I respect ‘human’ Virat Kohli for his decision to take paternity leave: Australia coach Justin Langer – Sports News

by pregnancy journalist

Virat Kohli will play only the first of the 4-Test series after the limited-overs leg of the Australia tour. Kohli had applied for paternity leave and got it approved from the BCCI to be with his wife and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma for the birth of their child.

Virat Kohli landed in Australia with the rest of the squad from the UAE and headed into quarantine on Wednesday in Sydney. The India captain will lead the side in the ODI and T20I series and the first Test — a day-night encounter in Adelaide, starting December 17.

Justin Langer said the much-anticipated Test series will miss Virat Kohli’s energy after the first Test but maintained that Australia will not be complacent in the absence of the leading batsman. Notably, Kohli led India to an unprecedented Test series triumph in Australia in 2018-19.

“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,” Justin Langer said.

“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 to India for the birth of his child).

“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.

“Of course it (Kohli’s absence) will have an impact, 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.

India players are likely to be allowed to begin training in the biosecure bubble in Sydney from November 14. The likes of Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, David Warner along with other Australia players who featured at IPL 2020 have also joined the India players for the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

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