Ever since BCCI granted a paternity leave to India skipper Virat Kohli, there has been a lot of concerns over who will be India’s No.4 after the first Test match at Adelaide. Kohli will be unavailable for the last three Tests as he will be with his Anushka Sharma for the birth of first child. While there is no doubt that it will create a huge void in India’s batting line-up, experts and former cricketers agreed in unison that the Indian board did the correct thing.
Australia’s 1987 World Cup-winning captain Allan Border, however had an interesting take on the entire episode, saying that Kohli could have considered the option of having his newborn baby in Australia, instead of India.
“We were thinking he might think about having his newborn baby here because we can claim his offspring as Australian,” Border jokingly said during a media interaction.
When explaining things with all seriousness, Border said Kohli’s unavailability will be a big loss for India as the right-hander is ‘irreplaceable’ at the moment. “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 said.
Terming Kohli ‘a special player’, Border said he leads the positive brand of cricket that India now play all over the world.
“Look, I love the way he plays his game; he wears his heart on his sleeve. I like his aggression and passion for the game. India as a team will miss that. He is a special player, has serious talent and is part of this new India — that’s the way I look at it. The way India play the modern game, they have a very positive mindset, and Virat has led the way very well in those areas. I am a big fan,” said Border.
India will be playing three ODIs – starting from November 27 in Sydney – and as many T20Is before the four-match Test series starts from December 17. Kohli will be available for limited overs leg and the first Test at Adelaide, which will also mark the first day-night affair between the two sides.