Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar feels there is no need to panic about the Indian team during skipper Virat Kohli’s absence. Kohli is set to miss out on a major part of the Test series as he will be on paternity leave, but Gavaskar feels there is nothing to worry about as the team tends to raise their game during the regular skipper’s absence.

“If you actually have a look, India has won every time Virat was not there, be it the Test in Dharamsala against Australia, Afghanistan Test, Nidahas Trophy or Asia Cup 2018. Indian players do tend to raise their game when he is not around. They understand they have to make up for his absence,” Gavaskar told TOI.

Gavaskar also believes that Kohli’s absence will give Ajinkya Rahane a sense of security.

“It is going to be tough for Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Both these players will have to bat out of their skins. Captaincy will actually help Rahane. He will feel a lot more secure and in control of situations. The selection committee is clear about who should lead in Virat’s absence,” Gavaskar added.

Kohli is expected to become a father for their first time in January. That is the reason why he will leave the series midway and return to India to be with his wife, actress Anushka Sharma.

However, Kohli will lead the Indian team in the three-match ODI series, commencing from 27th November and later in T20I series and the first Test match in Adelaide.

In fact, Kohli’s call to pull out of the Test series has received praise from the Australian coach as well. Justin Langer feels one should respect Kohli’s call to be with his family during such an occasion.