The Indian skipper had returned home on paternity leave ,for the birth of his first child, after the visitors lost the first Test inside three days.
Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Panesar said that Virat Kohli should have opted to remain with the team after the trouncing in the series opener.
“I think Virat Kohli missed a trick. When in the first match, they got bowled out for 36, his wife should have just said, you know what, stay there. Stay there for national duty. Your country needs you more,” said Monty Panesar.
Panesar pointed out that Mohammed Siraj chose to stay back despite receiving news of his father’s death, something that Virat Kohli could have also opted to before the birth the birth of his daughter..
“I think the reason people in India are raising these issues is because they look at the likes of Mohammed Siraj. He had an opportunity to go home. Unfortunately, his father passed away. But, he won the hearts of the nation. Over 1.5 billion people (are) thinking, he didn’t go back, he was there for national duty. And, he won the Test series.”
The England spinner continued in this regard by saying that Virat Kohli probably missed a trick by not staying back with the team:
“First time they have won in Gabba in the history of Indian cricket. After 32 years, Australia have lost. Mohammed Siraj was there. And because of looking at other players and how the results have gone, some of the fans are probably thinking, for Virat Kohli national duty should be more important,” said Panesar.
Monty Panesar, who played 50 Tests for England and claimed 167 wickets, said that most Indian fans are unfamiliar with the concept of paternity leave, which is why Virat Kohli is facing a backlash. Panesar observed in this regard:
“In India, it’s a different culture. Paternity leave is a new thing. In England, it’s very common. Cricket isn’t a religion in this country. Football is. In India, it’s huge. I’ve seen celebrations of the players and everything. It’s phenomenal. So, I think Virat Kohli and his family and wife would have won the hearts of the nation if that decision was turned over. But again, Ravi Shastri said ‘it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’. You’ve got to be there for that experience.”
WHAT A WIN!!! Yessssss. To everyone who doubted us after Adelaide, stand up and take notice. Exemplary performance but the grit and determination was the standout for us the whole way. Well done to all the boys and the management. Enjoy this historic feat lads. Cheers 👏🏼🇮🇳 @BCCI pic.twitter.com/CgWElgOOO1
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 19, 2021
Under the inspired leadership of stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, an injury-depleted India, missing up to six first-team regulars, pulled off a stunning series triumph.