Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood has said that the absence of Virat Kohli for the remaining three Test matches is 'going to leave a big hole' in the Indian cricket team.
India succumbed to a disappointing eight-wicket defeat against Australia in only the third day of the first Test at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday. After having decided to bat first, India posted 244, and bowled Australia out for just 191, meaning that they entered the second innings with a 53-run advantage. As it turned out though, the likes of Hazlewood and Pat Cummins combined for nine wickets to bowl India out for just 36 runs, their lowest total in Test cricket.
Hazlewood, in particular, was the wrecker in chief as he picked five in as many overs while conceding a mere eight runs. Cummins, on the other hand, ended with a figure of 21/4. With a win in the bag, Australia have a 1-0 advantage in the series, but that's not the only problem for India, to say the least. The team is going to be without their captain, Kohli, for the rest of the games, and Hazlewood has said that it is going to be a massive problem for them as no other batsman can match Kohli's class.
“Getting bowled out for 36 is going to leave a few headaches here and there and their best batter (Virat) is leaving as well, it is going to leave a bit of a hole,” Hazlewood said at the post-match press conference.
"But they have got plenty of class batters on the side-lines to come in, not of Virat’s class. But in terms of the series, it is great to be one up, it is better than being one-down, as we found out last time,” he added.
Problems for India got deeper on Saturday as pacer Mohammad Shami was taken to a hospital for scans after being hit on the arm. Speaking about it, Hazlewood said,
“It is obviously a blow, we don’t know how bad it is yet, we will wait and find out how much damage has been done.
“But he (Shami) is a class bowler and he has shown in this game, so they might have to dig deep in their arsenal to cover him but we probably expect him to play.
“I am not too sure how bad it is, to be honest.”
Feature image courtesy: AFP / William West