Kohli will play the first Test, the Day/Night match at Adelaide from December 17. He will miss the next three Tests to be with wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child.
“It (Kohli’s absence) will impact the series. The player of his quality and class, for India to lose him in three out of four Tests is a big blow. It will be for the other players to step up. I can totally understand him wanting to go back for his first child’s birth,” McGrath said in a select media interaction.
“Kohli is worth two players; one, as a batsman and two, as the captain, setting the field with his energy and attitude. Australia would want to dominate the series and level the ledger. They have Smith and Warner back,” the retired pacer, who tormented Australia during his peak, added.
India created history winning their first-ever Test series in Australia during their previous tour in 2018-19. Cheteshwar Pujara was one of the standout performers for India in that series with 521 runs in four matches at an average of 74.42.
McGrath, however, feels Pujara will find it tougher this time round. “The thing he did so well last time was that he occupied the crease. He spent time in the middle just batting. He is a kind of batsman who doesn’t feel pressure when not scoring runs. That’s unique in the modern era where there are batsmen who would want to score runs after one maiden over.
“The fact that he hasn’t spent time in the middle, hasn’t had lot of long batting time, is going to have a big impact. He will probably have to work harder this series than the last one as he hasn’t played any cricket,” the Aussie legend explained.
India will kick-off their tour of Australia with the first ODI on November 27 at Sydney.