Melbourne: Australia’s head coach Justin Langer has praised Virat Kohli’s decision to take a paternity leave but said that this would lead to the Border-Gavaskar Trophy during the Test series. There will be an impact on the Indian team.
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Kohli will return home after the first Test match in Adelaide as the BCCI has allowed him a paternity leave. Kohli wants to be with his wife Anushka Sharma at the beginning of their first child in early January. Langer said that he respects Kohli’s idea of giving priority to family over cricket.
Langer said via video conference, ‘Virat Kohli is probably the best among all the players I have seen in my life so far and there are many reasons for this. I believe this not only because of his batting but also his energy, passion for the game and his fielding.
He said, ‘The way he pours his energy into what he does is incredible and I respect him a lot. The way he made this decision (to return home for the birth of a child), I also respect him a lot. ‘
Langer said, ‘He is also a human like us. If I have to advise any of my players, then I will always say that they must be present at the birth of their first child. This will be your best work. Kohli will miss the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne (26–30 December), the New Year Test in Sydney (7–11 January) and the last Test in Brisbane (15–19 January).
Langer said that the absence of Kohli will definitely affect India but this should not slow down the Australian team. He said, ‘Surely it (Kohli’s absence) will have an impact but we also know that India beat us in the last time (2018-19). His team is very good. We should not be complacent for even a second due to the absence or absence of Virat.