- Rahane did not respond to a team request for a day-night test
- “The team’s decision will be made on the eve of the match,” he said
- The first Test of the series against Australia from 17 December
India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday admitted that his team would 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 returns 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 posed by the bowlers with the increased speed of the pink ball.
“We have a strong attack, but we will miss Ishant,” Rahane told a virtual press conference. He is the senior fastest bowler. Ishant was injured in the ribs during the IPL.
Rahane, however, expressed confidence that fast bowlers led by Jaspreet Bumrah and Mohammad Shamini would do well in Ishant’s absence. He said, ‘Umesh, Saini, Siraj, Bumrah and Shami are all good bowlers and have experience. They know how to bowl here.
He said, ‘This is a new series, starting with the pink ball. Achieving rhythm is important. I believe our bowlers can take 20 wickets.
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When asked about the opening pair, Rahane said the decision would be taken on the eve of the match. India have options for Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and KL Rahul. At the same time, for wicketkeeping, there are options for hab sabh pant and growing sahana.
“The decision on the team’s affiliation has not been taken yet,” Rahane said. We will have a meeting on Wednesday and then another day and practice session. It will be discussed later. All are equally talented and all have the ability to win matches for us. It’s a matter of trusting the players.
He also did not give a definite answer as to what the role of senior spinner R Ashwin will be, but said his all-round skills would be put to good use in his first Test.
He said, ‘Ashwin’s role is very important. He is an experienced bowler and has variety. His role as a bowler and batsman is very important.
During the pink ball test day, the session is very important and a lot of preparation is being done on it. Rahane said that during that time the speed of the ball becomes very fast for 40 to 50 minutes. He said, ‘The speed of the new pink ball happens very fast at sunset. In such a situation it is difficult for the batsman to focus.