Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma
Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma during a cozy moment during the former's IPL campaign in Dubai. Image Credit: Instagram

Dubai: The Indian cricket board, in a novel decision, has granted skipper Virat Kohli ‘paternity leave’ to return to India after the first Test match against Australia ends on December 21.

Ansukha Sharma, Kohli’s wife who had accompanied the player during the entire IPL campaign and also made fleeting appearances during the matches, is in advanced stages of pregnancy. The statement from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, did not clarify if Kohli would return for the rest of the Test series or not.

The Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is currently with India, will be played between December 17 and January 19, 2021.


The national selection committee, which met virtually on Sunday, came up with a number of key decisions to cover for the last-minute injuries sustained during the IPL in the UAE. They have retained Wriddhiman Saha, the senior Test wicketkeeper who sustained a hamstring injury while turning out for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL, saying a ‘‘call on his availability will be taken later.’’

Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who was the lone new face in the Indian T20 squad for the Australian tour, has been unfortunately ruled out of the three-match T20I series owing to a shoulder injury, and the selectors have named left-arm pacer T. Natarajan as a replacement.

The BCCI also announced that Rohit Sharma, whose injury recently became a major controversy, has been included in India’s Test squad for the Test series, though he will be missing the two white ball series ahead of the Tests.

Ishant Sharma, the senior Indian fast bowler who had to leave IPL due to an injury, has been undergoing his rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Once he fully recovers and gains sufficient match fitness, he will be added to India’s Test squad.

Meanwhile, Sanju Samson, who impressed as the wicketkeeper-batsman for Rajasthan Royals in IPL, has been added as an additional wicketkeeper to India’s ODI squad.

Revised India squads

T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan.

ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper)

Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj.