Ahead of the four-match Test series against India, Australia skipper Tim Paine on Wednesday said that Ajinkya Rahane was the glue that held the Virat Kohli-led side together when they managed to emerge triumphant in a Test series for the first time Down Under. The first Test of the four-match series between Australia and India, beginning on December 17, will be played at the Adelaide Oval and it will be a day-night contest. Australia has the best record in day-night Tests as the side has not lost a single match that has been played with the pink ball.
Skipper Kohli would be playing just one Test against Australia and he would head back home after the conclusion of the Adelaide Test as he has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI.
Once Virat leaves, Rahane would be leading the Indian side for the remaining three Test matches.
“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,” Pane said during a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
“Clearly, Rahane held the team together last time, he was the glue last time around so he is a huge focus for us,” said Paine.
During the 2018-19 series, which India won 2-1, Paine was the one who took the fight to Kohli and the duo was seen in some verbal battles especially during the Perth Test.
When ANI asked about whether Paine will once again look to do the same, Paine replied: “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 things 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.”
Australia had won the preceding ODI series while India walked away with the honours in the T20I series.
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