Virat Kohli and his men are scheduled to play a full series against Australia, with three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests. But Kohli will miss the last three Tests, since he will be going on paternity leave to be with his wife and actress Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child.
Fans and critics have predicted that this will add excess pressure on the Indian squad when taking on the Aussies. Former Australia captain Ian Chappell recently wrote about what he believes Kohli’s absence will lead to. “India also face a selection dilemma when skipper Virat Kohli departs for home for the birth of his first child following the opening Test. This creates both a big hole in the Indian batting order and an opportunity for one of their talented young players to make a name for himself,” Chappell wrote in his column on ESPNCricinfo.
Chappell also wrote about the confusion surrounding the opening pair in the Australian team. “Speaking of confusion, I was flummoxed by the Australian coach’s summation of the choice between incumbent Joe Burns and rising star Will Pucovski for the job of David Warner’s opening partner,” Chappell wrote.
“If no one else is vying for the position then Burns retains his place. However, Pucovski has been banging on the door for a while now – something Langer craves. Pucovski has taken a sledgehammer to the entryway by making six centuries at Shield level, three of them doubles; two of those double-hundreds came this season. He has well and truly proved he is good enough at that level, so it’s time to see if he can succeed in the Test arena,” he added.
“What was already shaping up as an exciting tussle now has the added stimulus of crucial selection decisions. The result could well come down to who is the bravest set of selectors,” the former Australian cricketer signed off.