India captain to miss three of four Tests in Australia

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India's captain Virat Kohli reacts at the end of play during the 2019 Cricket World Cup first semi-final between New Zealand and India at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on July 10, 2019. - New Zealand beat India by 18 runs. (Photo by Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

India’s cricket captain, Virat Kholi, will miss three of four Tests on their tour of Australia to be at the birth of his child. 

His wife, actress Anushka Sharma, is due to give birth in January. 

Regarded as one of the world’s leading batsmen, Kholi will return home after the first Test starting on December 17. 

The Indian captain will be unable to return to the squad because anyone arriving in Australia must quarantine for 14 days, making it impractical. 

Kholi will play in the three Twenty20 and three one-day internationals that precede the Test series. 

The 32-year-old has captained 55 Tests, five short of MS Dhoni’s India record, and is second in the International Cricket Council’s Test batting rankings. 

Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in Kholi’s absence. 

Batsman Rohit Sharma has been added to the Test squad, having initially been left out because of a hamstring injury. 

Kholi led India to a first Test series victory in Australia in 2019.