'Kohli's absence creates a big hole', says Ian Chappell
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes that Kohli's absence will leave a huge void in the Indian batting order on the impending Australian tour. In his column on ESPNcricinfo, he stated that the Indian management could face a "selection dilemma" once the Indian captain departs. Notably, Kohli will return back to India on paternity leave after the first Test (Day/Night) in Adelaide.
Here is what Chappell wrote
"India also face a selection dilemma when skipper Virat Kohli departs for home for the birth of his first child following the opening Test. This creates both a big hole in the Indian batting order," stated Chappell.
'This will present an opportunity to the youngsters'
Reflecting on the same, Chappell highlighted how the coveted number four spot will be up for grabs after the departure of Kohli. "This is an opportunity for one of their talented young players to make a name for himself," he added. "What was already shaping up as an exciting tussle now has the added stimulus of crucial selection decisions."
India scripted history under Kohli in 2018/19
Under Kohli, India became the first Asian side to win a Test series in Australia (2018/19). They clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. India also won the ODI series 2-1, while the T20I series was drawn. The Indian skipper finished with 282 runs, including a blistering ton in Perth. India will certainly miss their most prolific batsman in the whites Down Under, this time.
Will Kohli fire at the Adelaide Oval?
The first of four-Test series is scheduled at the Adelaide Oval, which will be a Day/Night affair. This will be the only Test which Kohli will be a part of before he leaves. Interestingly, he owns 431 Test runs, including three tons at this venue.
What can be the team combination?
Team India would want to replace Kohli with a proper batsman. As far as the opening slot is concerned, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal are expected to play at the top. Youngster Shubman Gill might earn his maiden Test call-up to play in the middle-order. Moreover, Prithvi Shaw could also open alongside either Rohit or Mayank, with either of two getting demoted.