India vs Australia: ‘Will be a big challenge without Virat Kohli,’ says Harbhajan Singh

Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh opined that the upcoming Test series against Australia will be a big challenge for the Indian cricket team in the absence of Virat Kohli. The India captain was granted paternity leave by the BCCI and Kohli will only be playing the first Test in the four-match series. The Indian skipper will be returning to India afterwards for the birth of his first child with wife and Bollywood superstar Anushka Sharma.

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Speaking in an interaction on India today, Harbhajan Singh said that Kohli’s absence will make it challenging but he added that India still has the line-up to challenge the Australian team.

“This team has got enough power to retain the trophy. They played brilliant cricket last time they were in Australia, Virat Kohli was absolutely brilliant and so was Pujara,” Harbajan Singh said.

“We hardly hear his name because he is always under the shadow of the big players but Pujara’s contribution was big. It’s going to be a big challenge without Virat Kohli, but I still feel the Indian team has got that kind of a batting lineup and also the bowling, which has been a key factor for them… they can get those 20 wickets,” he added.

“They have got the team to beat Australia in Australia even with David Warner and Steve Smith,” Harbhajan further said.

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“The series will start from even but I would give the edge to India because they have got the team to play in any condition, be it in Australia or England, they have got the mindset. Both teams haven’t played a lot of quality cricket because of the pandemic year. But Indian cricketers have gone there right after the IPL which will give them some sort of an edge over the Aussies,” the veteran bowler signed off.

India will play 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 4 Tests against Australia with the first ODI to be played in Sydney next week on Friday.

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