Virat Kohli has returned to the squad after his paternity leave & is one of the crucial player in the home test series against England.
Kohli went on paternity leave after the first test in Adelaide & Ajinkya Rahane handled the squad outstandingly & led the team to a historic win in the Border-Gavaskar Test Series. According to former England Captain Kevin Pietersen, the presence of Kohli as Captain while Rahane going back to his vice-captain position will make an interesting story in the upcoming four match test series against England.
“Kohli, Anderson, Ajinkya Rahane, how’s he going to go, being captain in Australia and then coming back and Kohli, how’s that dynamic going to work? It’s going to be a very interesting dynamic. I think that might be, something that is talked about a lot during this series,” Pietersen said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
Kevin Pietersen said that there are many factors & players to watch out during the match between both the teams but highlighted Kohli-Rahane partnership as the one that will be the most interesting story during the home series.
“You have got Jofra Archer, can he knock over Pujara? Bumrah’s back… there are so many different permutations that could happen in this Test series, but I think there’s going to be a very interesting story that’s going to run through this series – Kohli comes back as captain after Ajinkya Rahane was so good in Australia.”
Pietersen also marked India as “100 per cent favorites” to win the series, saying that England “haven’t taken their best team”.
“India’s got experience at home, they definitely do. They’ve got Kohli coming back….England has not taken their best team for the first two Test matches. I think Johnny Bairstow has to be there and I don’t think he’s going to be there. India are definitely favorites. 100% they’re the favorites, because England haven’t taken their best team or they’re certainly not starting with their best team,” Pietersen said.
Former England Cricketer Dominic Cork also agreed with Pietersen that India will emerge victorious in the upcoming test series. “I think India will win the series. I think England are in a better place now. England just beating Sri Lanka will help and having the likes of Stokes, Archer and Burns back in the squad will help but I still think that India are too strong and will win the series,” Cork said.
India & England will start the series in Chennai on February 9. The second test will also be played in Chennai with the teams travelling to Ahmedabad for the final two tests.