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Australia head coach Justin Langer hails Virat Kohli for putting family before cricket

  • Langer respects Kohli’s decision to take paternity leave.

  • Virat and his wife Anushka are expecting their first child in January 2021.

Virat Kohli’s decision to take a leave of paternity for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 has made waves in the cricketing world. While many have spoken against the decision of Indian captain, he has been praised by Australia head coach Justin Langer for taking such a progressive step and balancing his priorities before the birth of his first child.

The Indian skipper and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting a child in January 2021, and he has been granted permission by the BCCI to return home after the series opener.

The four-match Test leg will start with the pink-ball game at the Adelaide Oval on December 17. MCG will host the second Test from December 26 while the third and fourth Tests will be played at the SCG (January 7-11) and the Gabba (January 15-19), respectively.

“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 said while speaking to the reporters online.

“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 home).

“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,” he added.

Kohli will lead India in three ODIs, three T20Is and the first Test before boarding the flight for Mumbai. In his absence, the Aussies will look to take revenge of their home Test series defeat against India two years ago.

“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 signed off.

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