back icon
13 Nov 2020 | 05:48 AM
Australia's Justin Langer hails 'human' Virat Kohli for baby move
The Australia coach was speaking to reporters via video conference

Justin Langer expressed "respect" on Friday for Virat Kohli putting family before cricket, while strongly suggesting Joe Burns would remain opener for Australia in the first Test against India.

India skipper Kohli and his Bollywood star wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child in January, and he is set to return home after the opening Test in Adelaide ends on December 21.

Given the superstar batsman would have to quarantine again for 14 days if heading back to Australia, it appears certain he will miss the final three Tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

His absence improves Australia's chances of avenging their home series defeat to India two years ago but is a blow for broadcasters and fans.

"Virat Kohli is probably the best player I've ever seen in my life for so many reasons, not only batting but his energy and passion for the game, the way he fields," Langer told reporters by video conference.

"I cannot believe he displays the energy he does in everything he does and I've got so much respect for him. I've also got respect for him in the sense that he's made this decision (to return for the birth). 

"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."

Kohli will lead India in three ODIs from late November, three Twenty20 internationals and the first Test -- a day-night match -- before departing.

"Of course it will have an impact (his absence), but we also know that India beat us last time (in 2018-19). They're a very, very good team, we cannot get complacent for a second with or without Virat," Langer added.

'Pucovski's been amazing' - Langer

Australia named a 17-man Test squad on Thursday including highly-rated young players Will Pucovski and Cameron Green.

While most of the first XI is locked in, the drums have been beating for Pucovski to replace Burns as David Warner's opening partner after smacking back-to-back double centuries.

"Pucovski's been amazing hasn't he, and that's what we're looking for. We want guys who are outside the team to bang so hard you can't ignore them," said Langer. "And the fact is Will's been so good, we can't ignore him. 

"That said, I've also been consistent with the messaging since last summer, the last time we played Test cricket, that we loved the combination of Joe Burns and David Warner. 

"They have a real synergy, they work well together, have chemistry. So at this point I'd say that will remain the same."

Warner, Steve Smith and others who played in the Indian Premier League are now back in Sydney and undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

It means the team will not be together until the morning of the opening one-dayer on November 27.

Langer called the situation "challenging" but added: "They're all in really good spirits and can't wait to get the summer under way, they're all pumped."

India tour of Australia, 2020/21AustraliaIndiaJustin Lee LangerVirat Kohli
Related Articles
Have great respect for Indian bowlers but our batsmen have seen them a lot: Langer
Langer said the contest would likely be an exciting one thanks to the two teams being evenly-matched
25 Nov 2020
Kohli's absence will put all sorts of pressure on different players: Ponting
The India captain has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI to be with his wife for the birth of their first child
19 Nov 2020
'Earned the right to be here,' says Pucovski on being named in the Test squad
Despite missing the opening two rounds of the Sheffield Shield, he has scored 495 runs so far this season in three inning
17 Nov 2020
Paine keen to persist with Burns ahead of Pucovski
Many former players, including ex-captain Mark Taylor, Ian Chappell, Michael Clarke and Kim Hughes have called for Pucovski to debut in Adelaide
16 Nov 2020
Gilchrist feels Australia will continue with Warner, Burns as openers
The former Australia wicketkeeper however feels that there is a strong case for Will Pucovski to come into the XI
16 Nov 2020
Taylor backs Pucovski to open against India
Very few young Australian cricketers have generated as much buzz in recent years as the 22-year-old, thanks to his prolific form in Sheffield Shield
15 Nov 2020
Pucovski cuts himself off from social media amid hype over his selection
The Victoria batsman was picked for the Test series against India, which begins from December 17
14 Nov 2020
Waugh disappointed and surprised that Kohli will miss three Tests
The 32-year-old and his Bollywood star wife Anushka Sharma are expecting a child in January
10 Nov 2020
Chappell, Clarke call for Pucovski's inclusion for Tests against India
The Victoria batsman has scored 457 runs from two innings in the Sheffield Shield this season so far
09 Nov 2020
Langer takes break as McDonald to lead Australia on India tour
The 38-year-old McDonald will be in charge of the national men's side for the first time
07 Jan 2020
Cricket like never before
Term of use
Privacy Policy
Cookies Policy
Follow us on
@ 2020 | All rights reserved