Now that the IPL is over, the focus is shifting towards international cricket with India set to play their first match after a gap of more than 8 months. The 30-member strong Indian side left for Australia from Dubai Wednesday night to play a full-fledged tour. Ahead of the three T20Is, three ODIs and four-Test series, former England captain Michael Vaughan made a prediction about the outcome of the Test series.
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Vaughan said Australia will emerge victorious quite easily as India captain Virat Kohli won’t be available for the final three Tests due to the birth of his first child.
“No @imVkohli [Virat Kohli] for 3 Tests in Australia .. The right decision going to be at the birth of his first child .. but it means Australia will win the series quite easily IMO [in my opinion]”: Vaughan wrote on Twitter.
Kohli was granted paternity leave by BCCI to be with his wife Anushka Sharma. The Indian skipper will fly back after playing the limited-overs series and the first Test match in Adelaide which will also mark India’s first pink ball day-night Test on foreign soil.
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In Kohli’s absence, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in all probability will step up to lead the side. But Kohli’s absence is sure to weaken the Indian side against an Australian outfit that has been bolstered with the presence of two of their premier batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith.
Smith and Warner were absent the last time India beat Australia 2-1 in the Test series as they were serving bans for their involvement in ball-tampering. Kohli is not only India’s leader but also their best Test batsman. He was India’s second run-getter behind Cheteshwar Pujara, the last India toured Australia.
India’s Australia tour will begin with the three ODIs starting from November 27. The next two matches are on November 29 and December 2. All the ODIs will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The first T20I will also be played in Canberra on December 4 and the remaining two on December 6 and 8 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The first Test is set to be played under lights from December 17 to 21 at the Adelaide Oval.