Indian cricket superstar Virat Kohli will play just one Test match in Australia before flying back home to be by his pregnant Bollywood star wife’s side
- Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli will play the test series opener against Australia
- The four-Test series will commence on December 17 at the Adelaide Oval
- The Indian cricket board said Kohli fly home after the match for paternity leave
- Kohli and wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child in early January
The Indian cricket board announced on Monday that Kohli will leave his team’s tour of Australia for the second, third and fourth matches after being granted paternity leave.
Kohli and India’s huge touring party will soon travel from Dubai to Sydney on a charter flight, sharing it with Australia’s Indian Premier League stars.
The superstar batsman will play in the six limited-overs matches in Australia before he will return home to be with his wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child in early January.
India captain Virat Kohli will only play the first Test match against Australia next month before returning home to be with his pregnant wife Anushka Sharma (picture together) for the birth of their first child in January
The four-Test series will commence on December 17 at the Adelaide Oval before the Boxing Day Test showdown at the MCG and matches at the SCG and the Gabba in the new year.
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Kohli recently added his voice to a chorus of concern about the sustainability of bubble life, suggesting the length of tours in the COVID-19 era should be considered.
‘It does get difficult at times because it is repetitive,’ Kohli said.
‘Mentally, it can be taxing if this continues for this long a period at a consistent rate.
‘It has to be broken down, it has to be based on how the individuals are feeling and I think that conversation should take place regularly.
‘You want the players to be in the best state, mentally and physically.’
Meanwhile, the BCCI detailed changes to the three squads across formats with the major news surrounding the inclusion of gun batsman Rohit Sharma to the Test squad.
Pictured: Kohli runs a single while batting during play on day two of the second cricket test between New Zealand and India at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 1 this year
Sharma and veteran Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha have both been hampered by hamstring injuries.
The 33-year-old Sharma has captained Mumbai Indians to the IPL final and there had been mixed messages regarding whether he will make the trip Down Under.
‘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,’ a BCCI statement said.
Sunrisers Hyderabad gloveman Saha missed the IPL finals and is in doubt, with a call on his availability yet to be made.
Senior quick Ishant Sharma has been undergoing rehab for an abdominal muscle tear and ‘once he fully recovers and gains sufficient match fitness, he will be added to India’s Test squad,’ the BCCI said.
Sharma is a model and award-winning actor who produces and works in Hindi films.
The couple started dating in 2013 after they met during the filming of a shampoo advert.