- Rahane did not respond to team combination for day-night Test
- He said – The team will be decided on the eve of the match
- First Test of series against Australia from December 17
Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday admitted that his team will miss fast bowler Ishant Sharma, but did not answer questions about team composition in the day-night Test against Australia starting on Thursday.
After captain Virat Kohli returned home on paternity leave after the first Test, Rahane’s captaincy in the remaining three Tests is almost certain. He also spoke on the challenge faced by the bowlers with the increased speed of the pink ball.
Rahane said in the virtual press conference, ‘We have a strong attack, but we will miss Ishant. He is the senior most fast bowler. Ishant was injured in the rib during the IPL.
Rahane, however, expressed confidence that fast bowlers led by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami would do well in the absence of Ishant. He said, ‘Umesh, Saini, Siraj, Bumrah and Shami are all good bowlers and they also have experience. They know how to bowl here.
He said, ‘This is the new series, which will start with the pink ball. It is important to achieve rhythm. I believe our bowlers can take 20 wickets.
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When asked about the opening pair, Rahane said that it will be decided on the eve of the match. India has options for Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and KL Rahul. At the same time, for wicketkeeping, there are options of Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha.
Rahane said, ‘The team combination has not been decided yet. We will have a meeting on Wednesday and then have another day and practice session. It will be discussed then. All are equally talented and all have the ability to win matches for us. It is a matter of trusting the players.
He also did not give any concrete answer about what the role of senior spinner R Ashwin would be, but said that his all-round skills would be of great use in the first Test.
He said, ‘Ashwin’s role is very important. He is an experienced bowler and he has variety. His role as a bowler and batsman is very important.
During the day of the test with pink ball, the session is very important and a lot of preparation is being done on it. Rahane said that during that 40 to 50 minutes the speed of the ball becomes very fast. He said, ‘The speed of the new pink ball becomes very fast at sunset. In such a situation, it is difficult for the batsmen to focus.