Aussie legend Allan Border has stated that Virat Kohli’s absence after the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is a big opportunity for the hosts. The former Aussie captain has also added that the onus is on players like the Indian skipper to keep the romance of red-ball cricket alive.
India vs Australia Test series will not mark the return of both cricketing powerhouses in the red-ball format since the pandemic struck in March but it will also mark the resumption of a classic antidote to a year starved of some great red-ball action. However, it is a shame that Kohli will not partake in the major part of the Test series, with his wife Anushka Sharma expecting their first child in January.
Kohli’s absence has created a chance for the Aussies to take the Trophy back after having conceded it the last time without the presence of David Warner and Steve Smith. A lot will be at stake but Border feels that Australia will win it 2-1, reasoning that Kohli’s absence will play a big part in the scoreline of the series.
"Very confident of Australia's chances, especially when playing in Australia. The one thing that is in Australia's favour is Virat Kohli playing only the first Test. I think that is a big 'out' for India. He is irreplaceable at the moment as a batsman and a leader. Should be 2-1 to Australia," Border predicted in an interview, reported Cricbuzz.
"He is an antagonist and plays aggressively. It is up to players like Kohli and teams like India, England and Australia to keep Test cricket alive from the growing threat of franchise cricket.
Border, in the meantime, joked that he wanted Kohli to be in Australia with his wife so that the baby would be Australian.
“We were hoping his baby would be born in Australia so that we can claim him or her to be an Australian!"
With the bio-bubble cricket becoming the new normal, the players have moved to a bubble at the Sydney Olympic Park in New South Wales after staying in a bubble close to three months in the United Arab Emirates. However, Border stated that he can’t imagine the life inside the bubble as it creates an extreme level of mental fatigue more than physical fatigue.
"I can't imagine me being in a bubble. I don't know how the players will be able to cope with moving from one bubble to another. More than the physical fatigue, they will struggle with mental fatigue. Hotel, bus, ground and back. This routine for months will be hard work. It could play a decisive role in the series and Indians could feel more isolated than Aussies," Border said.