Virat Kohli, Indian skipper, will fly back home after leading the side in the first Test which, is a day-night affair, for the birth of his first child. He will, however, captain India in the preceding three ODIs and as many T20Is.
Virat Kohli’s absence in the last three Tests against Australia is currently being talked about as Indian team gears up for the series Down Under, which begins from November 27 in Sydney with ODIs. India will first play a 3-match ODI series followed by as many T20Is after which the 4-match Test series commence from December 17 in Adelaide.
Virat Kohli Is Taking Right Decision As These Moments Don’t Come Often: Ravi Shastri
While many experts have opposed Virat Kohli’s return amidst the Test series, head-coach Ravi Shastri has backed the captain’s decision to return for the birth of his first child.
“I think it’s the right decision he’s taking. These moments don’t come time and time again. He has the opportunity, he’s going back, and I think he’ll be happier for that,” Shastri told ABC Sport.
Ravi Shastri acknowledged the fact that the Indian captain has been the ‘driving force’ behind the team’s success over the years. However, he asserted that Virat Kohli’s absence will generate an opportunity for the youngsters of the squad to step up. Shubman Gill, who is yet to play a test match, may get a chance in his absence.
“If you see where India have gone in the last five-six years, there’s no doubt in absolutely anyone’s mind that he’s the driving force and the man behind it (India’s success). So, he obviously would be missed. But like I say, in adversity comes opportunity. There are a lot of young guys in the side and it’s an opportunity for them,” he said.
Virat Kohli is the most successful skipper in tests for India as, under him, India won 33 test matches. In all probability, Ajinkya Rahane will lead in his absence. Ajinkya Rahane led previously in 2 tests and India won both of them at home.
Ravi Shastri Expressed Doubts Over Ishant Sharma’s Participation In Tests
Ravi Shastri also expressed his apprehensions about senior Ishant Sharma’s participation in the upcoming 4 match Test series if he doesn’t reach Australia in the next few days.
Ishant Sharma sustained a side strain during the IPL 2020 which saw him miss most of the matches in IPL and is currently at the NCA undergoing rehabilitation. BCCI is yet to announce the date when he would reach Australia.
Considering the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, it is clear that he is likely to miss the first warm-up game against Australia A, from December 6-8, if he doesn’t depart by Monday.
“You don’t really know how quickly he’ll be available to fly out. As I said, if anyone has to play in the Test series, he has to be on the flight in the next four or five days. Otherwise, it’s very difficult,” Ravi Shastri concluded.
Ishant Sharma played a solitary match in IPL 2020 and conceded 26 runs in 3 overs where he failed to pick up a wicket. Debuting in 2007 in tests, he is on the verge of picking 300 wickets and 100 match appearances. He has 297 wickets from 97 matches till now.