Australian cricket fans were handed a huge boost when it was announced that Indian skipper Virat Kohli will be returning home after the first Test at Adelaide. BCCI had declared that Kohli had been granted a paternity leave for the birth of his first child with actress wife Anushka Sharma.
While some former cricketers have said that this wouldn’t seal the fate of the series, former Australian captain, the legendary Ian Chappell thinks otherwise. In his column on ESPNcricinfo, Chappell opined that Kohli’s absence will create a selection dilemma for the Indian team management.
“India also face a selection dilemma when skipper Virat Kohli departs for home for the birth of his first child following the opening Test. This creates both a big hole in the Indian batting order and an opportunity for one of their talented young players to make a name for himself,” Chappell wrote in his column on ESPNCricinfo.
Chappell noted that Kohli’s early departure from the series will create a big hole in the Indian middle order. However, he also mentioned that it is a phenomenal opportunity for other batsmen waiting in the wings, to stake their claim.
India is slated to play three ODI’s, three T20I’s and four Tests down under and would look to repeat their heroics from their last tour. The tour begins with the ODI series, commencing on November 27. The first Test is scheduled for Adelaide from December 17.
Earlier, the legendary Ricky Ponting had also raised question marks over Kohli’s replacement at the number four position in the Indian batting order. It only remains to be seen who will replace Kohli with the likes of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma all being likely options.
India had defeated Australia 2-1 during their previous tour in 2018-19 but it must be noted that their star players, Steve Smith and David Warner, were not playing that series – serving an year-long ban for the infamous ball tampering incident.