India will host a four-match Test series against Australia, with the first match scheduled to be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur, from February 9. Former India cricketer Ifran Pathan believes that skipper Rohit Sharma will face challenges as a batsman and captain in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The hosts will play their final Test series in the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 cycle. The Rohit Sharma-led team is second in the points standings, and they need to win by at least two game margin to advance to the final on June 8 at the Oval in England. The Aussies will be hoping for their first series win in India since 2004.
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Your Eyes Will Be On The WTC Final – Irfan Pathan
During a discussion on the Star Sports show ‘Game Plan’, Irfan Pathan mentioned that the Test captaincy will be challenging for Rohit Sharma as he has not captained much in red-ball cricket. The former India all-rounder believes that Rohit will have to lead from the front as a batsman and captain to win this series.
“Both will go together. The reason for that is you have not captained much in Test cricket, you have captained in ODI cricket. You don’t just have the captaincy challenge, but also the challenge of the Australian team,” Irfan Pathan said.
“Your eyes will be on the WTC final and your form. Your form in white-ball cricket is very good but your numbers against Australia are not that good. So you will want to better that. So it is clear that he will want to bat better and will definitely want to win this series as captain, will not want to lose to Australia especially,” he added.
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Rohit did not play a Test match against the Aussies at home, and he played seven Tests in away conditions and scored 408 runs at an average of 31.38, including two fifties. Notably, the 35-year-old averages 73.33 in India, and he will be hoping to continue his form against the Australians.
The second test will be held in Delhi (February 17–21), the third in Dharamsala (March 1–5), and the fourth in Ahmedabad (March 9-13). Following the Test series, India will host three ODIs, with the first match starting in Mumbai on March 17. The remaining matches will be played in Visakhapatnam (March 19) and Chennai (March 22), respectively.
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