Australian batsman Steve Smith said on Tuesday that the absence of Indian skipper Virat Kohli for the remaining three test matches will be a “big loss” for visitors. Kohli would not be there for the visitors for the rest of the series as he will be returning home after receiving paternity leave from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Smith said pressure must have been put on the Indian skipper to stay with the team and appreciated Kohli for choosing to be at home with the birth of his first child.
“I punched (him) with his fist at the end (of the first test) and said travel safe and I hope the baby is fine,” Smith said during a virtual press conference.
“It’s a big loss for him and India that he won’t have it for the rest of the series. You have to look at the way he played in the first innings, it was quite a classy appearance on good bowling.
“Wicket kind of did it and I had said it before and will say it again, give him the credit to get up and say I want to go home for the birth of his first child. I’m sure that there would have been pressure on him to stay but honor him, ”he added.
Smith has a great track record on the Boxing Day Tests. He has hit more than 900 runs with three half centuries.
The 31-year-old said he always dreamed of hitting on Boxing Day. Now living his dream, he said he gives “chills down the spine” when he walks out in the Boxing Day test.
“Yes, 10 years (since his debut) is hard to believe. Since then I’ve grown as a player in that time. My record on Boxing Day is probably the best of all grounds in Australia. I love batting at MCG,” Smith said .
“On a big occasion I try to make the most of it. You get shivers down your spine when you walk out on Boxing Day to clubb (with) the audience screaming.
“It’s like a dream come true. Because as a kid I always wanted to play in the Boxing Day test match,” he added.
India and Australia will play the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26.
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