AUS v IND 2020-21: ‘Keep showing intent and express yourself’, Kohli’s message to teammates before leaving Australia

The India skipper left the Australian shores to attend the birth of his first child.

Virat Kohli told his teammates to play with intent | GettyIn order to attend the birth of his first child, India skipper Virat Kohli left the Australian shores on Tuesday (December 22) morning.

Middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team in the remaining three Tests of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

See Also: Steve Smith supports Virat Kohli’s decision to fly back home for the birth of his first child

According to a report published in ANI, Kohli had a special meeting with his teammates before departing from Australia and boosted their spirits after what was a heartbreaking loss to Tim Paine's boys in the first Test at Adelaide.

Despite taking a 53-run first innings lead, the visitors suffered a humiliating 8-wicket defeat in the series opener as they got bowled out for a paltry 36 in the second essay.

"Kohli has left Australia today morning. He had a word with the whole unit before leaving and the idea was to boost the confidence of the boys and keep them positive. He officially handed over the mantle of captaincy to Rahane and asked the team to keep showing intent and express themselves on the pitch. With Rohit Sharma set to join the squad only after the second game, Rahane's role becomes all the more important in guiding the youngsters," sources in the know of developments told ANI.

Rohit, who completed rehabilitation at the NCA following his hamstring injury during the IPL 2020, is currently serving quarantine in Sydney and there has been no discussion around moving him from the city despite the fresh outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

In fact, a BCCI official confirmed to ANI that Rohit will continue to serve his quarantine in Sydney.

"He doesn't need to move from Sydney. He is safe and is in a bio-secure environment undergoing quarantine. While he is alone in his room, the Indian board as well as the team management is constantly in touch with him. If there was any emergency or if we felt that he needed to get out of Sydney, we would. But for now, he is completely safe there," the official pointed.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has confirmed that the scheduled Sydney Test match between Australia and India remains on track despite the Coronavirus cluster.

The third Test is slated to be played from January 7 to 11 at SCG while Gabba will host the fourth Test from January 15 to 19.

(Inputs from ANI)


By Salman Anjum - 22 Dec, 2020

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