Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar believes that when Rohit Sharma leads the Indian Test team in the absence of Virat Kohli in Australia, then in this series, he will have the best chance to strengthen his claim of captaincy in a limited-overs format. . After Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians to win the fifth Indian Premier League title, the demand for appointing a separate captain in a different format in the Indian team has started intensifying. In the absence of Kohli, India also won the Asia Cup title under Rohit. Ajinkya Rahane has been named vice-captain of the Test team but Akhtar feels that Rohit will be given the responsibility of captaincy after the first Test at Adelaide Oval.
Indian captain Kohli will return home after the first Test to have his first child born. Asked about the captaincy of the Indian Test team in the absence of Kohli, Akhtar told PTI that my stand on this is very clear. As much as I know, Virat is desperate to take the team forward. It depends on how tired he is feeling. He has been playing continuously since 2010, he has scored 70 centuries and many more.
He said that if he is feeling tired then he should consider giving Rohit the leadership role in a format (preferably in T20). Akhtar said that in the IPL I could see the dullness on his face, it was probably due to living in a biologically safe environment, he seemed a bit tense. It will all depend on how he is feeling. Rohit has been ready for the captaincy for some time.
This series will be Rohit’s first series as an opener in foreign conditions and he will have a tough challenge facing the fast bowlers like Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. He said that Rohit is one of the greatest batsmen of India. He now understands the true value of his talent. Akhtar said that he would have the best chance to prove himself as a captain in Australia. He will try to exploit this opportunity with both hands. He has the talent and ability to lead the team. This will be a difficult challenge for India.
India won the series for the first time in Australia two years ago but in the absence of Kohli, this time India’s path will be more difficult, while the return of David Warner and Steve Smith will strengthen Australia’s team. Akhtar said that from my point of view India has the ability to win again but if the middle order does not perform then I think they will be seen battling. People will watch this series with great interest, including me.
He said that the day-night test would be his biggest challenge. If India plays well in these conditions then anything can happen. India is good in all departments with better bowling and in the final three Tests, Kohli will be replaced by Lokesh Rahul. Akhtar said that it will take two to three innings to achieve the rhythm in the foreign situation. You cannot drive on a bouncing ball and have to play shots close to the body. Akhtar, who played 46 Tests and 163 ODIs for Pakistan, said it would be exciting to see what the pitches would be like. It is certain that Australia will hit India hard and it will not be easy to drive the ball.