Taking paternity leave was absolutely clear in my mind, want to be there at any cost: Virat Kohli

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Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma

India skipper Virat Kohli, on Wednesday, said that his decision to take paternity leave was absolutely clear as he wanted to be back home to enjoy the ‘very special’ moment of his life. The current India skipper was involved in a chat with Australia’s Steve Smith when he was asked about his decision to head back home amid the crucial four-Test series.

Kohli, after the first Test of the series at Adelaide, will fly back home to be with wife Anushka Sharma who’s expecting the couple’s first child. The 32-year-old’s decision to opt for a paternity leave amid the much-awaited Australia Tests did raise a few eyebrows but he himself has backed deputy Ajinkya Rahane to lead India well in the remaining three matches. 

“It is a decision that was absolutely clear in my mind. As committed as you are to play for your country, this is a very, very special moment in life and something that you want to be there for at any cost,” said Kohli to Smith during their interaction ahead of the pink-ball Test from December 17th. 

“I am quite excited about how Ajinks goes. I think he is someone who will enjoy the responsibility of captaining while I am away,” added Kohli.

Smith, last week, had also lauded Kohli’s decision to be with his wife during the birth of their first child. 

“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 Viraknow 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,” Smith had said.

India were jolted after suffering a 2-1 defeat in the ODI leg of the multi-series tour. However, the Kohli-led contingent bounced back by clinching the subsequent T20I series 2-1. All eyes will now be on the Test series where India are eyeing to successfully defend the title. India had retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy during their last trip Down Under in 2018-19, becoming the first Asian side to win a series on the Australian soil.


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