The head coach of Australia, John Buchanan believes that Team India captain Virat Kohli’s absence will be a great advantage for Australia.
Virat Kohli will feature in an only first Test match of Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting from December 27. BCCI has granted him paternity leave. After playing the first Test he will fly back to India to be with his wife Anushka Sharma who is due to give birth to the couple’s first child.
Buchanan believes India will ‘mature leader’ miss Virat Kohli once he leaves the tour after the first Test which is scheduled to be played in Adelaide. He further said that Kohli’s contributions were as crucial as Cheteshwar Pujara’s, who outscored him on the tour.
Notably, Virat Kohli was the third-highest run-scorer in the Test series when India defeated Australia 2-1 last year. He accumulated 282 runs in four games and was only behind Cheteshwar Pujara (521) and Rishabh Pant (350) in the list of highest run-scorer.
“It will definitely be an advantage for Australia because Kohli was one of the dominant players in the last Test series the two teams played.
“Of course, Cheteshwar Pujara was the star of the series but Kohli’s presence in the middle was a huge factor in India winning that series. His presence on the field and in the dressing room will be missed by India,” Buchanan was quoted as saying by Times of India.
“Kohli has demonstrated in the last few years that he is a mature leader who keeps this Indian team together. Having said that, I am not for a moment suggesting that the ones who would lead in Kohli’s absence can’t do that,” he said.
Warner and Smith Bring in a Lot of Experience to This Line-up: John Buchanan
Further speaking on Australia’s batting line-up Buchanan said that addition of David Warner and Steve Smith in the squad will definitely enhance the batting line-up of Australia.
Warner and Smith were not part of Australia team and had missed the previous Test series against India due to their respective bans but now as the duo will be back in the squad, it will be a matter of concern for India.
“When you look at the Australian batting line-up last time to what it will be now – there is a big change. Warner and Smith bring in a lot of experience to this line-up. Marnus Labuschagne has been in great nick and so has the other batsmen, but Warner and Smith give the side a potent look,” Buchanan, Australia’s World Cup-winning coach added.