the Test series at the moment and Ponting has just fuelled it by bringing the number four equation into the context.
Talking to Cricket Australia’s official website Ponting said that Kohli’s absence will expose India’s perennial number four problem in Test matches.
Ricky Ponting Highlights India’s Number 4 Problems in Virat Kohli’s Absence
“I don’t think they’ll be clear in their own mind, even now, what their batting order will look like for the first Test. Who’s going to open, who’ll bat at four when Kohli goes?,” Ponting said.
He also added saying that Kohli’s absence will add the pressure of captaincy on Ajinkya Rahane as well. Having seen Rahane play for Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2020 earlier, Ponting knows that he is not in the best of form and therefore has no confidence heading into the big Test series.
“India will feel that without Kohli there (for three Tests), for his batting and leadership, that’ll put all sorts of pressure on different players. You’d think (Ajinkya) Rahane will take over the captaincy, which will put extra pressure on him, and they’ve got to find someone to bat at that really important No.4 spot,” he added.
Ponting further said that with people questioning about Australia’s opening combinations, the Indian team has more questions to answer about their own bowling combinations and the state of their injury.
“(Fast bowlers Mohammad) Shami, Jasprit Bumrah – will it be Ishant (Sharma), with it be Umesh Yadav, will it be a young guy like (Navdeep) Saini or (Mohammad) Siraj? They’ve got a lot of questions to ask as well. And which spinner? They’ve got a few spinners in their squad and they’ve got to figure out which one to pick for the pink-ball game in Adelaide” Ricky Ponting said.
This will be India’s first cricketing assignment in the post-COVID era. They will be playing 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and four Test matches starting from November 27.