Australia batsman Steve Smith on Tuesday said the absence of Indian skipper Virat Kohli for the remaining three Test matches is going to be a “big loss” for visitors. Kohli would not be there for the visitors for the remainder of the series as he will be heading back home after being granted paternity leave by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Smith said there must have been pressure on the Indian skipper to stay with the team and appreciated Kohli for making the choice of being at home for the birth of his first child.
“I just fist-bumped (him) in the end (of the first Test) and said safe travel and hope everything goes well with the baby,” Smith said during a virtual press conference.
“It is a big loss for him and India, not having him for the rest of the series. You have to look at the way he played in first innings, was a pretty class display on good bowling.
“Wicket was doing a bit and I had said it before and will say it again, credit to him to stand up and say I wanna go home for the birth of his first child. I am sure there would have been pressure on him to stay but credit to him,” he added.
Smith has a great record at the Boxing Day Tests. He has smashed over 900 runs with three half-centuries.
The 31-year-old said he always dreamt of batting in the Boxing Day Test. Now when he is living his dream, he said walking out to bat in the Boxing Day Test gives him “shivers down the spine”.
“Yeah, 10 years (since his debut) is quite hard to believe. Since then, I have grown as a player over that time. My boxing day record is probably the best in Australia among all grounds. I like batting at MCG,” Smith said.
“On a big occasion I like to try and make most of them. You get shivers down the spine when walk out to bat at boxing day (with) the crowd yelling.
“It is like a dream come true. Because as a kid I always wanted to play in boxing day Test match,” he added.
India and Australia will play the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, beginning December 26.
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