Virat Kohli granted paternity leave while Rohit Sharma returns to Test squad for Australia tour

India captain will return home after first match and could miss rest of Border-Gavaskar series

FILE - In this March 1, 2020, file photo, India's Virat Kohli runs a single while batting during play on day two of the second cricket test between New Zealand and India at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand. India’s cricket tour to Australia is closer to being formalized with selectors picking squads for a four-test series and the one-day and Twenty20 limited-overs formats. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

Virat Kohli will return to India after the first Test of their tour of Australia after being granted paternity leave.

Players from both the India and Australia sides, who have been involved in the IPL, are currently sharing a bio-secure environment at a hotel in Dubai Marina, before they depart later this week.

Kohli relocated there once his Royal Challengers Bangalore side were beaten in the eliminator match on Friday in Abu Dhabi.

He is due to captain the India side in a series of three one-day internationals, three T20Is and four Test matches.

However, he has been given leave to return to India after the first Test, which is due to conclude on December 21 in Adelaide.

The BCCI did not clarify if Kohli would return for the rest of the series but given that anyone arriving in Australia must quarantine for 14 days, it seems unlikely that he will be able to play in any of the other three matches.

The second Test begins on December 26, followed by the third in Sydney from January 7, before the final Test in Brisbane on January 15.

“At the selection committee meeting held on October 26, Mr Virat Kohli had informed the BCCI about his plans to return to India after the first Test in Adelaide,” the BCCI announced.

“The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain. He will return after the first Test.”


Kohli's IPL 2020 campaign ends


It was one of a number of decisions announced by the BCCI related to the tour.

Rohit Sharma’s hamstring injury has been reassessed, given his appearance in the past two matches for Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

He is still set to be rested from the limited-overs series in Australia, but “he has been included in India’s Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy”, according to the statement.

Sanju Samson has also been rewarded for his eye-catching displays for Rajasthan Royals by being elevated to the ODI squad.

Ishant Sharma, who was withdrawn from Delhi Capitals’ squad early in the IPL through injury, is being assessed and “once he fully recovers and gains sufficient match fitness, he will be added to India’s Test squad”.

Varun Chakravarthy’s fairytale rise to the India side will be delayed by a shoulder injury. He will be replaced in the T20 squad by Thangarasu Natarajan.