Thursday, April 22

I would never tell my players to miss the birth of a child: Langer

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The upcoming India tour of Australia was bound to garner mainstream attention and even before the series has started, it has become a talking point. One of the biggest reasons for the huge media attention that the series has received in the past few days is because it was announced last week that India captain Virat Kohli will be returning home after the first Test in Adelaide.

Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child and the India captain has been granted paternity leave by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for the remainder of the Test series. While the news has paved way to fans wondering whether the Indian team will be able to challenge Australia in Kohli’s absence, Australia head coach Justin Langer praised the call and hailed Kohli’s decision.

“I’ve also got respect for him in the sense that he’s made this decision (to return to India),” Langer told reporters in a conference call. “He’s a human being like all of us… if I was giving advice to any of my players I would always say never, ever miss the birth of your children because it is one of the great things you’ll ever do.”

The former Australia opener admitted that Kohli’s absence will definitely have an impact but added Australia cannot get complacent just because the Indian captain won’t be available.

“Of course it will have an impact (Kohli’s absence), but we also know that India beat us last time. They’re a very, very good team, we cannot get complacent for a second with or without Virat Kohli,” Langer said.

India will play 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 4 Tests against Australia, the first of which takes place on November 27.