Star batsman will be leaving the side over paternity leave
India captain Virat Kohli will not take part in three games of the four-match Test series against Australia in December after getting a paternity leave.
However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also announced Monday that another key batsman, Rohit Sharma, has been added back to the Test squad despite his injury worries.
Kohli, 32, and his Bollywood actress wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child in January and the team captain has been given special dispensation to be present.
India leave for Australia this week and the BCCI said Kohli told them in October that he would return after the first Test ends in Adelaide on December 21. “The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain,” said a board statement which also confirmed his return date.
That means the world’s top ranked one-day batsman will lead India in the three ODIs, three T20I matches in November and December and the opening Test, a day-night fixture starting December 17.
The second Test starts in Melbourne on December 26 followed by matches in Sydney and Brisbane in strict bio-bubbles during the pandemic crisis.
The board said a medical team had been monitoring the 33-year-old opener — who is recovering from an injury — and “it has been decided to rest him for the ODIs and T20Is in Australia to regain full fitness” before taking part in the Tests.
Veteran fast bowler Ishant Sharma will also be added to the Test team after he regains full fitness from a muscle tear.
India, who won their first ever series in Australia on their last tour, will leave on Thursday to undergo a two-week quarantine before the first ODI on November 27 in Sydney.