What if.... India lose the Border-Gavaskar series?
Kohli and smith will be the key players [Twitter]
India and Test matches at home are a great love story. When was the last time we lost a Test series at home? To answer that question, I'll have to take you back 11 years ago, when the mighty England led by Sir Alastair Cook conquered fortress India.
But situation this time around is a bit different. Yes, we have champion players in all departments of the game, but that cutting-edge is missing. Lack of runs at the top is a worrying sign for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series. Rishabh Pant's absence is a big hole to fill, and no matter whom you bring in, that void cannot be filled.
The penetration is still there in the bowling attack, but do we have what it takes to defeat the Aussies? What if we go on to lose this all-important series against them? Especially with a WTC Finale place on the line.
WHAT IF WE LOSE BGT 2023
Rohit Sharma's captaincy will come under scrutiny
Let's rewind a bit and go back to March 2022. This was the last time Rohit Sharma captained India in a full-fledged series. It was against the visiting Sri Lankan side. He was made India's full-time Test captain after Virat Kohli stepped down from the post after the South Africa series loss. But since then, he has only been the captain of the side in two Test matches.
If India do go onto lose the series against Australia, his captaincy will be questioned big time. Rohit has blown hot and cold as India's white-ball captain, so imagine if under his leadership, we fail to beat Australia? The series is of utmost importance, and one slip up, one wrong decision can change the course of everything.
Harsh decisions will be made
How do India want to play in Test cricket? England have identified there 'Bazball' approach and have set a template in the longest format of the game. But what about Indian batters? You still see them hiding under their shell when the spinners come up.
Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli - they are stalwarts of Indian cricket, but what if they fail to inspire a series win?
Rohit Sharma has not played a Test in almost a year, and will he find it tough adjusting from one format to another? Pujara has blown hot and cold, and despite his ton against Bangladesh, there is still a question mark on his approach.
Now comes Virat Kohli. Inarguably one of the best that India has ever produced, but the champion batter has looked a pale shadow of himself in the longer version. His averaged has dropped below 50, and another series failure against a big opposition could put the champion batter under spotlight.
If the batters let us down, maybe time will come that the selectors will make a tough call. On Indian wickets, you do expect the Indian spinners to do well. But the same confident cant be reflected when our batters come onto the crease. Australia will be well prepared, but are we ready for the challenge?
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