Virat Kohli is “irreplaceable” to India as a batsman and leader, says Allan Border

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Virat Kohli led India to their first Test Series victory in Australia on their final tour in 2018/19.© Instagram


The decision of India’s captain Virat Kohli to take paternity leave will give Australia a significant advantage in the upcoming test series, according to former Australian skipper Allan Border. Kohli is leaving the tour after the first of four Tests, which kick off in Adelaide on December 17, before the birth of his first child with Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma. “I think that’s a big out for India,” Border told a leading newspaper. “He is currently irreplaceable as a batsman and as a leader,” he added.

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India will play three one-day internationals and three T20 matches for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series.

Kohli led India to their first Test series victory in Australia on their final tour in 2018/19. But the home team had no batters Steve Smith and David Warner, who were banned for tampering with the ball.

Border said he was “very confident” of Australia’s chances this time, predicting a 2-1 win thanks to their quality bowling attack and batting lineup, bolstered by Smith and Warner.

He said India could also struggle with the mental fatigue of weeks in “bubble” conditions so far from home. But Border said the biggest factor would be Kohli’s absence.

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“I love the way he plays his game – he wears his heart on his sleeve,” said Border.

“I love his aggression and passion for the game. India will miss that as a team.”

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