Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who is set to become father in January 2021, will head back home after playing the opening Test of the four-match series against Australia, beginning December 17 at the Adelaide Oval.
Confirming the news, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that the 32-year-old captain has been granted paternity leave in order to be with his actress wife Anushka Sharma at the time of their first child.
“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,” the cricket’s governing body said.
Meanwhile, the BCCI also confirmed that opening batsman Rohit Sharma–who missed most of the second-half of the Mumbai Indians’ campaign in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to a recurring hamstring injury–has been added to the Indian squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
It is to be noted that Sharma was initially not included in India’s Test squad for the series and now he has been rested for the limited-overs fixtures against the Aaron Finch-led side.
“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,” the BCCI added.
Besides this, the BCCI selection committee has also made a number of other changes in the Indian squads for the Australia tour.
While Sanju Samson has been included in the Indian squad for the ODI series as an additional wicket-keeper, spinner Varun Chakravarthy has been ruled out of the T20I series because of a shoulder injury. T Natarajan has been named as Chakravarthy’s replacement for the Australia series.
Senior Indian pacer Ishant Sharma, on the other hand, is currently undergoing his rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. He will be included in the squad once he fully recovers and gains sufficient match fitness.
“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,” the BCCI further informer.
Meanwhile, young pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti will not be able to travel to Australia as he is still working with the medical team on his bowling workload management.
India are also slated to play three-match One-Day International (ODI) series and as many Twenty20Is against Australia, starting from November 27 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Take a look the revised Indian squads for the Australia series:
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.
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).
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.