He also says Bumrah has ‘every attribute’ as a fast-bowler ‘to be one of the greats’.
Former Australia fast-bowler Glenn McGrath said in a select media interaction on Monday that Virat Kohli’s absence during the Border-Gavaskar series will be an opportunity for Rohit Sharma to realise his full potential as a Test batsman. Excerpts:
Virat Kohli will return home after the first Test for the birth of his child. Will that impact India’s chances in the four-match series?
The birth of your child is a very important time and he wants to be there for it and support his wife. So, I can understand. There is no doubt that it will impact the series for India to lose a player of his quality and class. It’s up to the other players to do the heavy lifting.
In Kohli’s absence, who might the Australian bowlers target?
Rohit Sharma is a quality batsman who hasn’t achieved at Test level what he should be achieving in my opinion… Maybe when Virat goes home, he might step up. Having said that, you can’t just focus on one player. You have [Ajinkya] Rahane, [Cheteshwar] Pujara, [K.L.] Rahul, so there’s a quality batting line-up. Once Virat leaves, it will be an opportunity for someone else to put their hand up and make a mark. Maybe that could be Rohit Sharma.
How important is the Adelaide Test?
India haven’t played a Day/Night Test in Australia and it is unique, especially with the sun setting and at night, where it starts favouring the bowlers, primarily the quicks. It is about timing — when you are bowling or batting in those conditions.
Virat, to have an impact, needs to come good… the first Test will set the tone — two years ago, [India] won the first game in Adelaide and went on to win the series.
What does Jasprit Bumrah need to do to hit the ground running in Australia?
Bumrah is a class bowler. He has a lot of mental strength to go along with his skill. He bowls good pace and good areas… his second and third spells are just as quick as his first, so he has got every attribute to be one of the greats. He will be fine — it is about confidence and getting a few overs under your belt … finding the right length on the slightly quicker wickets. That said, he did pretty well in the IPL, bowled a lot of overs, so he will be confident in his body.
(India’s tour of Australia will be telecast live from 8 a.m. on November 27, on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels)