Former Australian cricketer and pace bowling legend Glenn McGrath has said that Virat Kohli missing a large part of the four-match Test series will be a "big blow" to India as they aim to defend their title Down Under.
Kohli will return to India after playing the first Test in Adelaide to attend the birth of his child.
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In a media interaction, McGrath said, “It will impact the series. The player of his quality and class, for India to lose him in three out of four Tests is a big blow,” as quoted by the Hindustan Times.
“It will be for the other players to step up. I can totally understand him wanting to go back for his first child’s birth."
He further said that the Indian captain is "worth two players," adding that Kohli's absence may also hamper Cheteshwar Pujara's performance. Pujara was the highest-scoring batsman for India in their previous Test series Down Under.
“Kohli is worth two players; one, as a batsman and two, as the captain, setting the field with his energy and attitude. Australia would want to dominate the series and level the ledger. They have Smith and Warner back," McGrath said.
“The thing he did so well last time was that he occupied the crease. He spent time in the middle just batting. He is a kind of batsman who doesn’t feel pressure when not scoring runs. That’s unique in the modern era where there are batsmen who would want to score runs after one maiden over. Pujara doesn’t have that mindset. That helped him last time, allowed him to get a lot of time and just compile runs.
“The fact that he hasn’t spent time in the middle, hasn’t had lot of long batting time, is going to have a big impact. He will probably have to work harder this series than the last one as he hasn’t played any cricket.”