Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting feels Virat Kohli’s absence will put all sorts of pressure on other Indian players in the upcoming Test series. Team India captain Kohli, who led the Indian team to historic Test series win in 2018-19, will miss the last three matches of the red-ball series as he has been granted the paternity leave for the birth of his first child.

Ponting said Steve Smith and David Warner’s absence in the last Test series between two nations left a big gap in the Australian team.

“The one thing we haven’t spoken enough about is yes India were really good here last time, but with those guys (Smith and Warner) missing at the top of the order, that leaves a big gap in any team,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

The former Aussie captain also feels Kohli’s deputy in Tests Ajinkya Rahane, who is expected to lead the team in his absence, will be under a lot of pressure.

“India will feel that without Kohli there (for three Tests), for his batting and leadership, that will put all sorts of pressure on different players. You’d think (Ajinkya) Rahane will take over the captaincy, which will put extra pressure on him, and they’ve got to find someone to bat at that really important No.4 spot,”

“I don’t think they’ll be clear in their own mind, even now, what their batting order will look like for the first Test. Who’s going to open, who’ll bat at four when Kohli goes?” added Ponting.

The batting great further talked about Team India’s bowling combination for the series as he feels the visitors have got a few more questions to answer than Australia.

“(Fast bowlers Mohammad) Shami, Jasprit Bumrah – will it be Ishant (Sharma), with it be Umesh Yadav, will it be a young guy like (Navdeep) Saini or (Mohammad) Siraj? The questions that are being asked around Australia with (Will) Pucovski and (Cameron) Green, I think India have got a few more questions to answer,” he said.