Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes that Virat Kohli’s absence during the Test series against Australia will definitely boost Australia’s morale. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday confirmed that it has granted paternity leave to Indian captain Virat Kohli, who will return from Team India’s upcoming tour of Australia after the first Test. The BCCI in an official release confirmed that Kohli had informed the board about his plans to return home for the birth of his first child.
The decision meant that Kohli will only play the first pink-ball Test in Adelaide and will miss the remaining three Tests.
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“Virat not being there will make Australians feel a lot more comfortable but we have got a great bowling line up and if our batsmen can do the job, it will be an interesting series,” former India pacer Irfan Pathan told news agency PTI.
The last time Kohi-led India travelled to Australia, the visitors had won the Test series 2-1. But at the time, Australia’s two major players David Warner and Steve Smith were not playing as they were still serving their respective bans for their involvement in the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
Pathan said that India still have a good team without Kohli, but added that things will be slightly harder with Warner and Smith back in the mix.
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“I still feel we have a good team but Virat will be missed. They have one of the best pact attacks and don’t forget Smith and Warner are back. I would like to predict the outcome of the series after the warm-up game,” Pathan added.
“Virat Kohli not being there will have a huge impact on the team but you have to respect his decision. We have to accept and appreciate life beyond cricket, family is very important,” Pathan further said.
“On the field it is bound to make a massive difference and it is very tough for anyone to fill his shoes. The way he has performed over the years and in all conditions,” he added.
India are scheduled to play 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 4 Tests against Australia. The first ODI between the two teams will be played on November 27th in Sydney.