India vs Australia: Virat Kohli's absence an opportunity for young guys, says Ravi Shastri
Captain Virat Kohli will be missed after India's first Test against Australia in their upcoming tour Down Under but it is also an opportunity for younger players in the team, according to head coach Ravi Shastri.
Kohli will be playing in the series-opening pink ball Test at the Adelaide Oval starting December 17 but will return to India after that for the birth of his first child.
"I think it's the right decision he's taking," Shastri said on ABC Sport. "These moments don't come time and time again. He has the opportunity, he's going back, and I think he'll be happier for that."
"If you see where India have gone in the last five-six years, there's no doubt in absolutely anyone's mind that he's the driving force and the man behind it (India's success). So he obviously would be missed. But like I say, in adversity comes opportunity. There are lot of young guys in the side and it's an opportunity for them."
The head coach also expressed his worries about pacer Ishant Sharma’s participation in the upcoming Test series if he doesn’t reach Australia in upcoming days.
The right-arm fast bowler sustained a side strain during the recently concluded IPL in UAE and is currently at the NCA, Bengaluru for rehabilitation. The BCCI is yet to announce when he would reach Australia. Considering the compulsory 14-day quarantine requirement, it is clear that he is likely to miss the first warm-up game against Australia A, at from December 6-8, if he doesn’t depart by Monday.
(With inputs from IANS)