Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins believes Virat Kohli's absence after the first Test is not going to make a big difference to the outcome of the series.
India skipper Kohli has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI and is expected to return to India after the opening day/night Test, starting 17 December. India play three more matches after that game in Adelaide.
Cummins, however, insisted that Kohli's absence is not something the Australians are focused on.
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"To be honest, as a captain, obviously he’ll be missed but the Indian cricket side always finds some incredible batsman, who outside the team, just waiting for an opportunity, so maybe that new opportunity will be the beginning of someone else’s career," he said in a media interaction on Monday, 16 November.
"It might make a bit of a difference. I am not sure it’s gonna be a deciding factor in the series but to be honest us players haven’t spoken too much about it."
The last time India toured Australia, they won 2-1, clinching their first away Test series in Australia. The loss still weighs heavily on the minds of Australian players.
We as an Aussie cricket team pride ourselves on winning at home, especially Test matches.
"We have got a lot to prove. India played really well here a couple of years ago. We as an Aussie cricket team, and as long as I have grown up watching them play, pride ourselves on winning at home, especially Test matches. So to lose that one, I feel like we have to make amends this summer," said Cummins.
"It’s gonna be a great series. Both teams I think are at the top of the Test Championship table at the moment. It’s going to be a high-quality series."
Cummins, who returned to Australia after a stint in the Indian Premier League in the UAE also said that he has not taken a call regarding this availability for the white-ball series, which precedes the Tests.
"(I) haven't made a final decision on that yet," he said. "Obviously, (it’s) unprecedented times with so many people spending a large portion of time in these bubbles so we're going to keep all the conversations open, chat about that a bit closer to when we all get together.
"I wouldn't be surprised if there's times throughout the summer where some players might just need a little rest knowing not only how busy this next couple of months is but also a tour of South Africa (February-March) and a few away tours next year. There's always cricket on, so we'll make sure we're all open about that, having those conversations."
India's tour of Australia begins with a three-match ODI series, starting 27 November, followed by three T20Is and the Tests.