Indian cricket team’s head coach Ravi Shastri has stood behind skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to return home after the first Test against Australia. Kohli had been granted a paternity leave by the BCCI as he is expecting his first child with actress wife Anushka Sharma.
Saying that these moments don’t come again, Shastri told ABC Sport:
“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, however, said that Kohli had been their talisman over the past 5-6 years and will be deeply missed.
“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,” remarked Shastri.
India is slated to play three ODI’s, three T20I’s and four Tests down under and would look to repeat their heroics from their last tour. The tour begins with the ODI series, commencing on November 27. The first Test is scheduled for Adelaide from December 17.
India had defeated Australia 2-1 during their previous tour in 2018-19 but it must be noted that their star players, Steve Smith and David Warner, were not playing that series – serving an year-long ban for the infamous ball tampering incident.