Most men would fawn over their newborn babies when they become first-time fathers. At the doctor’s clinic, they would probably pace up and down the corridor, waiting for their name to be called for their wife’s checkup.
But not Virat Kohli. He was watching the Gabba Test match between India and Australia.
Sundar and Thakur’s record-breaking partnership got India out of a precarious position in the first innings. The duo put together 123 after coming together at 186/6, India’s highest-ever seventh wicket partnership at the Gabba. More importantly, it prevented Australia from getting a huge first innings lead. And it proved significant in India going on to breach Australia’s fortress.
Whan asked what he did on paternity leave, Kohli did what he often does – he was honest.
“I was watching all the games. Even before the last Test, I clearly remember when Shardul and Washington were going through a partnership, I was watching it on my phone just before the doctor called us,” said Virat Kohli.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 3, 2021
Virat Kohli was also asked whether he felt he missed out on a historic moment in Indian cricket. The Indian skipper celebrated India’s victory but also said it was incomparable to the moment he became a father.
“I don’t think the two can be compared. To me becoming a father has been and will remain the greatest moment in my life. That is something which has to be experienced to understand what I’m saying.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 19, 2021
Kohli also praised the mental toughness shown by India in Australia. The team had to deal with injuries to senior players, bio-bubble struggles, and instances of racism. But they never gave up and won under adverse circumstances. For this, Virat Kohli claimed the team deserves all the plaudits
“I was so happy and proud to see the whole team come back in the series like we did. Everyone deserves all the credit for what they did in Australia. It was purely out of determination, grit and belief that they achieved what they ended up achieving.”
The Indian skipper has always held the unity of the side in high esteem. And this time, Virat Kohli reiterated the same point, claiming he was happy to see the side taste glory in his absence.
“That’s something which will remain in the hearts and minds of Indian cricket fans forever. Whether I was a part of it or not, to me it doesn’t matter as much as it does to the Indian cricket team and the whole country. I was very proud and very happy for the boys.”
Much is being talked about Virat Kohli’s return to the Test side. With Ajinkya Rahane impressing in Kohli’s absence, many suggested that the skipper would have to change his captaincy style.
Previewing the England series, Virat Kohli was confident of the bond he shares with his players, explaining his relationship with them hasn’t changed at all.
“The connection to the team does not go away in any situation. Especially when you’ve given everything for the team and the Test side for the last 6 years on a daily basis. Being motivated to take Test cricket and Indian cricket on top, the whole group has put in so much effort and you’re connected invariably.”