Virat Kohli has made India a side that cannot be bullied and their performance on the tour of Australia where they came from behind to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is a living proof, says former England captain Nasser Hussain. India were bowled out for 36 before losing the first Test by eight wickets and were without Kohli for the next three matches that also saw them losing their first choice bowling attack to injuries as the series progressed.Also Read - India's Predicted Playing XI For 1st ODI vs SA: Virat Kohli To Play Under New Captain KL Rahul; Venkatesh Iyer May Debut
Under stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane they won the second Test in Melbourne before forcing the third to end in a draw. And then in the series-decider in Brisbane, they chased down 328 to become the first visiting team to win a Test at The Gabba since 1988. Also Read - KL Rahul Not Looking for Test Captaincy, Says if it Happens Then Will Try to Take Team Forward
Hussain has lavished praises on India following their memorable show. Also Read - Mohammad Azharuddin Picks India's Future Test Captain, Says He Is Our No 1 Player In All Formats Ahead of Virat Kohli
“Any side that can go to Australia, go 1-0 down after being bowled out for 36, lose Kohli because he’s going home on paternity leave, lose your bowling attack and still come back and win after some of the stuff that went on off the field in Australia, they won’t be bullied,” Hussain wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
“They (India) are a tough side. I think Kohli has instilled that. Make no mistake, at home, they are a formidable outfit,” he added.
India next host England for a four-match Test series starting February 5. Joe Root’s men are high on confidence after a 2-0 clean sweep of Sri Lanka which is a good sign for the touring party as per Hussain.
“That’s five away Test wins in a row, four series on the spin and when you’ve got a new coach coming in, [Chris] Silverwood on the back of [Trevor] Bayliss, Test match cricket and red-ball cricket needed changing,” he wrote.
“That’s a really good sign that they’re doing that, with harder tasks ahead. The Ashes, India home and away, New Zealand confirmed, but that is great momentum and confidence going into an iconic series which is India away,” he added.
Hussain was critical of England not resting Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests against India and has urged them to field their best team in Chennai. “…I was brought up in India and I’ve always seen India vs England as one of the great series – all I would have asked is turn up to Chennai with your best 13 to 15 players. I think England fans have earned the right for their best team to be there that first day. If it means (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson playing together because it’s a bit green, worry about the Ashes down the line,” he said.