NEW DELHI: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli will take paternity leave after the first Test vs Australia on India’s upcoming tour. Virat and his wife Anushka are expecting their first child in January 2021 and Virat will return home after the first Test in Adelaide, which starts on December 17.
Meanwhile in another significant development the BCCI has revealed that Rohit Sharma, whose fitness is being monitored and who was earlier not named in any of the three squads for the tour of Australia will not be part of the ODI and T20 series Down Under. However, Rohit has now been included in India’s Test squad for the 4 Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.
The centrally-contracted players are eligible for paternity leave and Rohit had availed it during the 2018 tour of Australia.
India’s tour of Australia comprises three ODIs, as many T20 Internationals and four Tests. The series begins November 27. The Tests start on December 17 in Adelaide.
Kohli will miss the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne (December 26-30), New Year’s Test in Sydney (January 7-11) and the final game at the Gabba (January 15-19).
Cricket Australia, which is already facing a lot of heat from the broadcasters Seven Network, would be worried as the Indian captain is a massive draw and his absence could severely impact the advertisement market.
The BCCI has also taken a few other calls as far as the fitness of some other players are concerned, like Ishant Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha and Varun Chakravarthy, who got his maiden India call-up earlier for the T20 series in Australia, but has now been dropped because he has been nursing a shoulder injury. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s left arm fast bowler T Natarajan, who was earlier going to travel as a net bowler will be Chakravarthy’s replacement.
Keep working hard,never loose hope is the story of #natarajan Congratulations buddy for your maiden india call👍
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) 1604920780000
The two best stories of the #IPL have been Natarajan and Varun Chakravarthy. What a pity that disappointment for on… https://t.co/ZduVUqezfV
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 1604920769000
Chakravarthy didn’t intimate the BCCI that he had a labrum tear and continued playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. He will now have to go for a surgery.
It is learnt that hiding injury in his very first national call-up hasn’t gone down well either with the BCCI’s medical team or with the national selection committee.
The committee, it is learnt, will have a serious rethink about including players, who are not transparent about the status of their injuries.
Natarajan, who has 16 wickets and bowled yorkers at will, was among the net bowlers. However, Kamlesh Nagarkoti will not go to Australia as BCCI will monitor his workload at the NCA.
Sanju Samson, who was earlier only included in the T20 squad, has been added to the ODI line-up as an additional keeper.
The BCCI press release had the following full details:
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 India squads:
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.