Srinagar, December 11: World No. 1 Test batsman Steve Smith has backed Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to take paternity leave in the middle of India-Australia Tests series saying that Kohli has also got life outside cricket.
Virat Kohli will lead the India in the first Test which commences from December 17 in Adelaide. It’s going to be India’s first pink-ball Test on the Aussie soil. After the conclusion of the game, the Indian captain will head back home on paternity leave.
Kohli will be with his wife and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma as the couple expect their first child in January 2021.
“No doubt, it’s a big loss for India. Virat is a world-class player. I think you got to give him some credit, we all know how much he loves playing in Australia. But he is also a human being. He has got a life outside of cricket, a family that is starting,” Steve Smith told the press on Thursday.
“Credit to him for wanting to be there for the birth of his first child. We know how much he loves playing in Australia, how good he is, but as I said, credit should go to him for wanting to be there,” Smith added.
Kohli’s unavailability has already become a huge point of discussion in the Australian cricketing fraternity. In all likelihood, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will get the onus to lead the side and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Smith also pointed out that the absence of Ishant Sharma would be a major concern for the touring Indian side. The veteran Indian speedster was ruled out of the Test series after he suffered a side strain while playing for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020.
“Ishant Sharma is probably a big loss for them at the start if he’s not available… He’s obviously played a lot of cricket. Maybe without him, it may not be the strongest. I’m sure they would like him to play,” Smith said.