Indian skipper Virat Kohli will only feature in first Test against Australia, however, Aussie coach Justin Langer still feels that the team cannot get complacent with or without Kohli. The star Indian batsman will be on paternity leave post the first Test and will miss the final three Tests.
The importance of Virat Kohli magnifies for India when they are playing in SENA countries due to his great record in these countries. He was expected to play a big role in India's quest to replicate their historic winning run in Test series Down Under. But, in what has been a body blow for India, he will only play a minimal part in the Border-Gavaskar trophy with him returning home after the Adelaide Test to be with his wife Anushka Sharma ahead of the birth of their first child.
Undoubtedly, this will be a great relief for the Kangaroos as Kohli averages a whopping 55.39 in Australia and has 1,274 runs in 12 Tests with six centuries. However, Australian head coach Justin Langer has warned his side against complacency and said that the team needs to be on their toes this summer with or without Kohli.
"We cannot get complacent for a second with or without Virat. So we’re going to have to be on our toes all summer and we’re looking forward to that," Langer told reporters in a video call, reported TOI.
Langer also termed Kohli the best player he has seen in his life and applauded his passion and energy for the game. He added that he is generally taken away by everything the Indian skipper does on the field.
"I’ve said this before, he is probably the best player I’ve ever seen in my life for so many reasons. It’s not only his batting but his energy, his passion for the game, the way he fields. I cannot believe the energy he displays in everything he does," Langer said.
The former Aussie opener who played 105 Tests and scored 7,696 runs with 23 centuries further asserted that India are a very good despite Kohli's absence, which he admits will have an impact.
"Are we happy he’s not playing? It’s like taking Dustin Martin out of Richmond, isn’t it? Of course, it’ll have an impact but we also know that India, they beat us last time, they’re a very, very good team," he said.
Kohli will be part of India's limited-overs side against Australia though. The tour commences with ODI series starting in Sydney from November 27.