Vodafone Test Series v India
Captain Kohli to return to India after first Test
India's skipper set to miss final three Tests of their series against Australia to be at the birth of his first child
9 November 2020, 09:59 PM AEST
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is set to play only the first Test against Australia this summer so he can return home to be at the birth of his first child.
Indian selectors announced tonight that Kohli will return to India following the first Test of the series in Adelaide (December 17-21) to be with his wife Anushka Sharma, who is due to give birth in January.
In a statement, the BCCI made no mention of whether or not Kohli would be able to return to Australia for the latter part of the series once the baby has arrived. However, given the strict biosecurity measures that require all international visitors to complete two weeks of hard quarantine upon their arrival in Australia, it's seemingly not practical for Kohli to fly home for the birth and then return to Australia.
Cricketers have often played Tests abroad either side of a quick trip home for the birth of a child, but Australia's hard border - the result of the COVID-19 pandemic - makes it near impossible this summer.
"The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain," a statement read. "He will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide."
Ajinkya Rahane would be expected to fill in as captain in Kohli's absence.
Kohli will land in Australia later this month to complete two weeks of quarantine before playing in the six limited-overs games to start the summer and then the first Test, a day-night match in Adelaide.
Australia are expected to name an extended Test squad later this week.
India have also confirmed that star opener Rohit Sharma will miss the T20 and ODI series due to a recent hamstring injury, but have added him to their Test squad. Selectors have opted to rest their white-ball vice-captain with a view to him playing in the Tests later in the summer.
Pace star Ishant Sharma is set to be added to the Test squad as he continues his recovery from an abdominal injury, while wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha is under a fitness cloud after he injured both hamstrings in a recent Indian Premier League match.
Losing Kohli for the bulk of the Border-Gavaskar series would be a huge blow to India's hopes of retaining the trophy they won two years ago when they became the first Asian team to win a Test series in Australia.
The world's No.2 ranked Test batsman has scored 27 Test hundreds, including seven against Australia.
India's selectors have also added wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson (ODIs) and left-arm quick T Natarajan (T20s) to their white-ball squads, while spinner Varun Chakravarthy (shoulder injury) has been ruled out.
India Tour of Australia 2020-21
Australia ODI & T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey , Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan
Australia Test squad: TBA
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c) (first Test only), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj
Dettol ODI Series v India
First ODI: November 27, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Second ODI: November 29, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT
Third ODI: December 2, Manuka Oval, 2.40pm AEDT
Dettol T20 INTL Series v India
First T20: December 4, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm AEDT
Second T20: December 6, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT
Third T20: December 8, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT
Australia A v India A, December 6-8, Drummoyne Oval
Australia A v Indians, December 11-13, SCG (day-night)
Vodafone Test Series v India
First Test: December 17-21, Adelaide Oval, 3pm AEDT (day-night)
Second Test: December 26-30, MCG, 10.30am AEDT
Third Test: January 7-11, SCG, 10.30am AEDT
Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT
*The matches and travel remain subject to any relevant government restrictions or requirements.