Australian great Steve Waugh has expressed his disappointment over India skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to skip three of the four Tests in Australia in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series.
The 32-year old has taken the decision to leave Australia after the first Test to be at the birth of his first child. The BCCI confirmed the news on Monday, stating that it has granted paternity leave to the India skipper. His wife Anushka Sharma is due to give birth in early January.
Any chances of Virat Kohli rejoining the squad for the later Tests is also highly unlikely due to the strict quarantine rules. The India star’s decision, nonetheless, has drawn mixed reactions and Steve Waugh has also weighed in with his views on the matter.
“I’m a little bit disappointed he’s not going to be there — and a bit surprised,” Steve Waugh told AFP.
“This was really shaping up as one the key series of his whole career after he’s achieved just about everything. But obviously family comes first,” he added.
India are due leave this week for Australia, where they will spend two weeks in quarantine in Sydney. The tour will kick off with the first ODI on November 27. India are scheduled to play three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests in Australia. Kohli will lead India in the ODIs, the T20Is and the first Test – a day-night match in Adelaide – before heading home.
India are a dangerous opponent:
Steve Waugh further said Virat Kohli’s absence might make things easier for Australia before insisting that the hosts would have liked to play against a full-strength opposition.
“It’s a bit like a couple of years ago when India won without (David) Warner or (Steve) Smith in the side,” he said.
“You really want to win against the best possible opposition, particularly when this is like the heavyweight title fight,” added the batting legend.
Waugh, however, quickly pointed out that India remain a dangerous outfit despite Virat Kohli’s absence.
“They’re a dangerous opponent even without Kohli and I think it’s going to be a tightly contested series,” he said. “I don’t think there will be much between the sides.”