Australia Tests: India have got guys to step up after Virat Kohli leaves, says Tim Paine

Australia captain Tim Paine said the hosts are aware of the talent in the Indian squad and that they will not take the foot off the pedal after Virat Kohli returns home on paternity leave after the first of a 4-match Test series Down Under.

Tim Paine said Australia are aware of how Ajinkya Rahane held the team together by being a glue during India’s historic 2-1 win in 2018-19 and they would focus on the vice-captain, who will take over from Virat Kohli after the latter heads home.

India will begin the 4-Test series with a day-night Test against Australia with a day-night fixture in Adelaide from December 17. Virat Kohli will lead the side in the series opener before he returns home to be with his wife for the birth of their child.

“When Kohli leaves, we know the talent they have in their side. Pujara obviously troubled us a lot last time around so he is a big key for us, but we know the talent they have, we saw Rishabh Pant hitting a very quick hundred in the second practice game so they have got guys who can take away the Test match pretty quickly,” Paine told the media on the eve of the 1st Test.

“Clearly, Rahane held the team together last time, he was the glue last time around so he is a huge focus for us.”

Tim Paine was the center of the action during India’s tour in 2018-19 as the Australia captain never missed out on an opportunity to chirp at opposition batsmen. He had some banters with the likes of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma.

Australia will not take a backward step: Paine on on-field banters

At one point, the on-field umpire had to come and temper down the situation after Kohli and Paine were involved in a staring contest at Perth.

Asked if one can expect more such banters in the upcoming series, Tim Paine said Australia will not take a backward step if things get a bit willing.

“Look in terms of what goes on the field, we have to wait and see, you do not go into a match thinking that you will have run-ins with the opposition camp or be overly aggressive, we will just try to execute our plans and skills with bat and ball, at times thing on the field can be a bit fiery, if they are it is for sure that this team would not be taking a backward step.”

India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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