Australia batsman Steve Smith has lauded Indian captain Virat Kohli for the latter’s decision to leave Australia after the Adelaide Test to attend his first child’s birth.
Smith said there must have been massive pressure on the Indian skipper to stay with the squad and appreciated Kohli for choosing to stay at home.
“I am saying it now and have said it before, credit to him for being able to stand (up) and want to go home and be there for the birth of his first child and get to the milestone that you don’t want to miss. I am sure there would have been a lot of pressure on him to stay back but just to stand up and want to go home. I think credit to him,” Smith said as quoted by Times Now.
The former Australian skipper also passed on good wishes to Kohli’s wife Anushka Sharma and soon-to-be-born baby.
“I just fist-pumped him at the end (of 1st Test) and said ‘Mate safe travels, hope everything goes well with the baby, and pass on my best to your wife’,” added Smith.
Kohli’s absence is a big loss for India: Smith
Smith was impressed by Kohli’s batting brilliance in the first innings at Adelaide where the Delhi-lad had scored a brilliant 74, helping the tourists to take a 53-run lead. Smith termed Kohli’s knock as classy innings on a track where batting wasn’t easy.
“Look; obviously, it is a big loss for him and India, not having him for the rest of the series. You just have to look at the way he played in the first innings. That was a pretty class display against some good bowling. I know the wicket was doing a bit,” Smith added further.
Coming to the series, in Kohli’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane will captain India in the remaining three Tests.
The visitors are under pressure going into the epic Boxing Day Test in Melbourne after suffering an embarrassing 8-wicket defeat in Adelaide – where Team India also registered their lowest-ever Test innings total.