India skipper Virat Kohli will skip the last two Tests of the highly-anticipated four-match series against Australia as he gears up for the birth of his first child in January.
BCCI, on Monday, confirmed that at the selection committee meeting held on October 26th, 2020, Kohli had informed the cricket board about his plans to return to India after the first Test in Adelaide.
Now, the BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain and he will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide.
Notably, Kohli’s actor wife Anushka Sharma is due to give birth to the couple’s first child in early January.
The four-Test matches will be held in Adelaide (D/N, December 17-21), Melbourne (Dec 26-30), Sydney (Jan 7-11, 2021) and Brisbane (Jan 15-19).
The BCCI has, over the years, encouraged cricketers to take paternity breaks and it is no different for India’s captain and best batsman.
“Look, in normal times, he could have flown back for the birth of his firstborn, missed a Test and played the final one in Brisbane. However, if the 14-day quarantine is still in place, it will be difficult to go and come back again,” a source in the BCCI said.
Rohit Sharma included in Test Squad
The All-India Senior Selection Committee met on Sunday to pick certain replacements after receiving injury reports and updates from the BCCI Medical Team.
1. Mr Virat Kohli – At the selection committee meeting held on October 26th, 2020, Mr Virat Kohli had informed the BCCI about his plans to return to India after the first Test in Adelaide. The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain. He will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide.
2. Mr Rohit Sharma – The BCCI Medical Team has been monitoring Rohit Sharma’s fitness and has briefed All-India Senior Selection Committee on the same. In consultation with Mr Sharma, it has been decided to rest him for the ODIs and T20Is in Australia to regain full fitness and he has been included in India’s Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
3. Mr Sanju Samson – The Selection Committee has added Sanju Samson as an additional wicket-keeper to India’s ODI squad.
4. Mr Ishant Sharma – The senior Indian fast bowler has been undergoing his rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Once he fully recovers and gains sufficient match fitness, he will be added to India’s Test squad.
5. Mr Varun Chakravarthy – The spinner has been ruled out of the T20I series owing to a shoulder injury. The selectors have named T Natarajan as a replacement.
6. Mr Wriddhiman Saha – The senior Indian wicket-keeper sustained injuries to both his hamstrings during his side’s IPL game on 3rd November. A call on his availability will be taken later.
7. Mr Kamlesh Nagarkoti – The young fast bowler will not be able to travel to Australia as he is still working with the medical team on his bowling workload management.
The revised squads are as below:
Team India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan.
Team India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper).
Team India Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohd. Siraj.