For personal reasons, Virat Kohli withdrew from the first two Test matches against England, the BCCI announced on Monday, January 22. Soon, the selectors will announce the replacement.
“Virat has spoken to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management, and the selectors and has emphasized that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention,” the BCCI said in a press release.
“The BCCI respects his decision, and the team management and the Board have shown their support for the star batter. They also have faith in the ability of the remaining players to step up and perform admirably throughout the Test series.
“During this period, the BCCI asks the public and media to respect Virat Kohli’s privacy and to avoid making assumptions about the nature of his reasons. Supporting the Indian cricket team as they take on the forthcoming challenges in the Test series should continue to be the main priority, the announcement stated.
After missing the white-ball matches, Kohli, who amassed 1991 Test runs at an average of 42.36 versus England, participated in the Test series in South Africa. In addition, he was absent from the first Twenty20 International match against Afghanistan but played in the next two.
India may choose to promote Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul one slot apiece and bring in KS Bharat or Dhruv Jurel as a front-line wicketkeeping option because their No. 4 batsman is expected to miss the first two Test matches. Rajat Patidar, who recently scored hundreds of runs in both the practice match and the four-day encounter in Ahmedabad against the England Lions, is an alternative if he is not selected for the squad. Sarfaraz Khan, a batsman for Mumbai, has been in the stands for a long time. Cheteshwar Pujara, who opened the Ranji Trophy season with a double hundred against Jharkhand, could potentially be brought back.
The first Test begins on January 25 in Hyderabad, and the second Test begins in Visakhapatnam on February 2.