Agreeing that it is a personal decision and legally it is not possible to force someone to stay with the team if he wants to leave for the birth of his child, former India left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi said India captain could have changed his mind and considered staying back with the side in Australia for remaining three Tests.
Doshi said it is the job of a captain to take charge of the ‘sinking ship’.
“To me, captaining India would be the prime-most thing on my mind. It’s a sinking ship. This is the time when they need their captain the most. If you leave at this time, you are leaving the side to your deputy with a lot of questions unanswered. I only hope and pray that the team shows enough character to come out of this,” Doshi told Sportskeeda in a video interview.
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Doshi, who picked up 114 wickets in 33 Test matches for India.He also picked up 22 wickets in 15 ODIs for India during his career, made the comments after India recorded their lowest Test score of 36 and lost the day-night Test in Adelaide in two and a half days to trail the four-match series 1-0.
Terming paternity leave a ‘modern phenomenon’, Doshi said he wouldn’t have flown back home had he been in Kohli’s shoes.
“I know this is a modern phenomenon that people believe that they ought to be by the side of their family and spouses when they deliver a child. I understand all that. But when you are on a national duty… If I put myself in his shoes, I wouldn’t have gone. For me, national duty comes before everything else.
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“This is a highly individual and institutional approach. Legally, you cannot stop somebody doing that. The cricket board cannot have a rule saying the players cannot go and be on the side of their spouses for such an occasion. Personally, I wouldn’t have gone,” added Doshi.
Terming Kohli an ‘outstanding player’, the former India left-arm spinner also stated that India will miss Kohli the batsman more than Kohli the captain.
“He’s an outstanding player. The team will miss him as a player more than as a captain. Him being at the crease gives a lot of confidence to other people,” said the 73-year-old.
Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in the Boxing Day Test match against Australia starting on December 26 in Melbourne.
India will also miss the services of fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who has been ruled out of the series with a fractured wrist.