Virat Kohli played his 200th international game on Indian soil during the third Test match between India and Australia in Indore. In the four-match series, which India currently leads 2-0, the Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel have been the standout performers for the home team. Since entering the world of international cricket in 2008, Virat has been a cornerstone of India’s dominance at home.
He has so far amassed 10,829 runs in 221 innings at an average of 58.22 in 199 home games. At home, he has recorded 34 centuries and 51 half-centuries, with a top mark of 254*.
But Virat, who has been looking for massive runs in the lengthier format since 2020, will be under pressure this time. For someone of his stature, his performances in the years 2020 (116 runs in three matches at an average of 19.33, with one fifty in six innings), 2021 (536 runs in eleven matches at an average of 28.21, with four fifties in 19 innings), and 2022 (265 in six matches at an average of 26.50, with one fifty in eleven innings), are too underwhelming.
Virat looked completely in control during his brief innings of 44 and 20 runs in each of the two innings of the second Test in Delhi, though, and Team India will be hoping that their top batsman will end his three-year run of big runs. This will also increase India’s chances of qualifying for the ICC World Test Championship finals, which will be held in London from June 7 onward.
In this series, Virat has managed 76 runs over three innings at an average of 25.33.
India will also try to defeat Australia in Indore in order to go 3-0 and guarantee a spot in the WTC final. The team’s captain, Rohit Sharma, likewise believes in living in the moment and accepting the Australian challenge in Indore.
According to Rohit, who was quoted by ESPNCricinfo, the focus is on this Test and how we can win it. We shouldn’t look too far ahead because after this game, we have one more Test match to play and two months of IPL. It will be a fantastic accomplishment for us to make it to the WTC final, but we know that we must overcome that last obstacle, and for that, we must also win the following match, Rohit remarked.
There is plenty of time to consider the outcome, but for now it is crucial that we concentrate on this game and consider how we might turn things around and triumph as well, because
KL Rahul and Shubman Gill’s participation in the game is still up in the air, according to Rohit.
Gill and KL practise [for extended periods of time] before every game.
Regarding our 11, we haven’t made a decision yet. I’d like to do it at the toss, and I’d prefer it to be announced then “Rohit Sharma continued.
He added that KL Rahul’s removal as vice-captain is not a big deal and that the club just appointed him to the position because it lacked seniors.
Everyone of the 17 players on the team has a chance. Talented players will receive support from the team. The vice-removal captaincy’s has no major implications. Perhaps there weren’t many seasoned players at the time, so he was appointed vice captain. It’s not a big deal, Rohit continued.
KL’s 2022 performance at the plate was underwhelming, and 2023 has not gotten off to a great start either. Shubman Gill, on the other hand, is in excellent form in white-ball cricket right now after hitting a double century against New Zealand this year.
KL scored 822 runs overall in 30 games last year, averaging 25.68, with nine half-centuries.
He has only scored 38 runs this year in three innings of Test cricket.
Throughout the course of five international matches, he has only amassed 148 runs overall at an average of 29.60, with one half-century and his top score of 64*.
Australia, on the other hand, will be fighting for respect after losing their chance to recapture the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and will be striving to win the last two matches.
In Pat Cummins’ absence, who is in Australia due to family health difficulties, they will need Steve Smith to lead and hit home runs.
With 3793 runs at 67.73 and 15 hundreds, including three on his most recent Test tour to India in 2017, the 33-year-old captain has an exceptional batting record.
Smith is confident that taking on the leadership role will help him rediscover his form at the plate. He has so far scored 37, 25*, 0 and 9 in the series, and is encouraged by his former success.
While speaking to the media, Smith vented his anger at his dismissals in the Delhi Test.
I’ve played in, what, 95 Test matches (94), and I don’t believe I’ve ever walked off the field and wondered, “What the heck am I doing?” Tuesday, Smith informed reporters.
“I was quite irate. In my career, there haven’t been many instances where I’ve appeared to be merely amazed by what I’ve accomplished. It wasn’t the best of me. There is undoubtedly something to be learned from, and I continue to learn. I had the field prepared for everyone, and they had laid it out, so it was not how I wanted to play “explained the captain of Australia.
Smith acknowledged that the visitors’ fast approach caused them to stumble, something he hopes to fix in the final two Tests.
Most likely, we were just a little hurried, and we’ll talk about it once we have them restrained so we can take our time. We shouldn’t play at such a frantic and risky tempo. Since we had the men where we wanted them, we had the ability to put a stop to the strike. Just rushed it. We must improve our ability to adapt. He added.
While pacer Josh Hazlewood and seasoned opener David Warner will miss the remainder of the series due to injuries, Australia will benefit from the return of all-rounder Cameron Green and quick Mitchell Starc, who both suffered finger injuries during Australia’s home series against South Africa and missed the first two Tests against India.
The following players will be in the Indian Test team for the third and fourth tests against Australia. The other players in the starting lineup are Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, K L Rahul, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, KS Bharat, Ishan Kishan, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravindra Jadeja.