Australian topliner Steve Smith has backed Virat Kohli’s decision of taking paternity leave in the middle of the on-going AUS vs IND Test series. 32-year-old Virat Kohli will be heading back home to be with his pregnant wife during the birth of their first child. The Indian skipper received plenty of stick for choosing personal occasions over his national duties. However, Smith on Tuesday said Virat Kohli deserves credit for prioritizing the birth of his child over cricket as “there would have been a lot of pressure” on him to stay for the rest of the Test series.
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AUS vs IND: Steve Smith backs Virat Kohli’s decision
Team India will be without the services of their best available player, Virat Kohli for the remaining three Tests. His absence can cost the visitors a lot but Australia’s Smith opines that it was a fair decision made by Kohli to support his family during such an important juncture.
“Obviously, it’s a big loss for India, not having him for the rest of the series. We just have to look at the way he played in the first innings. That was a pretty class display against some good bowling on a wicket that was doing a bit,” Smith told reporters during a virtual press conference facilitated by the series’ official broadcaster Sony Network.
“I just fist-pumped him at the end (of the first Test) and said ‘Mate safe travels, hope everything goes well with the baby, and pass on my best to your wife.’ That was about it,” Smith said. “I’m sure there would have been a lot of pressure for him to stay but to stand up and want to go home for the birth of his first child, it’s a credit for him. It’s a milestone that he certainly wouldn’t want to miss.”
AUS vs IND: How are India going to suffice in the absence of Kohli?
Team India found themselves in the middle of mayhem during the first pink-ball Test against Australia in Adelaide. Virat Kohli and Co. got out for 36 runs in their second innings, India’s lowest total in the unlimited format. Australia went a game above the Indians with a dominating win as they continue their pursuit to clinch the “Border Gavaskar” title from the visitors.
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Nevertheless, the mighty Indians have a lot of fight left in them to retain the trophy Down Under. However, the absence of a couple of key players will seemingly put a dent in India’s confidence before the commencement of the next Test. First, Virat Kohli, and now, India will be without pacer Mohammad Shami for the second Test. Shami picked up an injury during the first AUS vs IND pink-ball Test. Australia vs India second Test will be played on December 26 from 5 am IST onwards.