Australia cricket team coach Justin Langer has praised Virat Kohli for his decision to return to India for the birth of his child in the middle of India’s tour.
Langer expressed his “respect” towards Kohli and said that no one should ” ever miss the birth of your children.”
“Virat Kohli is probably the best player I’ve ever seen in my life for so many reasons, not only batting but his energy and passion for the game, the way he fields,” Langer told reporters by video conference.
“I cannot believe he displays the energy he does in everything he does and I’ve got so much respect for him. I’ve also got respect for him in the sense that he’s made this decision (to return for the birth).
“He’s a human being like all of us… if I was giving advice to any of my players I would always say never, ever miss the birth of your children because it is one of the great things you’ll ever do.”
India’s tour of Australia will kick off with the ODI series from November 27. It will be followed by the three-match T20I series from December 4 before the Virat Kohli-led team begins the title defence of the Border-Gavaskar trophy with the pink-ball Test in Adelaide from December 17.
The first Test at Adelaide will be India’s first day-nigt Test outside home soil. It will also be skipper Virat Kohli’s only appearance in all-whites in Australia this time as he would return to India on a paternity leave after the opener.
Kohli had already informed the BCCI about his wish to return to India to unite with his wife Anushka Sharma. They are expecting their first child in January next year.
The day-night Test will be followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15).
Langer believes Kohli’s absence improves Australia’s chances of avenging their home series defeat to India two years ago, but is a blow for broadcasters and fans.
“Of course it will have an impact (his absence), but we also know that India beat us last time (in 2018-19). They’re a very, very good team, we cannot get complacent for a second with or without Virat,” Langer added.
Meanwhile, the players of the Indian cricket team set foot on Sydney on Thursday after leaving directly from the United Arab Emirates following the 13the season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) there. Team India were seen PPE kits in images shared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).