COVID-19 restrictions mean that Virat Kohli is very unlikely to return to the Indian team for the final two Tests against Australia in January, next year. The Indian captain will avail paternity leave midway through the series to be with his wife Anushka Sharma. The duo is expected to welcome their first child in early January.
Indian fans were hopeful that the skipper would return in time for the third and fourth Test matches in Sydney (January 7 to 11) and Brisbane (January 15 to 19). However, ESPN Cricinfo reports that the necessary COVID-19 restrictions in place will prevent Virat Kohli from rejoining the squad in time.
As per the Australian government's COVID-19 travel guidelines, any person arriving in the country must quarantine for 14 days. A two-week quarantine would rule Virat Kohli out of the remainder of the series.
Virat Kohli will play in the white-ball series and the first test match
Although he will not be available for the final two Tests, Kohli will travel to Sydney with the rest of the India squad on November 12. The 32-year-old will participate in the T20I and ODI series, which begin on November 27.
Virat Kohli will lead the side in the first Test match, which takes place in Adelaide from December 17 to 21. The match will be India's first ever overseas Day-Night Test. The Men in Blue will play two warm-up games ahead of the series, including one Day-Night match.
The loss of Kohli will be a massive blow to India's hopes of retaining the Border-Gavasker trophy. The series promises to be a spicy affair and the mind games have already begun. Australia's former head coach Darren Lehmann recently claimed India must win the first Test if they are to stand a chance of winning the series.Published 11 Nov 2020, 20:52 IST