Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI and will return home after the first Test of the Australia tour – to be played in Adelaide from December 17. It isn’t yet clear whether the Indian captain will be able to return for the remaining Tests but, however long his absence, it is a big blow to the tourists’ plans.
Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child around the new year, which had put a question mark over Kohli’s availability for the full tour, scheduled to run from November 27 to January 19. The tour will start with three ODIs, followed by three T20Is, with the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy played at the end.
In a media statement on Monday, the BCCI said Kohli would return to India after the first Test, which will be India’s first day-night Test overseas. The board, however, did not specify whether Kohli would return to rejoin the Indian Test squad at a later stage, though any return would have to negotiate strict quarantine protocols, adding to the time that he would not be available.