Virat Kohli Absent for First Two Tests Against England

Virat Kohli Absent for First Two Tests Against England

India’s cricket landscape faces a significant twist as the star batter, Virat Kohli, has made the tough decision to sit out the first two Tests against England.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officially confirmed Kohli’s withdrawal, citing personal reasons as the driving force behind the move.

In a statement released by the BCCI, it was revealed that Virat Kohli had personally requested to be excused from the squad for the initial two Tests against England.

The decision was not made lightly, as Kohli engaged in discussions with Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management, and the selectors before formalizing his absence.

The statement emphasized Kohli’s unwavering commitment to representing the country while acknowledging that certain personal situations demanded his immediate attention and undivided focus.

Respecting the privacy of the cricketer, the BCCI urged both the media and fans to refrain from speculating on the nature of these personal matters. The cricketing world, however, can expect the selection committee to name a replacement for Kohli in due course.

Kohli’s absence from the lineup comes on the heels of his participation in the Test series against South Africa, where India fought back to secure a 1-1 draw. Notably, Kohli was also absent from the first T20I against Afghanistan at home, again due to personal reasons, but made a comeback for the remaining two games.

The five-match series against England is scheduled to kick off on January 25 in Hyderabad, with the action moving to Visakhapatnam for the second game. Kohli, initially named in the squad announced on January 12, will not be donning the Indian jersey for the first two Tests, leaving a notable void in the team.

While the BCCI is yet to unveil the squad for the remaining three Tests, the lineup for the first two Tests includes Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, KS Bharat, Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Avesh Khan.

The series against England holds added significance as it is part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25. India, currently seated at the second position on the table, aim to secure its standing behind leaders Australia.