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'Kohli, Shami big losses but India has good depth'

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
December 21, 2020 11:59 IST
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'We know that Indians are going to bounce back strongly.'

IMAGE: Mohammed Shami celebrates a wicket with Virat Kohli during the Adelaide Test against Australia in December 2018. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

If opener Joe Burns' views are any indication, another onerous task awaits an embattled Indian team, as a confident Australia go into the second Test believing that a favourable result for them in Melbourne could decide the fate of the four-match series.

 

Trailing 0-1 in the series after the batting debacle in Adelaide and with Virat Kohli going back to India for the birth of his first child, India will be led by Ajinkya Rahane in the remaining three Tests. They are also set to miss the services of senior pace Mohammed Shami, who is likely to miss the rest of the series with a wrist fracture after he was hit by a bouncer during the first Test.

"We have got some scars as well, we just have to prepare well, start well and carry on the momentum from the last game," Burns said during a virtual press conference on Monday.

"We know that Indians are going to bounce back in the next Test, which is going to play a crucial role in (deciding the) fate of the series."

The absence of Kohli and Shami will be 'big losses' but Burns is expecting a strong comeback by the visitors.

"I think Shami and Virat are obviously big losses for India. In saying that the Indian team does have very good depth as well. So, they are still going to be very challenging," Burns said.

"It is always hard to replace world class players like that, but when we look (at the players) that they got to come in, we are going to prepare well for the next game. We know that Indians are going to bounce back strongly," the opener added.

Woefully out of form in the run-up to the series opener, Burns got his mojo back with a half-century in Australia's second innings at Adelaide Oval.

Burns said that a pull shot he played off pacer Umesh Yadav changed the momentum for him.

"It is funny how in this game how often one shot can get you everything that you are searching for as batters. Probably, the first pull shot I hit off Umesh Yadav, I was on four and felt amazing," said the opener, who has 1438 Test runs.

The 31-year-old top-scored in Australia's second innings and he said it felt nice to be back among the runs.

"It is obviously nice to make some runs myself again. In the lead up to the game I was short of few runs but more than anything it just was nice get back the rhythm.

"I felt fantastic out there and looked to get the job done... an amazing day for Australian cricket to back up their bowlers and finish the job really quickly."

Pacers Josh Hazlewood (5-8) and Pat Cummins (4-21) demolished India with the pink ball as the hosts won by eight wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the four Test series.

"We are the best team in the world, very confident against everyone in every venue. Our bowlers are unbelievable, so I think they bowled well in the first innings and didn't get the rewards; in the second innings, they (Indians) just nicked everything.

"Our bowlers have done for a long time, so we know that game in and game out they are going to be doing that, putting pressure on the opposition, it is a great luxury that our team has," he added.

Young Indian opener Prithvi Shaw is struggling for runs but Burns refused to give him any advice, saying he was playing against him.

"I would not give him any advice, I am playing against him... I don't know actually what form he has been in. I haven't been following him on how he is going.

"He is obviously a quality player to be playing for India, opening the batting is very challenging, but I might give some advice at the end of the series and not now," Burns added.

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