Kohli paternity leave | Credit to Virat Kohli for wanting to be home for the birth of his first child: Steve Smith


Kohli has a life outside cricket: Smith on paternity leave&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspAP

Key Highlights

  • Virat Kohli will return home after the first Test between India and Australia starting December 17
  • Kohli’s wife Anushka is expected to deliver their first child soon
  • Steve Smith has backed Kohli’s decision to head home after the Test series opener

India skipper Virat Kohli will head back home after the first Test between India and Australia in Adelaide as his wife Anushka Sharma is set to give birth to their first child. While Kohli’s decision to leave the series mid-way has been discussed quite often, Australia batsman Steve Smith feels the Indian batsman should get the credit to make that choice.

Smith admitted that Kohli would’ve wanted to be in Australia considering how much he loves to perform Down Under but he also has a life beyond the sport and it’s fair for him to be with his family at this important phase in his life.

“No doubt it is a big loss for India. We know Virat is a world class player and you got to give him credit for how much he loved playing down here. (But) He is also a human being and has got a life outside of cricket and a family that is starting,” Smith told reporters in an online media interaction from Adelaide.

“Credit to him for wanting to be there for the birth of his first child. We know how much he loves playing in Australia and how good he is. Lots of credit to go to him for wanting to be there,” he added.

The Indian cricket team will also be without the services of Ishant Sharma in the pace attack after he failed to recover from an injury in time. While Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will be the two lead pacers in the bowling attack, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj will be vying for the third spot in the pace trio.

“Ishant Sharma is probably a big loss for them at the start, if he’s not available… He’s obviously played a lot of cricket. Maybe without him, it may not be the strongest. I’m sure they would like him to play,” said Smith in a virtual press meet. 

“They are a good (bowling) line-up. They’re pretty experienced now… Mohammed Shami has played a lot of cricket, Jasprit Bumrah has played a reasonable amount of cricket and a quality bowler. In the spin department, whichever spinner they use be it Ashwin, Jadeja or Kuldeep, they’ve all played a fair bit of cricket now. 

“The quicks perhaps haven’t played quite as much, whoever they go with them but they’re all good bowlers. We’re gonna have to be at our best as a batting group this summer, if we’re gonna beat them.”

The Test series kicks-off on December 17 with a pink-ball Test in Adelaide. The following three matches in the series will all be red-ball.


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