Mumbai:Indian captain Virat Kohli will miss the last three Test matches of the India vs Australia four-match Test series Down Under after BCCI on Monday granted him a paternity leave to return home after the opening Day-Night Test, scheduled from December 17 to 21 in Adelaide.
The decision means India are set to play three of the four Border-Gavaskar Tests - in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane - without their batting talisman.
Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their fist child around the New Year, which had put a question mark over the availability of the Indian captain for the full Australia tour, which is scheduled from November 27 to January 19.
The tour will start with three ODIs, followed by three T20Is, with the four-Test Border Gavaskar Trophy played at the end.
Ajinkya Rahane, the designated vice-captain, who has previously captained against Australia and Afghanistan, is likely to lead the red-ball team.
''At the selection committee meeting held on October 26th, 2020, Mr Virat Kohli had informed the BCCI about his plans to return to India after the first Test in Adelaide. The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain. He will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide,'' BCCI said in a statement.
In another significant development, the All India Senior Selection Committee decided to add Rohit Sharma in the Test squad while granting him rest from the white-ball leg of the tour in order to facilitate his full recovery from a hamstring niggle picked up at IPL 2020.
BCCI revealed that its medical team had been monitoring Rohit in the UAE after the injury picked up on October 18 forced the Mumbai Indians skipper to miss four games at the same time the squad for the Australia tour was picked.
The Selection Committee also named Sanju Samson as an additional wicket-keeper to India's ODI squad.
Fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who was also provisionally left-out of the squad is rehabilitating at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru after an abdominal muscle tear ruled him out of IPL 2020. The 32-year-old will be added to the Test squad upon achieving match fitness, the statement said. (UNI)